Supreme Court of California Decisions 2013

People v. Shockley  
Date: December 26, 2013
Docket Number: S189462

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of lewd conduct. Defendant appealed, arguing that the trial court had a sua sponte duty to instruct the jury on battery as a lesser and necessarily included offense of lewd con...

Donkin v. Donkin  
Date: December 26, 2013
Docket Number: S202210

Justia Opinion Summary: A trust and an amendment to the trust both contained no contest clauses. In 2009, two of the trust’s beneficiaries filed a safe harbor proceeding seeking a determination that the petition they proposed to file challengin...

People v. Biane  
Date: December 23, 2013
Docket Number: S207250

Justia Opinion Summary: Jeffrey Burum and James Erwin were charged with aiding and abetting the receipt of bribes by members of a County Board of Supervisors and with conspiring with the supervisors to have them accept the bribes. The People's...

People v. Williams  
Date: December 19, 2013
Docket Number: S118629

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of two counts of first degree murder and related crimes. Following a penalty phase trial, the jury returned a verdict of death. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment, holding...

Sander v. State Bar of Cal.  
Date: December 19, 2013
Docket Number: S194951

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs requested that the State Bar of California provide them access to certain information contained in the State Bar's admissions database, including applicants' grade point averages, race or ethnicity, and bar ex...

Beeman v. Anthem Prescription Mgmt.  
Date: December 19, 2013
Docket Number: S203124

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs were five independent retail pharmacies licensed in California, and Defendants were prescription drug claims processors. In 2002, Plaintiffs filed a federal class action suit alleging that Defendants failed to...

People v. Contreras  
Date: December 12, 2013
Docket Number: S058019

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of first degree felony murder and robbery. The jury also sustained a special circumstance allegation of murder in the commission of a robbery. After a penalty trial, the court...

Los Angeles Unified Sch. Dist. v. Garcia  
Date: December 12, 2013
Docket Number: S199639

Justia Opinion Summary: Michael Garcia received special education services during his school years. Before Garcia turned sixteen, he was arrested on felony charges and transferred to the Los Angeles County Jail to await trial. At that point, Ga...

People v. Palmer  
Date: December 5, 2013
Docket Number: S204409

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant pled no contest to possession of methylenedioxymethamphetamine. As part of the plea proceeding, Defendant waived a preliminary hearing and a probation report. After the prosecutor conducted a voir dire of Defen...

People v. Manibusan  
Date: December 2, 2013
Docket Number: S094890

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of two counts of first degree murder and one count each of attempted murder, aggravated mayhem, and second degree attempted robbery. The trial court sentenced Defendant to deat...

People v. Vangelder  
Date: November 21, 2013
Docket Number: S195423

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more. During the trial proceedings, the trial court excluded expert witness testimony ch...

Valdez v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd.  
Date: November 14, 2013
Docket Number: S204387

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was the section of the Labor Code (article 2.3) that establishes a process for employees who dispute the diagnosis or treatment provided by a medical provider network (MPN). Petitioner was injured w...

People v. Harrison  
Date: October 31, 2013
Docket Number: S199830

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant was convicted of battery with serious bodily injury and sentenced to two years in prison. Before Appellant was released on parole he was required to accept treatment as a mentally disordered offender (MDO). The...

Sterling Park, LP v. City of Palo Alto  
Date: October 17, 2013
Docket Number: S204771

Justia Opinion Summary: Developer sought to build ninety-six condominiums, but as a condition of obtaining a permit to do so, City required Developer to set aside ten condominium units as below market rate housing and make a substantial payment...

Kurwa v. Kislinger  
Date: October 3, 2013
Docket Number: S201619

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed an action against Defendant for breach of fiduciary duty and defamation, among other claims. Defendant cross-complained for defamation. Plaintiff later conceded he could not proceed on his cause of action...

P. v. Jones
Date: October 2, 2013
Docket Number: S042346M
P. v. Maciel
Date: October 2, 2013
Docket Number: S070536M
P. v. Mai
Date: October 2, 2013
Docket Number: S089478M
P. v. Martinez
Date: September 11, 2013
Docket Number: S199495M
People v. Dowl  
Date: August 29, 2013
Docket Number: S182621

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was arrested and charged for unlawful transportation of marijuana and unlawful possession of marijuana for purposes of sale. In his defense, Defendant claimed he possessed the marijuana lawfully for purposes of...

People v. Beltran  
Date: August 28, 2013
Docket Number: S192644M

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with murder and use of a deadly weapon. The trial court gave instructions on first and second degree murder, as well as voluntary manslaughter based upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion. The jur...

People v. Jones  
Date: August 26, 2013
Docket Number: S042346

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of two counts of first degree murder, two counts of attempted murder, and of committing forcible rape, sodomy, and oral copulation. Following a penalty trial, Defendant was sen...

People v. Harris  
Date: August 26, 2013
Docket Number: S081700

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of first degree murder, unlawful taking of a vehicle, and arson. The jury returned a verdict of death. The trial court sentenced Defendant to death on the murder count and impo...

People v. Mai  
Date: August 26, 2013
Docket Number: S089478

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury-waived trial, Defendant was convicted of first degree murder. The court found true the special circumstance that the killing was intentional and that Defendant knew or should have known the victim was a peac...

People v. Williams  
Date: August 26, 2013
Docket Number: S195187

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of several offenses, including robbery and theft. The convictions stemmed from Defendant's acquisition of gift cards through his false representation that he was using valid pa...

People v. Edwards  
Date: August 22, 2013
Docket Number: S073316

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of first degree murder. The jury also found true the special circumstance allegations of burglary-murder and torture-murder. After the jury was unable to agree on a sentence, t...

Hayes v. County of San Diego  
Date: August 19, 2013
Docket Number: S193997

Justia Opinion Summary: Sheriff's deputies came to the home of Shane Hayes in response to a call from a neighbor. When the deputies arrived, Hayes's girlfriend informe them that Hayes was suicidal. The deputies then entered the house, where Hay...

Reilly v. Superior Court of Orange County  
Date: August 19, 2013
Docket Number: S202280

Justia Opinion Summary: Kevin Reilly was originally committed as a sexually violent predator (SVP) in 2000. In 2008, the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sought a petition for recommitment. Two evaluators evaluated...

Am. Nurses Ass'n v. Torlakson  
Date: August 12, 2013
Docket Number: S184583

Justia Opinion Summary: Public school students with diabetes who cannot self-administer insulin are entitled under federal law to have it administered to them during the school day at no cost. In 2007, the State Department of Education (Departm...

Elk Hills Power, LLC v. Bd. of Equalization  
Date: August 12, 2013
Docket Number: S194121

Justia Opinion Summary: In assessing the value of electric power plants for purposes of property taxation, assessors may not include the value of intangible assets and rights in the value of taxable property. An electric company purchased "emis...

People v. Maciel  
Date: August 8, 2013
Docket Number: S070536

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant, an alleged member of the Mexican Mafia, was convicted of the first degree murders of three adults and two children. The jury also found true multiple-murder special-circumstance and weapon...

People v. Martinez  
Date: August 8, 2013
Docket Number: S199495

Justia Opinion Summary: Pursuant to the terms of a plea bargain, Defendant, who was an eighteen-year-old citizen of Mexico at the time, pleaded guilty to the sale or transportation of marijuana. After completing his probation, Defendant sought...

W. States Petroleum Ass'n v. Bd. of Equalization  
Date: August 5, 2013
Docket Number: S200475

Justia Opinion Summary: Until 2007, petroleum refinery property was assessed by separately assessing the value of land and improvements separately from the value of fixtures, including machinery and equipment. In light of evidence that petroleu...

Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Constr. Auth.  
Date: August 5, 2013
Docket Number: S202828

Justia Opinion Summary: Pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority (Expo Authority) approved a project to construct a light-rail line from Culver City to Santa Monica. Plaintiff...

Zhang v. Superior Court  
Date: August 1, 2013
Docket Number: S178542

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was whether insurance practices that violate the Unfair Insurance Practices Act (UIPA) can support an Unfair Competition Law (UCL) action. In 1988, the Supreme Court held in Moradi-Shalal v. Fireman...

Rose v. Bank of Am., N.A.  
Date: August 1, 2013
Docket Number: S199074

Justia Opinion Summary: Until 2001, the federal Truth in Savings Act (TISA), 12 U.S.C. 4310 et seq., allowed civil damages to be sought for failure to comply with its requirements. The provision authorizing lawsuits was later repealed, however....

People v. Rogers  
Date: July 25, 2013
Docket Number: S080840

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of first degree murder and arson of property. The jury found true the special circumstance that Defendant was previously convicted of first degree murder. The trial court impos...

People v. Davis  
Date: July 25, 2013
Docket Number: S198434

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with sale and possession for sale of a controlled substance. At trial, evidence showed that the pills contained 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). The court of appeal affirmed, holding that a...

People v. Cottone  
Date: July 22, 2013
Docket Number: S194107

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with committing four lewd acts upon his niece. Before trial, the prosecution offered evidence under Cal. R. Evid. 1108 that Defendant had sexually abused his sister when Defendant was nearly fourtee...

People v. Smith  
Date: July 18, 2013
Docket Number: S201186

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of resisting an executive officer in the performance of his duties pursuant to Cal. Penal Code 69. Defendant appealed, arguing that the trial court erred by denying his request...

People v. Johnson  
Date: July 18, 2013
Docket Number: S202790

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants were part of a Bakersfield gang and were involved in various retaliatory shootings against perceived rivals. After a jury trial, Defendants were convicted of, inter alia, first degree murder with multiple-murd...

Today’'s Fresh Start, Inc. v. Los Angeles County Office of Educ.  
Date: July 11, 2013
Docket Number: S195852

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, a nonprofit public benefit corporation that was granted a charter in 2003 to serve Los Angeles County, had its charter revoked by the County Board of Education in 2007. Plaintiff appealed, contending that the...

People v. DeHoyos  
Date: July 8, 2013
Docket Number: S034800

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of first degree murder, kidnapping for child molestation, forcible rape, sodomy, and committing a lewd and lascivious act upon a child under fourteen. Prior to sentencing, the...

Sierra Club v. Superior Court  
Date: July 8, 2013
Docket Number: S194708

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was the database of information about land parcels in a geographic information system (GIS) file format maintained by Orange County and whether it was subject to disclosure at the actual cost of dup...

People v. Mata  
Date: July 8, 2013
Docket Number: S201413

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of possession of cocaine and resisting a peace officer. On appeal, Defendant argued that the trial court committed reversible error when, after finding the prosecution improper...

People v. Nunez  
Date: July 1, 2013
Docket Number: S091915

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, two defendants (Defendants) were convicted of the first degree murders of two people. The jury found true special circumstance allegations of multiple murder and sentence enhancement allegations that...

Doe v. Harris  
Date: July 1, 2013
Docket Number: S191948

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff entered into a plea agreement under which he pled nolo contendere to one count of lewd and lascivious acts upon a child. Plaintiff filed a plea form stating that Plaintiff must register as a sex offender under...

People v. Linton  
Date: June 27, 2013
Docket Number: S080054

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of first degree murder, residential burglary, attempted rape, and a forcible lewd act on a child under the age of fourteen. The trial court sentenced Defendant to death. The Su...

Robey v. Superior Court  
Date: June 27, 2013
Docket Number: S197735

Justia Opinion Summary: After police seized a package from FedEx and discovered marijuana inside, Petitioner, who went to FedEx to claim the package, was arrested with possession of marijuana for sale and with the sale or transportation of mari...

Green v. Green  
Date: June 24, 2013
Docket Number: S203561

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this divorce case was whether Husband's retirement benefits were community or separate property. Husband, a firefighter, rendered military services before he married Wife. During the parties' marriage, Husban...

City of Los Angeles v. Superior Court  
Date: June 20, 2013
Docket Number: S192828

Justia Opinion Summary: After declaring a fiscal emergency, the City of Los Angeles adopted a mandatory furlough program for its civilian employees. Many of those employees that were represented by a union (Union) filed grievances against the C...

Ceja v. Rudolph & Sletten, Inc.  
Date: June 20, 2013
Docket Number: S193493

Justia Opinion Summary: Decedent was already married when he and Plaintiff obtained a marriage license and held their wedding ceremony. Three years later, Decedent was killed in an accident at a construction site. Plaintiff filed this wrongful...

People v. Lopez  
Date: June 13, 2013
Docket Number: S073597

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of first-degree murder, kidnapping, assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and/or with a deadly weapon, and first-degree residential burglary. The tria...

P. v. Anzalone
Date: June 12, 2013
Docket Number: S192536M
P. v. Delgado
Date: June 12, 2013
Docket Number: S192704M
People v. Santana  
Date: June 10, 2013
Docket Number: S198324

Justia Opinion Summary: After a second jury trial, Defendant was convicted of one count of attempted mayhem and two counts of assault with a firearm. Defendant appealed, contending that the trial court erred in instructing the jury that a gunsh...

Martinez v. Brownco Constr. Co.  
Date: June 10, 2013
Docket Number: S200944

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs, Raymond and Gloria Martinez, sued Defendant for damages arising out of an electrical explosion that severely injured Raymond. Before trial, Plaintiffs served on Defendant two successive settlement offers purs...

El-Attar v. Hollywood Presbyterian Med. Ctr.  
Date: June 6, 2013
Docket Number: S196830

Justia Opinion Summary: Doctor applied for reappointment to Hospital's medical staff. Hospital denied the application. Doctor requested a review hearing to challenge the decision. Under Hospital's bylaws, Hospital's Medical Executive Committee...

People v. Beltran  
Date: June 3, 2013
Docket Number: S192644

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with murder and use of a deadly weapon. The trial court gave instructions on first and second degree murder as well as voluntary manslaughter based upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion. The jury...

People v. Bryant  
Date: June 3, 2013
Docket Number: S196365

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of second degree murder. The court of appeal reversed the murder conviction, concluding that the trial court erred by failing to sua sponte instruct the jury on voluntary mansl...

In re Boyette  
Date: May 30, 2013
Docket Number: S092356

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Petitioner was convicted of two counts of first degree murder and of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Following the penalty phase of trial, the jury sentenced Petitioner to death. The Supreme...

County of Los Angeles v. Los Angeles County Employee Relations Comm'n  
Date: May 30, 2013
Docket Number: S191944

Justia Opinion Summary: The Service Employees International Union, Local 721 (SEIU) was the exclusive bargaining representative of all Los Angeles County employees. SEIU proposed amending the memorandum of understanding it had with the County's...

People v. Rountree  
Date: May 23, 2013
Docket Number: S048543

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of first degree murder under the special circumstances of kidnapping- and robbery-murder, of kidnapping, and of robbery. The jury also found Defendant personally used a firearm...

Biancalana v. T.D. Serv. Co.  
Date: May 16, 2013
Docket Number: S198562

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff filed an action to quiet title to a parcel of real property, alleging he owned the property because he had been the highest bidder at a trustee's sale. After Plaintiff gave the auctioneer his cashier's check at...

People v. Park  
Date: May 13, 2013
Docket Number: S193938

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of attempted voluntary manslaughter and assault with a firearm. Defendant waived a jury trial on the prior conviction allegations and admitted having suffered a prior seriou...

In re I.J.  
Date: May 9, 2013
Docket Number: S204622

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant (Father) was the father of two daughters and three sons. The juvenile court found that Father sexually abused one of his daughters, I.J., over a three-year period, but there was no evidence or claim that Father...

People v. Williams  
Date: May 6, 2013
Docket Number: S030553

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of two first degree murders and two counts of second degree robbery. The trial court sentenced Defendant to death. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment, holding (1) the t...

City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patients Health & Wellness Ctr., Inc.  
Date: May 6, 2013
Docket Number: S198638

Justia Opinion Summary: The City of Riverside declared, by zoning ordinances, that medical marijuana dispensaries were prohibited within the City. Invoking these provisions, the City brought a nuisance action against a facility operated by Defe...

P. v. Williams
Date: May 1, 2013
Docket Number: S093756M
P. v. Wilkins
Date: May 1, 2013
Docket Number: S190713M
McWilliams v. City of Long Beach  
Date: April 25, 2013
Docket Number: S202037

Justia Opinion Summary: This dispute arose out of a class action lawsuit filed by Plaintiff, a resident of Defendant City, challenging the City's telephone users tax (TUT) and seeking refund of the taxes paid. The trial court ruled that class c...

People v. McCullough  
Date: April 22, 2013
Docket Number: S192513

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant pleaded no contest to being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and admitted a prior prison term allegation. The trial court imposed the stipulated prison sentence of four years and ordered Defendant t...

People v. Nuckles  
Date: April 22, 2013
Docket Number: S200612

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of being an accessory for intentionally aiding a parolee in absconding from parole supervision. Defendant appealed, arguing that the act of assisting a parolee abscond from sup...

People v. Clancey  
Date: April 18, 2013
Docket Number: S200158

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with an assortment of felony and misdemeanor charges, mostly theft related. Over the prosecution's objection, Defendant pleaded no contest to all charges and was sentenced to five years in prison. T...

People v. Anzalone  
Date: April 15, 2013
Docket Number: S192536

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of making a criminal threat, assault with a deadly weapon, and brandishing a weapon. Defendant was sentenced to a prison term of four years eight months. Defendant appealed,...

People v. Leiva  
Date: April 8, 2013
Docket Number: S192176

Justia Opinion Summary: Cal. Penal Code former section 1202.2(a) provided that the revocation of probation, "summary or otherwise, shall serve to toll the running of the probationary period." At issue in this case was whether, once probation ha...

People v. Carbajal  
Date: April 8, 2013
Docket Number: S195600

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with sexually molesting two victims. A jury convicted Defendant of some counts involving one victim but deadlocked on all counts involving the other victim. Nevertheless, the jury returned a true fi...

People v. Delgado  
Date: April 4, 2013
Docket Number: S192704

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of robbery and kidnapping for purposes of robbery on evidence from which a jury could have determined an accomplice, rather than Defendant, personally performed the act of asportation necessary to...

People v. Pearson  
Date: March 21, 2013
Docket Number: S058157

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of two counts of first degree murder with personal use of a firearm. After a penalty trial, the jury returned a verdict of death. The trial court denied the automatic motion to...

People v. Gonzales  
Date: March 18, 2013
Docket Number: S191240

Justia Opinion Summary: Upon the State's petition to commit Defendant as a sexually violent predator (SVP) under the Sexually Violent Predator Act (SVPA), the trial court allowed the disclosure of Defendant's psychological records and determine...

People v. Wilkins  
Date: March 7, 2013
Docket Number: S190713

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of first degree murder under a felony-murder theory that the victim was killed during the commission of a burglary. During trial, the court instructed the jury that in order fo...

In re Vicks  
Date: March 4, 2013
Docket Number: S194129

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1983, Petitioner was convicted of numerous violent felonies and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole, consecutive to a determinate term of thirty-seven years. In 2008, California voters approved...

Bourhis v. Lord  
Date: March 4, 2013
Docket Number: S199887

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs, including a California corporation (Corporation), filed a lawsuit for property damage against Defendants. Before trial, Defendants learned the state had suspended Corporation's corporate powers for nonpayment...

Greb v. Diamond Int'l Corp.  
Date: February 21, 2013
Docket Number: S183365

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs filed a complaint for personal injuries and loss of consortium against Defendant corporation and other entities, alleging injuries from exposure to asbestos. Defendant demurred, alleging that more than three y...

P. v. Watkins
Date: February 13, 2013
Docket Number: S026634M
People v. Williams  
Date: February 7, 2013
Docket Number: S093756

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was convicted of two counts of first degree murder. Defendant was sentenced to death. The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment, holding (1) the trial court's excusal of a prospective juror for cause was not prej...

Harris v. City of Santa Monica  
Date: February 7, 2013
Docket Number: S181004

Justia Opinion Summary: The City fired Plaintiff, a bus driver, for allegedly poor job performance. Plaintiff brought this action against the City, alleging she was fired because of her pregnancy in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing...

Harris v. Santa Monica
Date: February 7, 2013
Docket Number: S181004A
People v. Whalen  
Date: February 4, 2013
Docket Number: S054569

Justia Opinion Summary: After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of first degree murder and first degree robbery. After a penalty trial, the trial court imposed the death sentence for the murder and a prison term for the robbery and enhancem...

Apple Inc. v. Superior Court  
Date: February 4, 2013
Docket Number: S199384

Justia Opinion Summary: The Song-Beverly Credit Card Act governs the issuance and use of credit cards. One of its provisions, Cal. Civ. Code 1747.08, prohibits retailers from recording or requesting personal information from a credit card holde...

Aryeh v. Canon Bus. Solutions, Inc.  
Date: January 24, 2013
Docket Number: S184929

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant leased copiers to Plaintiff pursuant to a lease agreements entered into in 2001 and 2002. In 2008, Plaintiff sued Defendant for violation of the unfair competition law (UCL), Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code, 17200, alle...

Riverisland Cold Storage, Inc. v. Fresno-Madera Prod. Ass'n  
Date: January 14, 2013
Docket Number: S190581

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was the Pendergrass rule, which establishes a limitation on the fraud exception to the parol evidence rule. Plaintiffs restructured their debt with a Credit Association in an agreement. Plaintiffs d...

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