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Name: Gomez v. Superior Court (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 778
Case #: G062526
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 03/15/2024

Petitioner’s Penal Code section 1172.6 proceeding was a continuation of his plea hearing and thus his peremptory challenge of the prior judge was untimely. Gomez pled to one count of attempted murder and two enhancements and was sentenced to 11 years. He later filed a section 1172.6 petition and sought to disqualify the judge (the same judge who originally sentenced him) by way of a Code of Civil Procedure section 170.6 motion, which was denied. Gomez filed a petition for writ of mandate. Held: Petition denied. Whether a petitioner may file a section 170.6 peremptory challenge turns on whether the…

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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: 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: People v. Superior Court (Oliva)
Case #: E072283
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 06/27/2019

After the prosecution successfully moved to dismiss a case, a new case began when the prosecution filed a complaint with the same charges and, as a result, the simultaneously filed peremptory challenge against the judge was timely. The defendant was charged with murder and related offenses. The trial court ruled on various motions as the case reached the trial stage, with some rulings in favor of the defense. The prosecution moved to dismiss the case, stating it was not prepared to go forward with the trial at that time. It then filed a new complaint with the same felony…

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Name: Birts v. Superior Court (San Mateo)
Case #: A152923
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 04/11/2018

Prosecution's peremptory challenge to judge who was reassigned to case when it was refiled should have been denied as untimely because it was a clear effort by the prosecution to avoid the trial judge's orders in previously dismissed case. Birts was charged with several counts of felony domestic violence, along with special allegations. The prosecutor made several in limine motions regarding the presentation of evidence. The judge granted some, but denied others. The evidentiary rulings would have undermined the prosecution's case. The prosecution successfully moved to dismiss the case (over defense objection), citing insufficient evidence, but also stated it…

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Name: Maas v. Superior Court
Case #: S225109
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 11/07/2016

Under Code of Civil Procedure section 170.6, a party may challenge judge assigned to assess and rule on a petition for writ of habeas corpus at the initial stage of the habeas corpus process, before an order to show cause (OSC) has been issued. Maas filed a habeas petition in superior court. He requested the name of the judge assigned to rule on the petition but received no response. Shortly thereafter Judge Thompson summarily denied the petition. Maas filed a new petition in the Court of Appeal along with a declaration stating that he would have moved to disqualify Judge…

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Name: People v. Superior Court (Tejeda)
Case #: G052932
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 07/25/2016

Based on the reasoning in Solberg v. Superior Court (1977) 19 Cal.3d 182, a district attorney may disqualify a particular trial judge in every murder case (Code Civ. Proc., § 170.6) even though the blanket challenge substantially disrupts the trial court's operations. In a 2012 murder case, Judge Goethals found that Orange County law enforcement officers had improperly used a jail house snitch and that the district attorney committed Brady violations. The judge granted a motion to disqualify the district attorney's office. Thereafter, the district attorney began moving to disqualify the judge in every new murder case using peremptory challenges…

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Name: Jones v. Superior Court (Nevada County)
Case #: C080359
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/08/2016

The one-judge-court deadline to challenge a judge under Penal Code section 170.6, does not apply to branches of a superior court for which there is only one assigned judge. Petitioners were charged with a drug offense in the Truckee branch of the Nevada County Superior Court. The file-endorsed copy of the complaint stated that the matter was assigned to a specified judge for all purposes. Petitioners filed a challenge against the judge (Pen. Code, § 170.6), which was denied as untimely under the 30-day deadline imposed for a one-judge court. Petitioners filed a petition for writ of mandate/prohibition. Held: Petition…

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Name: Maas v. Superior Court (San Diego County)
Case #: D064639
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 12/10/2014
Subsequent History: Review granted 3/25/2015: S225109

Defendant who petitions for writ of habeas corpus has a right to challenge the judge assigned to the petition when the matter is given to a judge other than the original trial judge. Maas, who was serving a life Three Strikes term, petitioned for writ of habeas corpus challenging the validity of his sentence and alleging ineffective assistance of trial counsel. He sent the superior court multiple requests to identify the judge assigned to his petition but the court failed to provide him that information. The case was assigned to Judge Thompson, who was not the original trial judge in…

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Name: People v. Peyton
Case #: B248767
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 09/16/2014

Trial court did not err in denying Caperton motion for judicial disqualification where defendant failed to show an unconstitutional level of actual bias. Peyton was charged with two counts of receiving stolen property and one count of identity theft. After opting to represent himself, he proceeded to delay his trial over three years by repeatedly litigating side issues. His principle diversionary tactic was attacking the trial judge, but he also launched personal attacks against the integrity and honesty of other judges, the prosecutor, and law enforcement personnel. He filed many motions arguing that the trial judge should be recused. …

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