Supreme Court of California Decisions 2021

Presbyterian Camp & Conference Centers v. Superior Court  
Date: December 27, 2021
Docket Number: S259850

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that Cal. Health & Safety Code 13009 and 13009.1 incorporate the common law theory of respondent superior, and therefore, a corporation cannot be held vicariously liable for the cost of suppressing...

Hill RHF Housing Partners, L.P. v. City of Los Angeles  
Date: December 20, 2021
Docket Number: S263734

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeal concluding that Petitioners' failure to present their objections to business improvement districts (BIDs) assessment schemes at appropriate public hearings m...

People v. Wright  
Date: December 16, 2021
Docket Number: S107900

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in its entirety the judgment of the trial court convicting Defendant of first-degree murder and sentencing him to death, holding that Defendant was not entitled to relief on his allegations of...

People v. Gonzalez  
Date: December 2, 2021
Docket Number: S163643

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of first-degree murder and attempted second-degree robbery and sentence of death, holding that there was no reversible error in the proceedings below. Specifically, the...

People v. Superior Court  
Date: December 2, 2021
Docket Number: S255826

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court granting Defendant's motion for postconviction discovery under Cal. Penal Code 1054.9 giving Defendant access to the prosecutor's jury selection notes, holding t...

People v. Navarro  
Date: October 28, 2021
Docket Number: S165195

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court convicting Defendant of first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, as well as participation in a criminal street gang, and sentencing him to death, hol...

P. v. McDaniel
Date: October 21, 2021
Docket Number: S171393M
Walker v. Superior Court
Date: October 14, 2021
Docket Number: S263588M
Sandoval v. Qualcomm Inc.  
Date: September 9, 2021
Docket Number: S252796

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that a company that hired the contractor that hired the injured plaintiff in this case, owned the premises, and operated the electrical equipment, was not liable for the plaintiff's injuries. Plai...

In re Friend
Date: September 2, 2021
Docket Number: S256914M
McHugh v. Protective Life Insurance Co.  
Date: August 30, 2021
Docket Number: S259215

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that Defendant, which terminated one of the life insurance policies at issue in this case because the policy owner had failed to make a payment, had no right to terminate the policies without compl...

Walker v. Superior Court  
Date: August 30, 2021
Docket Number: S263588

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the trial court committing Petitioner as a sexually violent predator, holding that hearsay evidence in a psychological evaluation report in finding probable cause to commit a pe...

People v. McDaniel  
Date: August 26, 2021
Docket Number: S171393

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of two counts of first degree murder, two counts of attempted murder, and possession of a firearm by a felon, holding that there was no reversible error. Specifically, t...

P. v. Lewis
Date: August 26, 2021
Docket Number: S260598M
People v. Wycoff  
Date: August 23, 2021
Docket Number: S178669

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed Defendant's convictions of two counts of first-degree murder, holding that the district court erred in failing to initiate the competency procedures set forth in Cal. Penal Code 1368 and 1369....

Gonzalez v. Mathis  
Date: August 19, 2021
Docket Number: S247677

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that a landowner may not be liable for injuries to an independent contractor or its workers that result from a known hazard on the premises where there were no reasonable safety precautions the lan...

Skidgel v. California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board  
Date: August 19, 2021
Docket Number: S250149

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case involving the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeal concluding that sections 631 and 683 of the Unemployment Insurance Code exclude from co...

Busker v. Wabtec  
Date: August 16, 2021
Docket Number: S251135

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court answered two questions certified by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals by holding that publicly funded work on rolling stock, like train cars, does not fall under the statutory definition of "public wor...

Mendoza v. Fonseca McElroy Grinding Co.  
Date: August 16, 2021
Docket Number: S253574

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court answered a question certified to it by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by holding that Cal. Labor Code 1772 does not expand the categories of public work that trigger the obliga...

People v. Raybon  
Date: August 12, 2021
Docket Number: S256978

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that possession of cannabis in prison remains a violation of Cal. Penal Code 4573.6 and that Proposition 64 - the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act - did not invalidate cannabis-...

P. v. Raybon
Date: August 12, 2021
Docket Number: S256978A
Natarajan v. Dignity Health  
Date: August 12, 2021
Docket Number: S259364

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeal rejecting Appellant's challenge to the denial of his motion to disqualify A. Robert Singer as a hearing officer in a peer review proceeding, holding that the...

Daly v. San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors  
Date: August 9, 2021
Docket Number: S260209

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the order of the court of appeals denying a petition for a writ of supersedeas to stay the effect of an order of the superior court requiring the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors to r...

P. v. Scully
Date: July 30, 2021
Docket Number: S062259M
Bonni v. St. Joseph Health System  
Date: July 29, 2021
Docket Number: S244148

Justia Opinion Summary: In this action brought by a physician alleging that the defendant hospitals and medical staff members unlawfully retaliated against him for raising concerns about patient care the Supreme Court held that Defendants were...

People v. Bryant  
Date: July 29, 2021
Docket Number: S259956

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeal striking as unreasonable a condition of supervised release requiring Defendant to "submit to search of any electronic device either in his possession[,] incl...

People v. Lewis  
Date: July 26, 2021
Docket Number: S260598

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming the trial court's summary denial of Defendant's Cal. Penal Code 1170.95 petition, holding that the statutory language and legislative intent of se...

Pollock v. Tri-Modal Distribution Services, Inc.  
Date: July 26, 2021
Docket Number: S262699

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the court of appeal and its award of costs on appeal, holding that a claim for failure to promote brought under the harassment provision of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (F...

People v. Dworak  
Date: July 15, 2021
Docket Number: S135272

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of one count each of murder and rape and his sentence of death, holding that there was no prejudicial error in the proceedings below. Specifically, the Supreme Court hel...

Ferra v. Loews Hollywood Hotel, LLC  
Date: July 15, 2021
Docket Number: S259172

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that "regular rate of compensation" under Cal. Lab. Code 226.7(c), like "regular rate of pay" under Cal. Lab. Code 510(a), encompasses all nondiscretionary payments, such that the calculation of pr...

Shalabi v. City of Fontana  
Date: July 12, 2021
Docket Number: S256665

Justia Opinion Summary: In this wrongful death action, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeal determining that a minor's eighteenth birthday is excluded in calculating when the statute of limitations begins to run, holdi...

People v. Battle  
Date: July 1, 2021
Docket Number: S119296

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court convicting Defendant of kidnapping and killing Shirley and Andrew Demko after burglarizing and robbing their home, holding that there was no error in the proceed...

People v. Valencia  
Date: July 1, 2021
Docket Number: S250218

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeal in this case involving allegations of active gang participation and gang enhancements attached to other offenses, holding that the commission of two or more...

In re Friend  
Date: June 28, 2021
Docket Number: S256914

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the order of the court of appeal denying a certificate of appealability in this case, holding that under the law as amended by Proposition 66 the requirement that habeas corpus petitioners must...

Conservatorship of K.P.  
Date: June 28, 2021
Docket Number: S258212

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that capacity or willingness to accept treatment is a relevant factor to be considered on the issue of grave disability but is not a separate element that must be proven to establish a conservators...

People v. Ollo  
Date: June 21, 2021
Docket Number: S260130

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeal affirming the judgment of the trial court imposing an additional three-year term of imprisonment for a great bodily injury enhancement, holding that the act...

People v. Esquivel  
Date: June 17, 2021
Docket Number: S262551

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeal concluding that Defendant's case was final because Defendant could have appealed his sentence when it was imposed, holding that when a defendant is placed on...

People v. Lemcke  
Date: May 27, 2021
Docket Number: S250108

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court convicting Defendant of assault and robbery, holding that there was no constitutional violation in the trial court's providing the jury with an instruction model...

In re Caden C.  
Date: May 27, 2021
Docket Number: S255839

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeal reversing the judgment of the trial court that Mother had established one of a series of enumerated exceptions to avoid termination of parental rights, holdi...

People v. Scully  
Date: May 24, 2021
Docket Number: S062259

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions for the first-degree murder and robbery of a deputy sheriff and his sentence of death, holding that Defendant's claims of error lacked merit. Specifically, the Supreme...

P. v. Wilson
Date: May 3, 2021
Docket Number: S087533M
People v. Nieves  
Date: May 3, 2021
Docket Number: S092410

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions of the first degree murder of her four daughters and the attempted murder of her son but reversed her death sentence, holding that judicial misconduct during the penalty...

Stancil v. Superior Court  
Date: May 3, 2021
Docket Number: S253783

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that a motion to quash service of summons is not the proper remedy to test whether a complaint states a cause of action for unlawful detainer. Landlord, the City of Redwood City, filed a complaint...

People v. Vivar  
Date: May 3, 2021
Docket Number: S260270

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeal affirming the trial court's denial of Defendant's motion to vacate his 2002 conviction under Cal. Pen. Code 1473.7, holding that Defendant demonstrated a rea...

People v. Steskal  
Date: April 29, 2021
Docket Number: S122611

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of first degree murder and verdict of death, holding that there was no prejudicial error in the proceedings below and that Defendant was not entitled to reversal of his c...

In re E.F.  
Date: April 19, 2021
Docket Number: S260839

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeal affirming the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) in this juvenile case, holding that where the prosecutor has not given advance notice and has n...

P. v. Ramirez
Date: April 15, 2021
Docket Number: S155160M
People v. Wilson  
Date: April 12, 2021
Docket Number: S087533

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of the murders of four young men during the robbery of a car wash and his sentence of death, holding that there was no merit to any of Defendant's claims. Specifically,...

In re A.R.  
Date: April 5, 2021
Docket Number: S260928

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that when the court-appointed attorneys of parents in termination proceedings have failed to timely file a notice of appeal of an order terminating parental rights, parents whose rights have been t...

Brown v. USA Taekwondo  
Date: April 1, 2021
Docket Number: S259216

Justia Opinion Summary: In this negligence action, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeal affirming the trial court's decision to dismiss one of several named defendants, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), for f...

Smith v. LoanMe, Inc.  
Date: April 1, 2021
Docket Number: S260391

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeal concluding that Cal. Penal Code 632.7 applies only to nonparties and does not forbid a party to a phone call transmitted to or from a cellular or cordless te...

Kaanaana v. Barrett Business Services, Inc.  
Date: March 29, 2021
Docket Number: S253458

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeal reversing the trial court's ruling granting Defendant's motion to strike Plaintiffs' prevailing wage allegations, holding that Plaintiffs' belt sorting quali...

In re Humphrey  
Date: March 25, 2021
Docket Number: S247278

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeal concluding that Petitioner was entitled to a new bail hearing, holding that the common practice of conditioning freedom solely on whether an arrestee can aff...

Villanueva v. Fidelity National Title Co.  
Date: March 18, 2021
Docket Number: S252035

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeal reversing the judgment of the trial court granting a class injunctive relief, holding that Insurer was not entitled to immunity under the Insurance Code and...

Donohue v. AMN Services, LLC  
Date: February 25, 2021
Docket Number: S253677

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court decided two questions of law related to meal periods for employees and, in light of its holdings, reversed the judgment of the court of appeals. Plaintiff filed a class action lawsuit against Defendant...

O.G. v. Superior Court  
Date: February 25, 2021
Docket Number: S259011

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court upheld Senate Bill 1391 as a permissible amendment to Proposition 57 and reversed the judgment in the case, holding that the Legislature acted within its authority. Proposition 57, which was passed in...

People v. Chhoun  
Date: February 11, 2021
Docket Number: S084996

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction for five counts of murder, one count of residential burglary, and three counts of residential robbery with enhancements for personal use of a firearm and Defendant's deat...

People v. Johnsen  
Date: February 1, 2021
Docket Number: S040704

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court convicting Defendant of first degree murder, attempted murder, and other offenses, and sentencing Defendant to death, holding that any errors that occurred durin...

People v. Baker  
Date: February 1, 2021
Docket Number: S170280

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of first degree murder and sentence of death, holding that any errors, found or assumed, were not prejudicial. Specifically, the Supreme Court held (1) at the guilt phas...

People v. Ramirez  
Date: January 28, 2021
Docket Number: S155160

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of first degree murder and sentence of death, holding that there was no prejudicial error in the trial proceedings. Defendant was convicted of the first degree murder of...

P. v. Ramirez
Date: January 28, 2021
Docket Number: S155160A
In re Palmer  
Date: January 28, 2021
Docket Number: S256149

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeal concluding that William Palmer was entitled to release from all forms of custody, including parole supervision, holding that to the extent Palmer's continued...

Vasquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising International, Inc.  
Date: January 14, 2021
Docket Number: S258191

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court responded to a question posed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by answering that the Court's decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, 4 Cal.5th 903 (2018),...

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