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Name: In re Banks (2023) 97 Cal.App.5th 463
Case #: C098247
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/27/2023

Trial court properly granted habeas relief to inmate because there was insufficient evidence to support disciplinary finding that he conspired with another person to have a controlled substance mailed to him in prison. Someone mailed Banks, an inmate in prison, two large manilla envelopes with a controlled substance (Suboxone) hidden inside. The envelopes were intercepted in the mailroom and a disciplinary hearing officer ultimately found Banks guilty of conspiring to introduce a controlled substance into prison for distribution or sale. Banks exhausted his administrative remedies and filed a habeas petition in the trial court. The trial court granted the petition,…

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Name: Garcia v. Superior Court (2023) 92 Cal.App.5th 47
Case #: E080436
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 05/30/2023
Subsequent History: Modified 6/7/2023

For purposes of Code of Civil Procedure section 170.6, governing the timeliness of a peremptory challenge to a superior court judge, a habeas proceeding can be a continuation of a criminal action where the issues raised are related to the criminal trial. Defendant was diagnosed with porphyria, an extremely rare and potentially fatal condition where the skin becomes extremely sensitive to sunlight and sun exposure can cause burning pain and blisters. He is currently in jail awaiting trial on charges including murder. In the criminal action, the trial court granted a series of requests for evaluation and treatment to deal with…

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Name: People v. Ruiz (2023) 89 Cal.App.5th 324
Case #: B312062/B317270
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 03/15/2023

Defendant received ineffective assistance of counsel at his resentencing hearing where counsel completely failed to act as an advocate as a result of cognitive issues caused by a brain tumor. In 2018, CDCR sent a recall letter to the trial court with a request to correct an error in connection with Ruiz’s sentence. Although the court had the opportunity to reconsider all the sentencing choices, counsel did not file any documents and failed to prepare Ruiz for the resentencing hearing. During the proceeding, counsel spoke less than 50 words. Counsel declined the court’s invitation to speak on Ruiz’s behalf, despite…

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Name: In re Rodriguez
Case #: D078421
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 07/22/2021

Ameliorative amendments to Penal Code section 667.5 are not retroactive to final judgments even where the defendant is sentenced on a new offense that results in an aggregate sentence that includes the prior judgment. Defendant was sentenced in Case A to 13 years 4 months, including a one-year prior prison term enhancement under former section 667.5, subdivision (b). The conviction in Case A was affirmed on appeal and the judgment became final. In Case B, in a separate proceeding, the court imposed a determinate prison term to run consecutively with the remaining term in Case A. The…

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Name: Mendoza v. Superior Court
Case #: D078566
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 06/23/2021

In a habeas proceeding where no "new trial" is ordered, a peremptory challenge to the judge is subject to the 10-day deadline under Code of Civil Procedure section 170.6, subdivision (a)(2). Petitioner Mendoza filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in which she claimed she received ineffective assistance of counsel at her sentencing hearing. The trial court denied the petition, but the California Supreme Court later issued an order to show cause (OSC) returnable before the superior court. More than 40 days later, Mendoza filed a peremptory challenge to the judge under section 170.6. The challenge was denied as…

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Name: In re Palmer
Case #: S256149
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 01/28/2021

Opinion By: Justice Cuéllar (joined by Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and Justices Corrigan, Kruger, Groban, and Grover (Court of Appeal Justice). Justice Liu filed a concurring opinion.
The Court of Appeal erred in terminating petitioner's period of parole supervision solely based on its conclusion that petitioner had served an excessive prison sentence in violation of the state and federal Constitutions. In 1988, Palmer, then 17 years old, pleaded guilty to kidnapping for robbery and was sentenced to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole. He first sought release from the Board of Parole Hearings in 1995 but was denied. Following…

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Name: In re Long
Case #: S249274
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 11/30/2020

Opinion By: Justice Liu (unanimous decision)
Trial counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to consult a time of death expert where the timeline was crucial to the defense theory of the case. In 2005, petitioner Long was convicted of the second degree murder of her boyfriend Conde. In response to Long's 911 call reporting that she just came home and something was wrong with Conde, paramedics found him dead. He had been killed by blunt force injuries to the head. There was no physical or direct evidence that linked Long to the crime. The prosecutor's theory at trial was…

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Name: Robinson v. Lewis
Case #: S228137
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 07/20/2020

Opinion By: Justice Groban (unanimous decision)
In response to a question from the Ninth Circuit regarding timeliness of state habeas petitions, the California Supreme Court determined that, if a habeas petitioner had otherwise presented a claim without substantial delay, a delay of up to 120 days between denial of a habeas petition in a lower court and the filing of a new petition in a higher court would never be considered substantial. Following his direct appeal, Robinson filed a pro se state habeas petition challenging his state court judgment in the trial court 94 days after the certiorari deadline…

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Name: In re Scoggins
Case #: S253155
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 06/25/2020

Opinion By: Justice Liu (unanimous decision)
Insufficient evidence supported robbery-murder special-circumstance finding where defendant (who planned an unarmed assault and robbery) did not act with reckless indifference to human life during a robbery that resulted in a death. In 2007 Scoggins planned an unarmed robbery and assault on Wilson to avenge being cheated by Wilson during the purchase of some flat screen TVs. Posing as potential buyers, his codefendants committed the offense in Scoggins' absence. One of the codefendants killed Wilson. Scoggins was convicted of first degree murder with a robbery-murder special-circumstance finding. His conviction was affirmed on…

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Name: In re Bolton
Case #: C088774
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/30/2019

Petitioner's 91-year sentence for juvenile offenses violates the Eighth Amendment and the issue was not moot because he is not eligible for a youth offender parole hearing. Bolton received a 91-year sentence for crimes committed when he was 16. When he was 30 years old, a sharp metal object was found in his cell. He was convicted of possession of a sharp instrument in prison and sentenced to 25 years to life under the Three Strikes law. Bolton filed habeas petitions challenging his sentence as cruel and unusual punishment and seeking youth offender treatment. The California Supreme…

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