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Name: People v. DeLouize
Case #: S108119
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 05/24/2004

Appellant was convicted of multiple sex offenses, and following trial, filed a motion for a new trial on the ground that the trial court erred by instructing the jury in the language of CALJIC 2.50.01. The trial court granted the defense motion for new trial on the day set for pronouncement of judgment. The prosecution did not appeal. After the expiration of the sixty day period within which the prosecution could have filed its appeal, the prosecution brought a motion requesting reconsideration of the order granting a new trial. The prosecution argued there had been a change in the law undercutting grounds for defendant’s new trial motion. The trial court granted the prosecution’s motion to reinstate the jury verdicts, and sentenced appellant. The Court of Appeal affirmed, and the Supreme Court granted review on the issue of whether the superior court retained jurisdiction to vacate its order granting the new trial motion and enter an order denying the motion. The Court answered that question in the affirmative and affirmed. The subsequent developments constituted a material change in the law which undercut the basis for the new trial motion and the purpose of a new trial. The grounds for reconsideration came to light only after the time to appeal had passed. In this unusual situation, the superior court acted properly.