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Name: Alvarez v. Superior Court of San Mateo
Case #: A117202
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 08/24/2007

When a defendant seeks to seal grand jury transcripts of the indictment proceedings until the completion of trial, he need only show that there is a reasonable likelihood of prejudice if the transcripts are not sealed. (Pen. Code, sec. 938.1, subd. (b).)

The public and press have only a limited statutory right of access to the transcripts and the First Amendment does not take precedence over defendant's right to a fair trial by dictating application of a more stringent standard of prejudice in defendant's action to seal transcripts. Alvarez was indicted by a grand jury for the murder of…

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Name: Cuccia v. Superior Court of Ventura County
Case #: B197278
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 07/16/2007

The decisions of the Court of Appeal are binding on all superior courts of this state, and a trial court must follow an unambiguous holding of the Court of Appeal even if it believes it was erroneously decided. (Auto Equity Sales, Inc. v. Superior Court (1962) 57 Cal.2d 450.) People v. Marchman (2006) 145 Cal.App.4th 79 held that in a Mentally Disordered Offender proceeding pursuant to Penal Code section 2960 et seq., the district attorney may initiate a recommitment proceeding only when the director of the facility providing the prisoner’s treatment states in a written evaluation, in accordance with…

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Name: Jonathon M. v. Superior Court
Case #: C052769
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/31/2006

A juvenile court judge abused her discretion when she refused to follow a published opinion. Following the issuance of a published appellate court opinion regarding the handling of peremptory challenges in delinquency proceedings in San Joaquin County, a juvenile court judge in that county determined that she was not obligated to follow that opinion because she believed that a petition for review would be filed in that case. The appellate court issued a writ of mandate ordering the judge to follow the opinion, noting that under California Rules of Court, rule 977(d), a published opinion may be cited…

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Name: Verdin v. Superior Court
Case #: E038165
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 03/24/2006
Subsequent History: 6/14/06: rev. granted: S143040

An order for a defendant to submit to a mental examination by prosecution experts is not a form of discovery prohibited by the criminal discovery statutes. After the preliminary hearing in this attempted murder prosecution, the defense indicated that it would raise a "diminished actuality" defense under Penal Code section 28. The trial court granted the prosecution’s motion for an order for the defendant to submit to a mental examination by the prosecution’s expert, and the defendant filed a petition seeking to set aside the order on the grounds that such an examination is not permitted by Penal…

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Name: Osman v. Superior Court
Case #: B181672
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 11/16/2005

A defendant who fails to object to an order granting the prosecution 33 days to amend a defective complaint has forfeited the right to a ten-day filing period. Penal Code section 1007 sets a ten-day limit on amendment to a defective complaint after a defendant’s demurrer has been sustained, and section 1008 requires dismissal if the complaint is not amended within that period. Here, the order sustaining the defendant’s demurrer granted the prosecution 33 days to amend the complaint, and the defendant did not object. After 22 days, the defendant moved to dismiss the complaint. The…

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