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Name: Smith v. Superior Court
Case #: A124763
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 10/28/2010
Subsequent History: rev. granted 1/12/11 (S188068)

In a joint prosecution, the preference for joint trials does not outweigh the defendant’s statutory right to a speedy trial when he has not waived time. Good cause must be established for continuance of trial after the final day. Petitioner and Sims were jointly charged with first degree burglary. At arraignment, petitioner did not waive his right to a speedy trial, necessitating setting of trial within 60 days, and April 13 was calculated as the last day for trial. Sims’ counsel subsequently became ill and was unavailable for trial on the 13th. Over petitioner’s objections, the court found good cause and continued the case, trailing it day to day. The trial court denied appellant’s motion to dismiss on speedy trial grounds and petitioner filed a petition for writ of mandate. In a prior opinion, the appellate court had granted petitioner’s petition for dismissal, but the Supreme Court directed the appellate court to vacate its decision and reconsider in light of People v. Sutton (2010), 48 Cal.4th 533. In Sutton , the Court found, “When … two defendants are jointly charged in an information and the trial court continues the trial as to one of the defendants for good cause, [Penal Code] section 1050.1, provides that the continuance of the trial as to that defendant constitutes good cause to continue the trial ‘a reasonable period of tim;e as to the other defendant in order to permit the defendants to be tried jointly.” In the instant case, the court, considering Penal Code sections 1382 [speedy trial] and 1050.1 [defendant’s jointly charged], found that the state’s preference for joint trials does not trump a defendant’s right to a speedy trial where the defendant has not waived time.