NewsLinks is a collection of recent news items relating primarily to the California judicial branch. NewsLinks does not verify nor endorse the accuracy or fairness of the news items, and the views expressed in opinions, editorials, and commentaries are those of the writers only.
(Subscription required) Superior courts in San Bernardino, Monterey, and Yuba counties have confirmed plans to launch committees on bias, increasing the number of state trial courts that follow a decade-old Standard of Judicial Administration in the California Rules of Court.
Using innovative technology, remote video proceedings are supported by a judicial officer sitting in the Victorville Courthouse. Residents may appear remotely at the Big Bear Courthouse located at 477 Summit Blvd. on traffic and nontraffic infractions as well as misdemeanor probation cases. Funding for the Big Bear District is made possible by an Innovation grant awarded by the Judicial Council of California.
When the courts reopened on July 6th after weeks of closure prompted by COVID-19, the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, began implementing a range of health and safety measures recommended by the LA County Public Defender and endorsed by the LA County Board of Supervisors. Additional measures may be necessary, however, given the recent surge in infections.
California lawmakers are scrambling to come up with an emergency renter relief plan. Lawmakers want to keep struggling renters from getting kicked out for not paying in this pandemic. But they don’t have much time.
Unlawful-detainer actions are currently on hold statewide under an emergency rule passed by California’s Judicial Council in March. The policymaking arm of the state’s court system could soon vote to dissolve the eviction freeze, however, allowing state courts to resume processing eviction lawsuits starting on Aug. 14. San Francisco’s law will permanently forestall evictions, however, provided the tenant has made a claim to their landlord that they have suffered a financial loss from the pandemic.
With the recent announcement, a large chunk of what makes us California attorneys special has been taken away from us; our accomplishments are being cheapened and belittled by this decision. I knew as I took the exam, and failed, that the only person responsible for passing was me.
Prop. 25 is a referendum on whether to uphold or repeal Senate Bill 10, which was introduced in 2018 and aims to end the current cash bail system used to detain defendants before trial. Instead, pretrial detention and its conditions would be determined by risk assessment.
A Sacramento Superior Court judge on Tuesday rebuffed backers of Proposition 22, a referendum aiming to keep some gig workers as independent contractors, in their lawsuit claiming California Attorney General Xavier Becerra wrote a slanted description of their measure.
(Subscription required) The retired justice of the 4th District Court of Appeal, Division Three, died Monday at 83 after a short illness, according to his son. Daniel H. Rylaarsdam, of counsel to Blank Rome LLP, noted his father's death was not COVID-related.
(Subscription required) After Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in March due to the coronavirus, Weiner, who had only served in his new family court assignment for a couple of months, had to report for duty with the Judge Advocate General's Corps. Things got even more chaotic when the military was redirected to respond to the national civil unrest spurred by the police killing of an unarmed Black man in Minneapolis in May.
(Subscription required) A Los Angeles County judge's mandate that informal discovery disputes be litigated in person instead of over the court's video conferencing system has drawn an outcry from two plaintiffs' attorneys who say their safety is at risk. Attorneys for the defendant said the rule is proper and in-person hearings are more efficient.
When telling the Court of Appeal why its opinion deserves to be preserved for posterity in the Official Reports, you might also help make the losing party’s case why the Supreme Court should grant review, and review not only exposes the opinion’s result to possible reversal but also normally strips the opinion of its binding effect while the case is pending in the high court.
(Subscription required) In Conservatorship of O.B., 2020 DJDAR 7797 (July 27, 2020), the California Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision authored by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, resolved over a century of uncertainty over how appellate courts should review findings made under a "clear and convincing" evidentiary standard.
California’s prison population of 99,000 is its lowest since 1990 and 74,000 below its peak in 2006. Court rulings, new state laws and policies on imprisonment, and changes in voters’ attitudes have all contributed to the reduction, which has not led to any statewide increase in crime.
Once a local water board approves a rate increase, voters cannot prevent it from taking effect by circulating a referendum, though they can seek to reduce it later, the state Supreme Court ruled Monday.
The court’s unanimous opinion by Justice Goodwin Liu holds that the tort of interfering with a contract terminable at will requires a wrongful act independent of the interference itself, which is the same rule as with interference-with-economic-relations causes of actions, but is more than is required to sue for interference with non-at-will contracts.
Numerous Bay Area counties have extended eviction moratoriums, but the California Judicial Council’s statewide halt on eviction proceedings could end August 14. Governor Newsom did extend his executive order that allows local jurisdictions to extend their own moratoriums through September 30.
After legislators delayed their return from summer recess until July 27 due to COVID-19, the state legislature must vote on hundreds of bills before the legislative session ends at the end of the month. In addition, the Judicial Council of California announced this month it may vote on ending state emergency protections for tenants later this month.
Thousands of San Diego County jury trials are on-hold because of the pandemic. Local court officials have requested another extension from the Judicial Council of California for jury trials to be postponed through mid-September.
(Subscription required) Members of the Contra Costa County Superior Court committee on bias meet when they receive a complaint, while the committee in Santa Barbara County has never met, court officials confirmed last week. The communications director at San Francisco Superior Court did not return a request for comment.
(Subscription required) The Legislative Counsel analysis concedes "arguments can be made that meeting by remote access would be constitutional if used on a temporary emergency basis, such as during the pendency of the COVID-19 pandemic. ... A decision by the Legislature to conduct business by remote access could be upheld by a court based upon the principle of separation of powers."
The California Legislature has less than a month left in its pandemic-shortened session to deal with one of the state’s worst economic crises in decades, and there’s no greater emergency than what to do about the rent.
Demonstrators who gathered again Sunday outside the home of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti called on the city to cancel rents for people finding it hard to make ends meet as the coronavirus pandemic ravages California’s economy.
First, Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers cannot allow the statewide eviction moratorium to expire without having strong tenant protections in place. The Judicial Council considered ending its moratorium in June but delayed the decision in order to give Newsom and the Legislature time to come up with an alternative measure. But that hasn’t happened yet.
When the Judicial Council announced it would take up a vote on the eviction ban earlier this month, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye said, “I urge our sister branches to turn their attention to this critical work to protect people from the devastating effect of this pandemic and its recent resurgence.”
People in the rental housing business say tenant protections put into place during the COVID-19 crisis are having the unintended effect of protecting trespassers who are able to convince law enforcement they have a right to reside at someone else's property despite not actually paying rent.
Those with pending traffic matters — halted in mid-March when Yolo County issued a shelter-in-place order that triggered reduced court operations — should expect to receive courtesy notices reminding them to appear, with the oldest pending cases being handled first, Landry said. Still need a court date? Call the court’s traffic division at 530-406-6702.