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Name: People v. Pomar (2023) 95 Cal.App.5th 504
Case #: A167241
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 09/13/2023

Trial courts did not abuse their discretion by recusing the S.F. District Attorney’s Office from two cases where it was shown that the conduct of any attorney assigned to the cases would likely be influenced by the District Attorney’s conflict of interest. Jenkins, an assistant district attorney (ADA) at the time, left the S.F. District Attorney’s Office to join the campaign to recall Boudin, the then S.F. District Attorney. Soon after leaving the Office, Jenkins spoke to a reporter about a homicide case in which the victim was her husband’s cousin, criticizing the Office for its lax approach in prosecuting…

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Name: Schumb v. Superior Court
Case #: H048532
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/28/2021

Trial court erred by failing to disqualify the entire district attorney's office from prosecuting defendant based on a conflict of interest. Schumb was charged with conspiracy to bribe, and bribing, an executive officer based on evidence that he and others arranged for members of the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department to issue hard-to-obtain concealed firearms permits in exchange for substantial monetary donations to help the reelection campaign of the sheriff. Schumb moved to disqualify the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office from prosecuting him, arguing that his friendship with both the elected DA and the DA's chief assistant created a…

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Name: Jensen v. Superior Court
Case #: H048548
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/28/2021

Trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying defendant's motion to disqualify the entire district attorney's office because he failed to show there was a conflict of interest as to him personally. Jensen, a sheriff's department captain, was charged with conspiracy to bribe, and bribing, an executive officer and other offenses based on evidence that he and others arranged for members of the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department to issue hard-to-obtain concealed firearms permits in exchange for substantial monetary donations to help the reelection campaign of the sheriff. He moved to disqualify the entire Santa Clara County District Attorney's…

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Name: People v. Melcher
Case #: C079225
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/28/2017

Although alleged crime victim is married to the district attorney, trial court did not err in denying motion to recuse entire district attorney's office where petitioner failed to show that he was unlikely to receive a fair trial. Petitioner moved to recuse the Calaveras County District Attorney's office from prosecuting a criminal action against him because one of the victims of his alleged crimes is the district attorney's husband. The trial court denied the motion, and petitioner sought writ relief. Held: Petition denied. A motion to recuse a prosecutor "may not be granted unless the evidence shows that a conflict…

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Name: Packer v. Superior Court (Ventura County)
Case #: S213894
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 12/11/2014

Trial court erred by not holding evidentiary hearing on defense motion to recuse prosecutor where the resolution of significant factual disputes in the defense's favor could require recusal. Packer was charged with multiple counts of first degree murder in a capital case. He filed a motion to recuse the lead prosecutor, Frawley, for an alleged conflict of interest. (Pen. Code, § 1424.) The motion was based on numerous grounds, including that Frawley had actively interfered with the defense's efforts to contact his children and their friends (who knew Packer) and that he had a personal interest in not having…

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Name: Packer v. Superior Court Ventura County
Case #: B245923
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 08/29/2013
Subsequent History: Review granted 12/18/13: S213894

Penal Code section 1424 procedures for disqualification of the prosecutor do not violate a defendant's constitutional right to compulsory process. Petitioner, who is charged with murder, brought a pretrial motion, pursuant to Penal Code section 1424, to recuse the prosecutor. The trial court denied the motion, finding that the evidence presented did not warrant an evidentiary hearing. The evidence presented was that the prosecutor and prosecution witnesses had prior relationships with petitioner. Affirmed. Section 1424 provides for a two-stage process a court must follow when evaluating a motion to recuse. With the first stage, defendant's motion…

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Name: Spaccia v. Superior Court (Los Angeles)
Case #: B239472
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 09/06/2012

Recusal of entire District Attorney's Office is not required where allegation of conflict was based on speculation and failed to show a likelihood of unfairness. Petitioner is a former official for the City of Bell, facing criminal prosecution for alleged misconduct. By motion in the trial court, she sought to recuse the entire Los Angeles District Attorney's Office based on its alleged involvement with one of the witnesses petitioner asserted could provide exculpatory testimony for her. The lower court denied a hearing or recusal; petitioner sought a writ of mandate. The Court of Appeal denied the petition. Penal…

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Name: People v. Cannedy
Case #: A120293
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 07/31/2009

Under Penal Code section 1424, there must be an actual likelihood of unfair treatment, not merely a subjective perception of impropriety, to warrant an order recusing the district attorney or the entire office. Appellant, a former police officer, was charged with attempted acts of sexual battery and false imprisonment against two victims. The prosecution indicated that it intended to offer the testimony of a third person, a clerical employee of the district attorney’s office, who would testify about uncharged similar acts by appellant. The trial court granted the defense motion for recusal of the entire office. The crux of the…

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Name: Hollywood v. Superior Court
Case #: S147954
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 05/12/2008

Recusal was not necessary where the prosecutor consulted on a film of a criminal defendant's story. Hollywood was a fugitive defendant in a capital case, when the lead prosecutor gave his files to a screenwriter/director making a movie on Hollywood's life and crimes. He also consulted with the film maker. Hollywood was found and extradited, and subsequently moved to recuse the prosecutor, arguing that his involvement in the film precluded his prosecution of Hollywood in the capital case. The trial court found no conflict, but the appellate court granted a petition for writ of mandate.…

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Name: People v. Superior Court (Humberto S.)
Case #: S149123
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 05/12/2008

Recusal was not required where the prosecutor advocated for third parties in a discovery dispute. During the prosecution of Humberto for continuous sexual abuse of a child, the prosecutor objected to the release of medical and psychotherapy records of the victim having been released to Humberto, and the trial court ordered the records returned. In subsequent litigation regarding the discovery, the prosecutor represented the victim's interests. Humberto then moved to disqualify the prosecutor, contending that in opposing the disclosure motions, it had effectively represented three different third parties (the minor victim, her mother, and the psychiatrist)…

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