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Name: People v. Brooks (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 323
Case #: D080776
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 01/30/2024

Where the victim in a domestic violence case did not take the stand but asserted a valid Fifth Amendment privilege through counsel, the trial court did not err in instructing the jury with CALCRIM No. 320 regarding her failure to testify. A jury found defendant guilty of both inflicting corporal injury on a domestic partner, R.J., and committing assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury. R.J. did not testify at trial but the court instructed the jury that R.J. had asserted her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. On appeal, defendant argued that because R.J. was not called and…

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Name: People v. Superior Court (Cortez)
Case #: H049188
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/12/2023

Inmate “kites” in an envelope addressed to defendant’s attorney were not covered by the attorney-client privilege because they were not confidential communication to the attorney for the purpose of seeking legal advice. Cortez is an inmate in jail awaiting trial on murder charges. A correctional officer inspecting outgoing mail encountered an envelope from Cortez addressed to Cortez’s attorney. The envelope was bulkier in the middle and smelled of feces. The officer opened it and found multiple kites on different colored paper with different handwriting. A “kite” is a clandestine note, usually written on a small piece of paper by an…

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Name: In re A.C.
Case #: B292149
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 07/09/2019

A juvenile ward's statements to a counselor, who was assigned to the minor and his family as part of his probation to assess their need for mental health services, did not fall within the psychotherapist-patient privilege. After sustaining a Welfare and Institutions Code section 602 petition, the juvenile court placed A.C. home on probation. Burgos, an in-home counselor, was assigned to A.C.'s family. She assessed the needs of the family and assisted the family and A.C. with receiving mental health services. She did not provide one-on-one therapy sessions. Prior to sessions with minors, she advises them that their statements…

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Name: Conservatorship of S.A.
Case #: B284312
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 07/19/2018

The Public Guardian was authorized to use the conservatee's medical and psychiatric records to prove the historical course of her mental disorder. Prior to the trial to determine whether S.A.'s conservatorship under the Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Act should be renewed, the Public Guardian subpoenaed S.A.'s medical records, and signed authorizations for the release of the records on S.A.'s behalf. Over S.A.'s objection, the records were introduced at trial, and the jury found S.A. gravely disabled. S.A. appealed, arguing her constitutional and statutory rights were violated when the Public Guardian signed an authorization for release of her medical records and then used…

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Name: Serrano v. Superior Court (Los Angeles County)
Case #: B282975
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 10/30/2017

When a defendant uses Pitchess motion procedures to access potential Brady material known to be contained in an officer's personnel file, he is not required to allege specific acts of officer misconduct. After Serrano was charged with various drug offenses, he filed a pretrial discovery motion requesting that the trial court conduct an in camera review of the arresting officer's personnel records based on the prosecution's notice that the officer's file contained potential Brady material. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department opposed Serrano's motion on the ground that his counsel's declaration did not establish good cause and materiality for the…

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Name: People v. Hunter
Case #: G051942
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 09/11/2017

Defendant is not entitled to obtain a codefendant's discovery unless it is required to assure a fair trial. Hunter, Paschall, Brown, Avery, and three others committed a jewelry store robbery during which the shopkeeper and a store employee shot and killed Brown and Avery. Hunter and Paschall were convicted of the first degree murder of Brown under the provocative act doctrine. On appeal, defendants challenged the trial court's upholding of a codefendant attorney's claim of work-product privilege of an interview he had with one of the shopkeepers, which may have showed that Brown was solely responsible for his own death.…

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Name: People v. Bradley
Case #: C075294
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/17/2017

Trial court did not err by sustaining claim of privilege and refusing to order disclosure of informant's identity, after finding the informant was not a material witness and that such disclosure was contrary to public interest. Bradley was convicted of being a felon in possession of a gun (former Pen. Code, § 12021, subd. (a)(1)). On appeal he challenged the denial of his motion to disclose the identity of a confidential government informant whom he claimed entrapped him to possess the weapon. He also argued the trial court erred by sustaining a government agent's claim of privilege not to testify…

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Name: People v. Cannata
Case #: G048139
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/29/2015

Although there is no impeachment exception to the psychotherapist-patient privilege, defendant's disclosure to psychiatrist that he sexually abused a child was admissible in his criminal trial under the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA). During an evaluation in connection with an involuntary hold (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 5150), Cannata admitted to a psychiatrist and a nurse that he had sexually abused his stepdaughter. The nurse reported the abuse to the Department of Children and Family Services and Cannata was charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child (Pen. Code, § 288.5, subd. (a)). Although the trial court…

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Name: People v. Petrill
Case #: A131141
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 05/28/2014

Spouse's testimony before a grand jury does not waive a subsequent claim of the spousal testimonial privilege at criminal trial. Petrill drove a stolen van around San Francisco one night, transporting his wife and two acquaintances to various locations where the acquaintances committed robberies. After the fourth robbery, police spotted the van and attempted to stop it. A high speed chase resulted in a collision that killed an officer. At trial, Petrill's wife testified against him over a defense objection under the spousal testimonial privilege. (Evid. Code, §§ 970, 971.) The trial court found that the wife waived…

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Name: People v. Garcia
Case #: H039603
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/21/2014
Subsequent History: Review granted 7/16/2014: S218197

Defendant who committed sex offenses may be required to waive his right against self-incrimination in order to receive probation. Garcia, who was 16 years old when he committed the offenses, pled no contest to two counts of lewd conduct on a child (Pen. Code, § 288, subd. (a)), and was placed on probation. Over defense objection, the court imposed sex offender probation conditions mandated by Penal Code section 1203.067, subdivision (b). These terms required Garcia to complete a sex offender management program, to waive his privilege against self-incrimination and take polygraphs examinations, and to waive his psychotherapist-patient privilege. On appeal…

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