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.
California saw a similar financial benefit when it ran a statewide amnesty program from October 2015 to April 2017. The Judicial Council of California reported that over a quarter of a million cases were resolved via payment plans, creating a $45.1 million windfall.
Santa Rosa officials say they will continue to withhold records detailing past misconduct by city police officers, contending a decision by the state Supreme Court on a pending case was needed to clarify the extent to which such law enforcement personnel records can be made public.
Maggots and mice have fallen onto inmates’ dining tables at a California state prison where holes in the roof also allow rain and bird droppings to seep through and streak the walls, according to an inmate lawsuit that charges the state isn’t moving fast enough to repair deteriorating prisons.
The California Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions yesterday said it is seeking public input on its tentative formal opinion which declares that a judge should generally avoid searching the court case management system for information about a party or an attorney or facts relating to a case before the judicial officer.
Last June, a state appeals court reinstated the End of Life Option Act. The court ruled that the law can remain in effect while the dispute makes its way through the legal system. The issue could wind up before the state Supreme Court.
In People v. Aranda, the Supreme Court today holds that the California constitution’s double-jeopardy clause requires trial courts to accept a jury’s acquittal verdict on a charge even though the jury has hung on uncharged lesser included offenses. Accepting the partial verdict protects the defendant from being retried on the acquitted charge.
California’s attorney general said Thursday that he won’t release older records on state law enforcement agents’ misconduct despite a recently released appeals court ruling that they are public documents.
The California Rule is the misleading moniker we’ve given to our state’s most troublesome legal precedent: that public employees are entitled to whatever pension benefits were in place when they started work.
Roughly two-thirds of the state’s judges are white, while about 11 percent are Hispanic, 8 percent are Asian, and 8 percent are African-American. Furthermore, nearly 64 percent of judges are men, according to Judicial Council data.
(Subscription required) That's the question the new governor faces after the 3rd District Court of Appeal ordered -- for the second time -- the state to repay money taken from a national mortgage settlement.
California is poised to follow the lead of Alameda County and San Francisco in addressing this issue by passing SB 144, the Families Over Fees Act. The bill would eliminate county-imposed and other criminal administrative fees throughout California, and discharge all related debt.
Enough already. The California Court of Appeals has spoken. It’s time for state Attorney General Xavier Becerra to stop pandering to law enforcement unions and comply with a new police transparency law.
(Subscription required) Donning the robe in small towns appeals to the commissioner because of how well he gets to know the people and their cases, LaChance said. “I try to have a listening ear first and foremost,” he explained. “I think your ears are your biggest tool as a judicial officer.”
In a lawsuit by advocates for the elderly, the disabled and the American Civil Liberties Union, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ethan Schulman ruled last week that Secretary of State Alex Padilla was not complying fully with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.
A state appeals court ruled this week that California is wrong to hold on to $331 million from a nationwide bank settlement and use the the funds to pay off housing bonds. The money should instead go to homeowners harmed by foreclosures during the major recession a decade ago, the judges indicated.
(Subscription required) A federal judge has tossed out a trucking association's lawsuit claiming last year's pivotal Dynamex decision on contractors versus employees is preempted by federal law because it affects the pricing of their services.
"In California, we are leading and experiencing reforms driven by best practices, but also pilot projects, court decisions, and legislation,” Cantil-Sakauye said. “This workgroup will help continue progress toward reform that benefits the branch, enhances public safety and promotes equitable treatment of all who come through our criminal justice system.”
(Subscription required) “If we’re in trial, I’m very aware that there’s a group of people here for jury service, and there are witnesses who need to get on and off, and I try to be as efficient as I can be,” he said. “We want to be sensitive to their time.”
Newsom has barely been in office for three months, but lawmakers and lobbyists are already asking his administration for new judgeships, more money to free up calendars for civil cases and an end to limits on the reserves that courts can keep.
California is wrongly holding on to $331 million from a nationwide bank settlement and must use the money for its intended purpose: to help homeowners victimized by foreclosures during the Great Recession, a state appeals court ruled Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez in San Diego said Friday that a law that bans possessing, buying or selling any magazines holding more than 10 bullets infringes on the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
The Superior Court of Humboldt County and the Yurok Tribal Court formed a new Family Wellness Court to help parents end their substance use—an underlying issue of many child abuse and neglect cases—and ultimately reunite them with their children ensnared in the child welfare system.
Superior Court judges around the state have generally disagreed with the unions. But in the first decision with broad impact, the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco late Friday published an earlier two-page order in the Contra Costa case making all existing records available to the public.
The first major decision with broad impact arrived late on Friday, and the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco made it clear in an order that all existing records must be made available to the public. The order is effective statewide and immediately, unless another appeals court intervenes or the state Supreme Court takes up the case.