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Plaintiff filed a petition for writ of administrative mandamus, challenging both the Board's tree removal order and the cessation of his water deliveries. The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's denial of the petition, holding that the trial court applied the correct substantial evidence standard of review for the administrative decision; substantial evidence supported a finding that plaintiff unreasonably interfered with TID's use of the easement at issue; and TID did not abuse its discretion in withholding plaintiff's irrigation water under its irrigation rules. View "Inzana v. Turlock Irrigation District Board of Directors" on Justia Law

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Proposition 66's procedures for appealing the denial of a petition for a writ of habeas corpus from the superior court to the Court of Appeal apply to a petition originally filed with the Supreme Court prior to Proposition 66's enactment when the Supreme Court first referred part of the case to the superior court for fact finding and then, after Proposition 66's enactment, transferred the outstanding issues to the superior court "for adjudication." The Court of Appeal held that the Supreme Court invoked those procedures in transferring the outstanding issues to the superior court for adjudication. The court held therefore that this appeal from the superior court's denial of the petition was jurisdictionally proper. The order to show cause is discharged. View "In re Robinson" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Penal Code section 1381, which states that a criminal defendant who is sentenced to a crime has a right to demand that he be brought to trial and sentenced within 90 days in any other "pending . . .criminal proceeding," anywhere in the state, in which he "remains to be sentenced," does not apply to a proceeding in which the trial court imposed a specific sentence on defendant, suspended execution of that sentence, and placed defendant on probation. In light of the Court of Appeal's conclusion that section 1381 did not apply, the court had no occasion to decide whether the People complied with its provisions in this case. View "People v. Smith" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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in 2005, the plaintiff in this matter, Ralph Colombo, was sued by his homeowners association, Nellie Gail Ranch Owners Association (Nellie Gail), in Orange County Superior Court. In March 2007, Nellie Gail obtained a judgment and injunction preventing Colombo from continuing construction of certain improvements on his property until he obtained approval for, and completed the construction of, a single-family residence. Colombo's attorney withdrew from the case in September 2008, and Colombo began to represent himself. Colombo's request to sue his attorneys for legal malpractice was denied by the superior court, as was his motion for reconsideration of that request. The Court of Appeal denied extraordinary relief. Undaunted, the vexatious litigant asked a different presiding judge to give him leave to file the identical legal malpractice complaint. This time, his request was granted and the action at issue here was filed. The trial court granted a defense motion for judgment on the pleadings and dismissed the action. The Court of Appeal held that as a matter of both substantive legal doctrine and fundamental fairness, litigants are only entitled to "one bite at the apple. But this vexatious litigant refuses to stop biting." The Court concluded the doctrine of res judicata precludes a litigant from filing successive prefiling requests, and therefore affirmed the judgment. View "Colombo v. Kinkle, Rodiger & Spriggs" on Justia Law

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The Mitigation Fee Act (Gov. Code 66000) authorizes local agencies to impose fees on development projects to defray the cost of public facilities needed to serve the growth caused by the project if the fees are reasonably related to the burden caused by the development. Boatworks challenged Alameda's development fee ordinance. The trial court concluded the fees are excessive and constitute invalid exactions by imposing on new residents the purported cost of acquiring land for parks, although the city does not need to buy new parkland, and found that the city erred by including in its inventory of current parks two parks that were not yet open and by categorizing certain areas as parks rather than (less expensive) open space. The court of appeal reversed in part, holding that the city can properly include Shoreline Park, Osborne Model Airplane Field and two boat ramps in its inventory of parks. With respect to development fees for parks and recreation, the court stated that a fee based in significant part on costs the city will not incur, because it has already acquired ample land at no cost, does not have a “reasonable relationship to the cost of the public facility attributable to the development.” View "Boatworks, LLC v. Alameda" on Justia Law

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After he molested his niece, Montiel was convicted of sexual penetration of a child 10 years of age or younger and of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years old and was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. The court of appeal affirmed, rejecting arguments based defense counsel’s failure to object to expert testimony on Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome that bolstered the victim’s credibility and that the trial court erred by admitting evidence of an uncharged sex offense he committed against the same victim. The court upheld an award to the victim’s mother of restitution for noneconomic losses, and imposition of victim restitution even though the sentence for the conviction on which it was based was stayed. The trial court was authorized to award restitution to the victim’s mother based on the mother’s own psychological harm. View "People v. Montiel" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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After Huntington Park enacted and extended an urgency ordinance that imposed a temporary moratorium on charter schools while it considered amending its zoning code, the Association petitioned for writ of mandate seeking an order directing Huntington Park to invalidate approval of the ordinance on the ground it violated, among other things, the Planning and Zoning Law. The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court's denial of the petition and held as a matter of law that the ordinance was invalid because the findings contained therein of "numerous inquiries and requests for the establishment and operation of charter schools" did not amount to a "current and immediate threat" as required by section 65858, subdivision (c) to enact an urgency ordinance. View "California Charter Schools Assn. v. City of Huntington Park" on Justia Law

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Convicted on 15 counts of sexually molesting three victims over a two-year period, Jimenez was sentenced to an indeterminate term of 175 years to life in prison and a determinate term of four years four months; the sentence included seven consecutive terms of 25 years to life on seven counts, Some of his victims were younger than 14 years of age. The court of appeal affirmed the convictions but remanded for resentencing, rejecting arguments that the prosecution committed misconduct in closing argument by stating Jimenez was no longer presumed innocent and shifting the burden of proof to the defense and erred by admitting a note that one of the victims had written to her mother disclosing the sexual abuse. The court also rejected claims of ineffective assistance of counsel and cumulative prejudice in connection with these claims and that the evidence was insufficient to support convictions on two counts of forcible lewd acts because the evidence failed to prove he used force or duress. The trial court erred by imposing terms of 25 years to life based on sentencing enhancements based on the victims' ages, that the prosecution failed to plead. View "People v. Jimenez" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Los Angeles County Civil Service Commission's special and limited jurisdiction does not extend to matters not delegated to it by the Charter of the County of Los Angeles. Real party in interest, who worked for the County for 30 years, challenged the trial court's judgment reversing the Commission's order entitling her to a medical reevaluation under Civil Service Rule 9.07B. The Court of Appeal held that the Commission lacked jurisdiction over real party's appeal where there is no Charter provision or rule permitting the Commission to hear appeals related to Rule 9.07. In the interests of justice and because the purely legal issue may arise again, the court held that an employee is not entitled by law to a medical reevaluation under Rule 9.07B. Accordingly, the court vacated the judgment and remanded. View "County of Los Angeles Department of Public Social Services v. Civil Service Commission of Los Angeles County" on Justia Law

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The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's dismissal of plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint (SAC) against the school district and six of its employees, alleging a pattern of harassment, discrimination and retaliation against her because she engaged in protected activities. The court held that the demurrer to the cause of action entitled, "Retaliation in Violation of Government Code Section 12940(h)" was properly sustained; the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying leave to add or amend the cause of action alleged for the first time in the SAC; failure to comply with the Government Claims Act bars the cause of action alleging violations of Labor Code section 1102.5; and the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied leave to amend despite plaintiff's PTSD. View "Le Mere v. Los Angeles Unified School District" on Justia Law