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Conservatorship–Right Not to Testify

Does equal protection require that persons subject to a conservatorship under the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 5350) have the same right to invoke the statutory privilege not to testify as persons subject to involuntary commitments under Penal Code section 1026.5 after a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity? Held: "The Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Act (LPS Act;…

Case: Conservatorship of Eric B. (2022) 12 Cal.5th 1085
Case Number: S261812
Updated: April 28, 2022
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Batson/Wheeler–Discovery of Prosecutor’s Jury Selection Notes

Does Penal Code section 1054.9 entitle an eligible defendant to discovery of a trial prosecutor's notes about jury selection with respect to a claim of Batson/Wheeler (Batson v. Kentucky (1986) 476 U.S. 79; People v. Wheeler (1978) 22 Cal.3d 258) error at trial? Trial court properly granted defendant’s postconviction discovery request for the prosecution’s jury selection notes where the prosecution impliedly waived any work product…

Case: People v. Superior Court (Jones) (2021) 12 Cal.5th 348
Case Number: S255826
Updated: December 2, 2021
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SB 1437–Record of Conviction When Considering Prima Facie Showing of Eligibility and Timing of Right to Appointed Counsel

(1) May superior courts consider the record of conviction in determining whether a defendant has made a prima facie showing of eligibility for relief under Penal Code section 1170.95? (2) When does the right to appointed counsel arise under Penal Code section 1170.95, subdivision (c)? Held: When a defendant files a complying petition for resentencing under Penal Code section 1170.95,…

Case: People v. Lewis (2021) 11 Cal.5th 952
Case Number: S260598
Updated: August 18, 2021
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Whether Conviction for Human Trafficking of a Minor (PC 236.1, subd. (c)(1)) was Proper Where Defendant was Communicating with Adult Police Officer

Did the Court of Appeal err in reversing defendant's conviction for human trafficking of a minor (Pen. Code, § 236.1, subd. (c)(1)) on the ground that defendant was communicating with an adult police officer posing as a minor rather than an actual minor? Opinion By: Justice Corrigan (unanimous decision) A defendant may be convicted of human trafficking of a minor under…

Case: People v. Moses (2020) 10 Cal.5th 893
Case Number: S258143
Updated: December 28, 2020
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Prop. 57–CDCR Excluding Sex Offenders From Early Parole Consideration

Under Proposition 57 (Cal. Const., art. I, § 32), may the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation categorically exclude from early parole consideration all prisoners who have been previously convicted of a sex offense requiring registration under Penal Code section 290? On 10/8/2020, the court directed the parties to file supplemental briefs addressing the following issue: Did the California Department…

Case: In re Gadlin (2020) 10 Cal.5th 915
Case Number: S254599
Updated: December 28, 2020
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IAC for Failure to Investigate and Appellate Review of IAC Claim

(1) Did defense counsel render ineffective assistance by failing to consult a qualified expert on determining time of death and failing to present evidence regarding defendant's clothing around the time of the crime? (2) Did the decision of the Court of Appeal adhere to the controlling standards of appellate review? [Editor's Note: In 2015, the Supreme Court issued an order to…

Case: People v. Long (2020) 10 Cal.5th 764
Case Number: S249274
Updated: November 30, 2020
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Appellate Review Conservatorship Proceedings

On appellate review in a conservatorship proceeding of a trial court order that must be based on clear and convincing evidence, is the reviewing court simply required to find substantial evidence to support the trial court's order or must it find substantial evidence from which the trial court could have made the necessary findings based on clear and convincing evidence?…

Case: Conservatorship of O.B. (2020) 9 Cal.5th 989
Case Number: S254938
Updated: July 27, 2020
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Imposition of PC 12022.53(e) Enhancements Not Pleaded

Were the enhancements under Penal Code section 12022.53, subdivision (e), improperly imposed as to counts 3 through 7 because the prosecution did not specifically plead a violation of this subdivision as to those counts? (See People v. Mancebo (2002) 27 Cal.4th 735.) Opinion By: Justice Kruger (unanimous decision) Held: Trial court erred by imposing vicarious firearm use enhancements (Pen. Code, § 12022.53, subd.…

Case: People v. Anderson (2020) 9 Cal.5th 946
Case Number: S253227
Updated: July 23, 2020
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Request to Answer Question of State Law–Habeas Deadlines

The California Supreme Court granted the Ninth Circuit's request for the court to decide a question of California law. The question presented, as phrased in the request, is: When a state habeas petitioner has no good cause for delay, at what point in time is that state prisoner's petition, filed in a California court of review to challenge a lower…

Case: Robinson v. Lewis (2020) 9 Cal.5th 883
Case Number: S228137
Updated: July 20, 2020
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Prosecutorial Misconduct–Improper Vouching for Correctional Officers

Did the prosecutor improperly vouch for the testifying correctional officers by arguing in rebuttal that they had no reason to lie, would not place their careers at risk by lying, and would not subject themselves to possible prosecution for perjury? Opinion By: Justice Groban (unanimous decision) Held: The prosecutor impermissibly vouched for witness credibility by asserting in closing argument that two…

Case: People v. Rodriguez (2018) (2020) 9 Cal.5th 474
Case Number: S251706
Updated: May 5, 2020
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Prop. 47 — Taking a Vehicle

In this case in which briefing was previously deferred pending decision in People v. Page (2017) 3 Cal.5th 1175, the court ordered the parties to brief the following question on 2/21/2018: Does equal protection or the avoidance of absurd consequences require that misdemeanor sentencing under Penal Code sections 490.2 and 1170.18 extend not only to those convicted of violating Vehicle Code section…

Case: People v. Bullard (2020) 9 Cal.5th 94
Case Number: S239488
Updated: March 23, 2020
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Prop 47–Identity Theft

May a felony conviction for the unauthorized use of personal identifying information of another (Pen. Code, § 530.5, subd. (a)) be reclassified as a misdemeanor under Proposition 47 on the ground that the offense amounted to Penal Code section 459.5 shoplifting? Opinion By: Justice Cuéllar (unanimous decision) Held: A felony conviction for misuse of personal identifying information (Pen. Code, § 530.5,…

Case: People v. Jimenez (2020) 9 Cal.5th 53
Case Number: S249397
Updated: March 2, 2020
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Probation–Finality of Judgment for Purposes of Applying Change in Law

When is the judgment in a criminal case final for purposes of applying a later change in the law if the defendant was granted probation and imposition of sentence was suspended? Held: An ameliorative statute applies to all nonfinal cases, including those in which a defendant is placed on probation, with imposition of sentence suspended, and where no appeal is…

Case: People v. McKenzie (2020) 9 Cal.5th 40
Case Number: S251333
Updated: February 27, 2020
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Challenge to Juvenile Court’s Failure to Expressly Declare Offense a Felony or Misdemeanor

Can the juvenile court's failure to expressly declare whether an offense is a felony or a misdemeanor (see In re Manzy W. (1997) 14 Cal.4th 1199) be challenged on appeal from orders in a subsequent wardship proceeding? Opinion By: Justice Corrigan (unanimous decision) Held: A delinquent minor may not challenge the juvenile court's failure to declare a "wobbler" offense a misdemeanor or a…

Case: In re G.C. (2020) 8 Cal.5th 1119
Case Number: S252057
Updated: February 20, 2020
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Prop.47–Direct Application Where Offense Occurred Before Prop. 47 Enacted, But Trial/Sentencing Occurred After Effective Date

On 3/21/2018, the Court ordered briefing in a previously held case on the following issue: Does Penal Code section 490.2, added by Proposition 47, effective November 5, 2014, apply directly (i.e., without a petition under Penal Code section 1170.18) in trial and sentencing proceedings held after Proposition 47's effective date, where the charged offense was allegedly committed before Proposition 47's…

Case: People v. Lara (2019) 6 Cal.5th 1128
Case Number: S243975
Updated: April 11, 2019
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Double Jeopardy

Did the Court of Appeal err by holding that double jeopardy prevents retrial of defendant for first degree murder where the jury did not return a verdict on that offense and deadlocked on the lesser included offenses of second degree murder and voluntary manslaughter, because the trial court failed to afford the jury an opportunity to return a partial acquittal…

Case: People v. Aranda (2019) 6 Cal.5th 1077
Case Number: S214116
Updated: April 4, 2019
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Burglary Tools–Pliers

Did the Court of Appeal err in holding that a pair of pliers, which the defendant used to remove an anti-theft device from a pair of blue jeans in a department store, qualified as a burglary tool within the meaning of Penal Code section 466? Held: Criminal liability for possession of burglary tools requires a showing the defendant intended to…

Case: In re H.W. (2019) 6 Cal.5th 1028
Case Number: S237415
Updated: March 28, 2019
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Appointed Counsel for Misdemeanant for People’s Appeal

Is the Appellate Division of the Superior Court required to appoint counsel for an indigent defendant charged with a misdemeanor offense on an appeal by the prosecution? Held: An indigent defendant respondent in a pretrial prosecution appeal is entitled to appointment of counsel. The trial court granted defendant's motion to suppress evidence (Pen. Code, § 1538.5) in a misdemeanor case, and…

Case: Gardner v. Appellate Division of Superior Court (2019) 6 Cal.5th 998
Case Number: S246214
Updated: March 28, 2019
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Converting Restitution Order to Civil Judgment

(1) Did the juvenile court have the authority to convert a restitution order to a civil judgment at the completion of deferred entry of judgment? (2) Did the juvenile court err by ruling that restitution could be paid from federally-protected Social Security benefits? Held: Where minor was granted deferred entry of judgment and successfully completely probation, juvenile court did not…

Case: In re J.G. (2019) 6 Cal.5th 867
Case Number: S240397
Updated: February 25, 2019
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Deadly or Dangerous Weapons–Butter Knife

Can a butter knife with a rounded end and a serrated edge qualify as a deadly or dangerous weapon under Penal Code section 245, subdivision (a)(1)? Held: Insufficient evidence supported juvenile court's finding that minor violated Penal Code section 245, subdivision (a)(1) because there was no substantial evidence the minor's use of a butter knife was likely to cause great…

Case: In re B.M. (2018) 6 Cal.5th 530
Case Number: S242153
Updated: December 27, 2018
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Prosecutor’s Improper Dismissal of a Grand Juror

Was defendant denied a "substantial right" (People v. Standish (2006) 38 Cal.4th 858, 882) by the prosecutor's improper dismissal of a grand juror? Held: A prosecutor's dismissal of a grand juror violates Penal Code section 939.5; only the grand jury foreperson may dismiss a grand juror. Avitia allegedly drove drunk, crashed into another car, and killed the other driver. The prosecution filed…

Case: Avitia v. Superior Court (2018) 6 Cal.5th 486
Case Number: S242030
Updated: December 24, 2018
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Confidentiality of SVP Treatment Information

(1) Is an expert retained by the prosecution in a proceeding under the Sexually Violent Predator Act entitled to review otherwise confidential treatment information under Welfare and Institutions Case section 5328? (2) Is the district attorney entitled to review medical and psychological treatment records or is access limited to confidential treatment information contained in an updated mental evaluation conducted under…

Case: People v. Superior Court (Smith) (2018) 6 Cal.5th 457
Case Number: S225562
Updated: December 13, 2018
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Forgery–Determining Value of Uncashed Forged Check

For the purpose of the distinction between felony and misdemeanor forgery, is the value of an uncashed forged check the face value (or stated value) of the check or only the intrinsic value of the paper it is printed on? Held: The value of a forged check is the amount written on the check. In July 2012, Franco was found in…

Case: People v. Franco (2018) 6 Cal.5th 434
Case Number: S233973
Updated: December 10, 2018
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