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.
The panel concluded the Supreme Court’s opinion didn’t get over that low bar because the prosecutor’s reasons were inadequate and the opinion “simply restated, without any analysis, the prosecutor’s proffered reasons for striking all of the black potential jurors, . . . including reasons that even the trial court had rejected.”
Even though there may be an increase in domestic violence during this period, neither law enforcement nor the family courts may hear about the domestic violence and abuse because it is usually the community that reports these incidents when children go to school, when people see their friends, when people are in a situation where other people see what’s going on.
(Subscription required) California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye is a step closer to gaining new emergency powers after a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday. The body also passed measures on wrongful death and workplace lawsuits during a 4-hour session.
(Subscription required) We are judges who are committed to our ethical obligations under our Oath of Office, and the Code of Judicial Ethics, and we believe that in this instance, the perspective of the CJA guidance provides judges with clearer direction, and more properly defers to each judge to decide how to personally uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary.
At the moment, California Judicial Council Emergency Rule 1 prevents eviction filings from being processed. Landlords may file an eviction action but no summonses will be issued by the court until Rule 1 is lifted. This is the strongest protection tenants have against eviction in the State of California. However, the Judicial Council has signaled that it intends to repeal Rule 1, and it is calling upon the legislature to take up the matter.
(Subscription required) "It's not like I'm an old hand at this," Brower said. "But I can tell you it is super rewarding. I definitely grasp the importance and gravity of these cases, in part due to the children who are involved. I try to be diligent and cognizant with the litigants."
The court’s unanimous opinion by Justice Carol Corrigan holds the defendant’s confession, admitted at his trial, was improperly obtained because he tried to halt police questioning by “reinvok[ing]” his Miranda rights after he had first waived them.
Officials said that while the pandemic persists and shelter in place orders remain in effect, the court is continuing to provide necessary and essential services to court users while protecting the health of all who come before or work within the court.
Since the decision, the Court has received numerous letters from recent law school graduates, professors, and deans urging them to apply the new minimum score to the previous February 2020 exam on grounds of equity. Most recently, the California Assembly Judiciary Committee Chair, Mark Stone, asked the Court to apply the lower passage score retroactively to applicants who sat for the bar as far back as 2015.
Under the countywide moratorium, a landlord cannot evict a residential tenant who is unable to pay rent due to financial losses stemming from the pandemic. Those can include increased child care expenses because of school closures, or lost wages due to reduced hours or layoffs.
The California prison population dropped below 100,000 people for the first time in three decades on Thursday, officials said. “The last time that number was below 100,000 was in 1990, when CA's overall population was 10 million less,” the agency said.
The California Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously upheld a 2013 law that forbade public employees from padding their future pensions by cashing in years of vacation or sick pay or working longer hours before retirement.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation announced Thursday it has filed a petition for review with the California Supreme Court regarding its lawsuit to have housing laws enforced against four Hollywood residential and mixed-use development projects and require them to offer more affordable units.
One of the most critical protections came from the state court system, which stopped processing evictions in April. That could soon change, though. The state’s judiciary council announced last week that it was considering rescinding its halt on eviction processing, a move that would reopen the courts to enforce removal cases against tenants.
(Subscription required) Lawmakers aiming to impose stricter limitations on the use of peremptory challenges in jury selection issued a slew of proposed amendments to a bill that would do just that, hinting that a final version may reflect a compromise sought by some judges and attorneys.
The federal panel said it could predict how the Supreme Court would construe Civil Code section 51.9, which provides a cause of action for sexual harassment during certain professional relationships. It concluded, “We have no difficulty concluding that the California Supreme Court would reach the same conclusion, obviating the need to certify the question” to the Supreme Court.
Referred to as “the worst prison health screw-up in state history” by Assemblymember Marc Levine, 2,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 at San Quentin, with the current number of infected inmates at around 400, and 19 men have died.
With the federal COVID-19 rent protections provided in the CARES Act about to expire, any plan to assist tenants who have fallen behind on their payments due the COVID-19 pandemic, would have to be drawn up by state or local governments.
California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has said that the council, which she chairs, always intended the COVID-19-spurred moratorium to be temporary and was imposed because the Legislature, at that time, was not meeting. Cantil-Sakauye expects to call a vote ending the moratorium by Aug. 14, leaving it to the Legislature to craft something to help tenants moving forward.
California courts were just beginning to ease months of pandemic-related closures and then the state’s infection numbers spiked. Here’s a look at how courts across the state are grappling with all the changes associated with the novel coronavirus as of July 29.
(Subscription required) Judges and the courts must equally enter into this AI-empowered realm, willingly adopting such technologies that are already available and giving due attention to those emerging ones that are coming down the pike.
“We will miss Judge Matcham,” said Presiding Judge Julie Culver in a press release. “She has been a dedicated and hard-working colleague, committed to Monterey County, to all appearing in her courtroom, and our courts statewide. We will particularly miss her thoughtful leadership and assistance in setting the future vision of our Monterey County Superior Court.”
Since announcing its decision earlier this month, the court has received letters and petitions signed by hundreds of law graduates, professors and deans asking that the minimum score be extended to those who sat for the February exam. But the latest letter from California Assembly Judiciary Committee Chair Mark Stone, D-Scotts Valley, urged the court to go even further and make the 1390 cut score retroactive to 2015.
The Council is deciding on such changes due to Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Legislature proposing various tenant and landlord protections, including many blanket protections proposed in the $100 billion California stimulus plan.
(Subscription required) A state Supreme Court ruling resolving a longstanding dispute over the proper standard for appellate court review in civil, family, and conservatorship lawsuits casts doubt on a number of appeals, including punitive damage awards, attorneys said Tuesday.