Supreme Court of California Decisions 2019

P. v. Caro
Date: September 12, 2019
Docket Number: S106274M
ZB, N.A. v. Superior Court  
Date: September 12, 2019
Docket Number: S246711

Justia Opinion Summary: In this Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), Cal. Lab. Code 2698 et seq., action seeking civil penalties under Cal. Labor Code 558 the Supreme Court held that the civil penalties a plaintiff may seek under section 558 t...

In re Ricardo P.
Date: August 29, 2019
Docket Number: S230923M
Pitzer College v. Indian Harbor Insurance Co.  
Date: August 29, 2019
Docket Number: S239510

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court considered two questions from the federal court of appeals regarding California's common-law notice-prejudice rule and held (1) the notice-prejudice rule is a fundamental public policy of the state in t...

OTO, L.L.C. v. Kho  
Date: August 29, 2019
Docket Number: S244630

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that a definitive resolution of the question of whether an arbitral scheme resembling civil litigation can constitute a sufficiently accessible and affordable process was unnecessary in this case b...

Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs v. Superior Court  
Date: August 26, 2019
Docket Number: S243855

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that when a law enforcement agency creates a so-called internal Brady list, and a peace officer on that list is a potential witness in a pending criminal prosecution, the agency may disclose to the...

People v. Fontenot  
Date: August 26, 2019
Docket Number: S247044

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeal affirming Defendant's conviction of attempted kidnapping where Defendant was charged with completed kidnapping, holding that reversal was not warranted by th...

People v. Aledamat  
Date: August 26, 2019
Docket Number: S248105

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeal finding that the trial court's error in permitting the jury to consider a box cutter an inherently deadly weapon was prejudicial, holding that the error was...

People v. Foster  
Date: August 22, 2019
Docket Number: S248046

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeal affirming the judgment of the trial court denying Defendant's motion to dismiss his recommitment as a mentally disordered offender (MDO) on the basis that th...

Union of Medical Marijuana Patients, Inc. v. City of San Diego  
Date: August 19, 2019
Docket Number: S238563

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeal affirming the finding of the City of San Diego that adoption of an ordinance authorizing the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries and regulating t...

In re Ricardo P.  
Date: August 15, 2019
Docket Number: S230923

Justia Opinion Summary: In this appeal concerning a condition of probation requiring Ricardo P. to submit to warrantless searches of his electronics devices the Supreme Court held that the electronics search condition was not reasonably related...

Voris v. Lampert  
Date: August 15, 2019
Docket Number: S241812

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeal affirming in part and reversing in part the judgment of the trial court granting Defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings on certain stock and wage c...

City of Oroville v. Superior Court of Butte County  
Date: August 15, 2019
Docket Number: S243247

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeal finding the City of Oroville liable in inverse condemnation for property damage suffered by a dental practice when raw sewage began spewing from the toilets,...

In re Masters  
Date: August 12, 2019
Docket Number: S130495

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court discharged an order to show cause filed by Petitioner in connection with his petition seeking a writ of habeas corpus, holding that Petitioner failed to meet the applicable standard for relief under any...

People v. Ovieda  
Date: August 12, 2019
Docket Number: S247235

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court disapproved the lead opinion in People v. Ray, 21 Cal.4th 464 (1999), in which the Court articulated a "community caretaking" exception to the warrant requirement for government entry into a private res...

White v. Square, Inc.  
Date: August 12, 2019
Docket Number: S249248

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court answered a question regarding California's Unruh Civil Rights Act, Cal. Civ. Code 51 et seq., by holding that a plaintiff has standing to bring a claim under the Act when the plaintiff visits a business...

People v. Capers  
Date: August 8, 2019
Docket Number: S146939

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions of two counts of first degree murder and sentence of death, holding that there was no error in the proceedings below that entitled Defendant to reversal of his convictio...

Noel v. Thrifty Payless, Inc.  
Date: July 29, 2019
Docket Number: S246490

Justia Opinion Summary: In this putative class action brought on behalf of retail purchasers of an inflatable outdoor pool the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeal upholding the ruling of the trial court denying the repres...

People v. Young  
Date: July 25, 2019
Docket Number: S148462

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions for two counts of first degree murder and other crimes but reversed Defendant's sentence of death imposed after a penalty retrial, holding that the trial court erred by...

Wilson v. Cable News Network, Inc.  
Date: July 22, 2019
Docket Number: S239686

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the court of appeal concluding that the anti-SLAPP statute, Cal. Code Civ. Proc. 425.16, cannot be used to judicially screen claims alleging discrim...

Chen v. Los Angeles Truck Centers, LLC  
Date: July 22, 2019
Docket Number: S240245

Justia Opinion Summary: In this tort action arising out of a fatal tour bus accident in Arizona, the Supreme Court held that the trial court did not err by declining to reconsider its prior choice of law ruling after an Indiana defendant was di...

Satele v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County  
Date: July 18, 2019
Docket Number: S248492

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court issued a writ of mandate directing the trial court to vacate its order denying Petitioner's request to release ballistics evidence for expert testimony in preparation for filing a habeas corpus petition...

In re Rogers  
Date: July 15, 2019
Docket Number: S084292

Justia Opinion Summary: In this original habeas corpus action the Supreme Court granted Petitioner habeas corpus relief insofar as the petition sought relief from the judgment of death after accepting the finding of the referee that a prosecuti...

Quigley v. Garden Valley Fire Protection District  
Date: July 15, 2019
Docket Number: S242250

Justia Opinion Summary: In this negligence case, the Supreme Court held that the immunity provision of the Government Claims Act (GCA) that bars any statutory liability that might otherwise exist for injuries resulting from the condition of fir...

Monster Energy Co. v. Schechter  
Date: July 11, 2019
Docket Number: S251392

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeal reversing the ruling of the trial court denying Defendants' motion for dismiss this breach of contract suit under the anti-SLAPP statutes, holding that Plain...

Christensen v. Lightbourne  
Date: July 8, 2019
Docket Number: S245395

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the determination of the California Department of Social Services (the Department) that a household member's income that is used to pay child support for a child living in another household co...

People v. Mendez  
Date: July 1, 2019
Docket Number: S129501

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions of two counts of first degree murder and his sentence of death, holding that none of Defendant's challenges to his convictions and death sentence warranted reversal. De...

Stoetzl v. Department of Human Resources  
Date: July 1, 2019
Docket Number: S244751

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case concerning whether a certified class of state correctional employees is entitled to additional compensation for time spent on pre- and postwork activities, the Supreme Court held that the represented plainti...

People v. Molano  
Date: June 27, 2019
Docket Number: S161399

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of first degree murder, with the special circumstance that the murder was committed during a rape, and Defendant's sentence of death holding that there was no prejudicial...

P. v. Valenzuela
Date: June 27, 2019
Docket Number: S239122M
People v. Mitchell  
Date: June 24, 2019
Docket Number: S147335

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions for three counts of first degree murder and three counts of first degree attempted murder arising from two shootings committed by Defendant on the same day and Defendant...

People v. Canizales  
Date: June 24, 2019
Docket Number: S221958

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the trial court upholding Defendants' convictions of two counts of attempted murder, holding that the evidence was insufficient to support an instruction on the kill zone theory...

City & County of San Francisco v. Regents of the University of California  
Date: June 20, 2019
Docket Number: S242835

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the City and County of San Francisco (San Francisco) can lawfully apply a tax collection requirement, which requires parking lot operators to collect a tax from drivers who park their cars in...

People v. Caro  
Date: June 13, 2019
Docket Number: S106274

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court sentencing Defendant Socorro Susan Caro to death for killing three of her four children, holding that any error in the admission of statements from a detective's...

People v. Valenzuela  
Date: June 3, 2019
Docket Number: S239122

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeal affirming the decision of a resentencing court refusing to dismiss Defendant's conviction for street terrorism after Proposition 47 came into effect, holding...

In re Cook  
Date: June 3, 2019
Docket Number: S240153

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeal granting Anthony Cook's petition for writ of habeas corpus and remanded the matter to the court of appeal with directions to deny the petition, holding that...

Heimlich v. Shivji  
Date: May 30, 2019
Docket Number: S243029

Justia Opinion Summary: In this dispute over attorney fees and costs following arbitration the Supreme Court held (1) a request for costs under Cal. Code Civ. P. 998 is timely if filed with the arbitrator within fifteen days of a final award an...

Plantier v. Ramona Municipal Water District  
Date: May 30, 2019
Docket Number: S243360

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that when an agency considers increasing a property-related fee, the fee payor challenging the method of fee allocation need not exhaust administrative remedies by participating in a Proposition 21...

Southern California Gas Leak Co. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County  
Date: May 30, 2019
Docket Number: S246669

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case concerning a massive, four-month-long leak from a natural gas storage facility located outside Los Angeles the Supreme Court held that local businesses, none of which alleged they suffered personal injury or...

People v. Erskine  
Date: May 23, 2019
Docket Number: S127621

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of two counts of first degree murder and personal use of a deadly weapon and Defendant's sentence of death on both counts, holding that no prejudicial error occurred in t...

People v. Rivera  
Date: May 23, 2019
Docket Number: S153881

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed as modified the judgment of the trial court convicting Defendant and sentencing him to death for the murder of a peace officer, holding that modification of the judgment was required to reduce...

In re Webb  
Date: May 23, 2019
Docket Number: S247074

Justia Opinion Summary: In this criminal case, the Supreme Court held that, when a defendant posts bail, the trial court has authority to impose reasonable conditions related to public safety but that the question had become moot as to the Defe...

People v. Dalton  
Date: May 16, 2019
Docket Number: S046848

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated as unauthorized the death sentence imposed upon Defendant in connection with his conviction for conspiracy to commit murder and vacated the jury's lying in wait special-circumstance true findin...

Black Sky Capital, LLC v. Cobb  
Date: May 6, 2019
Docket Number: S243294

Justia Opinion Summary: In this real property dispute, the Supreme Court held that Cal. Code Civ. Proc. 580d does not preclude a creditor holding two deeds of trust on the same property from recovering a deficiency judgment on the junior lien e...

FilmOn.com Inc. v. DoubleVerify Inc.  
Date: May 6, 2019
Docket Number: S244157

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case involving application of the "catchall" provision of the anti-SLAPP statute, Cal. Code Civ. Proc. 425.16, the Supreme Court held (1) the context of a defendant's statement is relevant, though not dispositive...

People v. Bell  
Date: May 2, 2019
Docket Number: S080056

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court convicting Defendant of murder in the course of a robbery and related crimes and sentencing Defendant to death, holding that any assumed errors were harmless. S...

People v. Sanchez  
Date: April 29, 2019
Docket Number: S087569

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court denying Defendant's automatic motion to modify the jury's verdict convicting Defendant of two counts of first degree murder and sentencing him to death, holding...

Melendez v. San Francisco Baseball Associates LLC  
Date: April 25, 2019
Docket Number: S245607

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals concluding that this lawsuit brought by security guards at Oracle Park (the former AT&T Park in San Francisco) against San Francisco Baseball Associates LLC...

P. v. Westerfield
Date: April 11, 2019
Docket Number: S112691M
People v. Lara  
Date: April 11, 2019
Docket Number: S243975

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case concerning the proper interpretation of Proposition 47, the ballot initiative that reduced certain felony offenses to misdemeanors, the Supreme Court held that defendants who had not yet been sentenced as of...

People v. Aranda  
Date: April 4, 2019
Docket Number: S214116

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the rule set forth in Stone v. Superior Court, 31 Cal.3d 503, that a court must accept a partial verdict of acquittal as to a charged greater offense when a jury has expressly indicated that i...

T-Mobile West LLC v. City & County of San Francisco  
Date: April 4, 2019
Docket Number: S238001

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgments of the trial court and court of appeal rejecting Plaintiffs' facial challenge to the ordinance adopted by the City and County of San Francisco (the City) requiring wireless teleph...

People v. Potts  
Date: March 28, 2019
Docket Number: S072161

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court modified the judgment of the trial court convicting Defendant of two counts of first degree murder and related crimes, sentencing Defendant to death, and imposing a four-year determinate term based on t...

In re H.W.  
Date: March 28, 2019
Docket Number: S237415

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeal upholding the juvenile court's finding that H.W. possessed an "other instrument or tool with intent feloniously to break or enter" within the meaning of Cal....

In re H.W.
Date: March 28, 2019
Docket Number: S237415A
Gardner v. Appellate Division of Superior Court  
Date: March 28, 2019
Docket Number: S246214

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals ruling that Defendant did not have a right to appointed counsel to respond to the prosecution's appeal of the order of the trial court granting Defendant's...

P. v. Johnson
Date: March 14, 2019
Docket Number: S075727M
Cal Fire Local 2881 v. California Public Employees' Retirement System  
Date: March 4, 2019
Docket Number: S239958

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decisions of the trial court and court of appeal, which determined that the elimination of the opportunity to purchase additional retirement service (ARS) credit set forth in the California...

McClain v. Sav-On Drugs  
Date: March 4, 2019
Docket Number: S241471

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court and court of appeal sustaining Defendants’ demurrer in this case, holding that customers who have paid sales tax reimbursement on purchases they believe to be ex...

People v. Amezcua  
Date: February 28, 2019
Docket Number: S133660

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court convicting codefendants Oswaldo Amezcua and Joseph Conrad Flores of four counts of first degree murder and sentencing each defendant to death for the murder conv...

Sweetwater Union High School District v. Gilbane Building Co.  
Date: February 28, 2019
Docket Number: S233526

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeal affirming the denial of Defendant’s special motion to strike, holding that the evidence produced by Plaintiff was properly considered by the trial court in r...

In re J.G.  
Date: February 25, 2019
Docket Number: S240397

Justia Opinion Summary: In this challenge brought by J.G., a juvenile, to a restitution order the Supreme Court remanded the matter for a new hearing regarding J.G.’s ability to pay restitution, holding that the juvenile court did not violate f...

Meza v. Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC  
Date: February 15, 2019
Docket Number: S242799

Justia Opinion Summary: In this question involving one of the economical litigation rules the Supreme Court accepted a request by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to decide a question of state law regarding Cal. Code Civ...

Goonewardene v. ADP, LLC  
Date: February 7, 2019
Docket Number: S238941

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeal insofar as it held that the trial court erred in dismissing certain of Plaintiff’s causes of action, holding an employee who believes he or she has not been...

People v. Westerfield  
Date: February 4, 2019
Docket Number: S112691

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction of first degree murder and sentence of death on the murder count, holding that no reversible error occurred in the proceedings below. Specifically, the Court held (1) th...

People v. Armstrong  
Date: February 4, 2019
Docket Number: S126560

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions of kidnapping, robbing, raping, torturing, and murder but reversed his death sentence, holding that multiple prospective jurors were improperly excused for cause. Defen...

Rand Resources, LLC v. City of Carson  
Date: February 4, 2019
Docket Number: S235735

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part the judgment of the appellate court reversing the judgment of the trial court granted Defendants’ special motions to strike the second through sixth ca...

People v. Colbert  
Date: January 24, 2019
Docket Number: S238954

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case concerning the line separating shoplifting from burglary after the approval of Proposition 47, the Supreme Court held that entering an interior room that is objectively identifiable as off-limits to the publ...

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