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Name: People v. Keo
Case #: B286844
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 09/23/2019

No Miranda warning was required where defendant made incriminating statements to a social worker who was conducting a dependency investigation because social workers are not law enforcement officers. Defendant was convicted of criminal threats and the second degree murder of his girlfriend, with whom he had two children. On appeal he claimed violations of his Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights because the trial court admitted un-Mirandized custodial statements he made to a social worker who was performing a dependency investigation and who questioned him without an attorney present. Held: Affirmed. The Fifth Amendment provides that no person shall be compelled…

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Name: Wolf v. Superior Court (San Bernardino)
Case #: E071318
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 08/13/2019

Defendant who was represented by appointed counsel in the trial court when she moved to withdraw her plea and was subject to incarceration for one day was entitled to appointed counsel in the appellate division of the superior court. Wolf pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor offense. She was not represented by counsel at the time of the plea. The court placed her on summary probation, ordered her to serve one day in jail in lieu of paying fines, and imposed a criminal protective order. Two weeks later, she moved to withdraw her plea. The public defender's office was…

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Name: People v. Young
Case #: C077483
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/17/2017

Trial court abused its discretion by removing juror who was 15 minutes late without making a reasonable inquiry to determine whether the juror was able to perform the duties of a juror. Young was charged with sexual abuse of his two daughters and a neighbor. On the day the prosecution was set to begin the presentation of its case, Young's attorney, Barton, was sick and stand-in counsel appeared instead to request a continuance. After discussing scheduling outside the presence of the jury, the trial court explained the jury would be brought in and informed that there would be no…

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Name: Nordstrom v. Ryan
Case #: 12-15738
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 08/11/2014

Inmate's claim that prison officials read his confidential letter to his attorney raised a valid Sixth Amendment claim and civil rights action should not have been dismissed. Nordstrom, an inmate on death row in an Arizona prison, prepared a letter to send to his attorney, which was marked "legal mail." When he gave the mail to a prison guard for processing, the guard opened and read it. Nordstrom objected, and the guard told him he was authorized to read outgoing mail. The Department of Corrections rejected Nordstrom's complaint, and the district court dismissed his civil rights action…

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Name: People v. Harrison
Case #: A132915
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 04/18/2013

After granting defendant's Faretta motion trial court had no duty to advise defendant of an option to request advisory counsel. A jury convicted defendant of sexual attacks against four women. He was sentenced to 100 years to life. One of defendant's appellate issues challenged the trial court's failure to advise him that he had the right to request appointment of advisory counsel after his request for self-representation was granted. Held: Affirmed. Prior to trial defendant's motion for self-representation was granted. At that time, an attorney was appointed as standby counsel, which involves no active role in the defense, but meant…

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Name: Schaffer v. Superior Court
Case #: B217743
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 06/23/2010

Penal Code section 1054.1 does not require the prosecution to give retained defense counsel discoverable evidence free of charge. Appellant was represented by retained counsel. The attorney was told there were 70 pages of discoverable phone records that he could have copied at 15 cents per page, or which he could view at the District Attorney's Office and also bring equipment to copy or digitally scan the records himself. Retained counsel filed a motion to abate discovery costs, and when it was denied, he filed a writ of mandate, arguing the statutory obligation to disclose is only…

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Name: Kansas v. Ventris
Case #: 07-1356
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 04/29/2009
Subsequent History: cross cites: 129 S.Ct. 1841; 173 L.Ed.2d 801

Testimony concerning inconsistent statements obtained in violation of the Sixth Amendment is admissible for impeachment. Ventris and Theel were charged with murder and other offenses. Prior to trial, an informant was planted in Ventris's cell, who heard him admit to shooting and robbing the victim. At trial, Ventris testified that Theel committed the offenses. The trial court permitted the informant to testify about the contrary statement over Ventris's objection. The Kansas Supreme Court reversed Ventris's subsequent conviction finding the informant's statements were not admissible for any reason, including impeachment. The United States Supreme Court reversed that opinion, holding that the…

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Name: People v. Soukomlane
Case #: F052781
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/23/2008

The trial court has relatively narrow discretion in permitting shackling of a criminal defendant at trial and it is a violation of both federal and state due process to permit shackling without a showing of justification or need. The court granted appellant’s motion to represent himself and before jury selection, appellant made a motion requesting an order banning shackling. The motion was denied. Appellant continually raised the motion, adequately documenting how the shackles were apparent to the jury, disrupted his ability to represent himself, and were not justified by his behavior. The court on the record…

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Name: People v. Garcia
Case #: S124003
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 07/28/2005

When a jury makes a visit to a crime scene during trial, and then during deliberations receives permission to make a second visit, the defendant and his counsel have a right under California law to be present during the second visit as well as the first. The trial court and the Court of Appeal had ruled that the defendant was not entitled to be present when the jury visited the crime scene during deliberations because such a visit was akin to a re-examination of exhibits during deliberations. The Supreme Court disagreed with the analogy, noting the danger of…

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Name: United States v. Harrington
Case #: 03-30413
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 06/06/2005

A motion for new trial filed after the completion of a defendant's direct appeal is a collateral act for which the defendant is not guaranteed counsel under the Sixth Amendment. The defendant here filed his post-appeal motion under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 33, and after the district court declined to appoint counsel, argued on appeal that his Sixth Amendment rights had been violated. Defendant relied on a case in which the Ninth Circuit had held that a defendant in California state court was entitled to counsel in filing a motion for new trial. The Ninth…

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