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Decision in Criminal, Administrative, Environmental, & Breach of Contract Matters

By FindLaw Staff on June 21, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In People v. Eusebio, No. B216149, the Second District faced a challenge to a defendant's seven year sentence for forgery conviction.  In affirming, the court held that an amendment to Penal Code section 4019 concerning conduct credit for county jail inmates is not to be applied retroactively and the prospective application does not violate defendant's right to equal protection under the California Constitution.     

In People v. Davis, No. B216348, the court faced a challenge to the trial court's order imposing a $30 facilities fee in a prosecution of defendant for being a felon in possession of a firearm.  In reversing the order, the court held that the new $30-$35 court facilities fee imposed by Gov. Code section 70353 does not apply to cases in which the defendant's conviction, by plea or jury verdict, was rendered before the January 1, 2009 effective date of the statute.   

Gardner v. Superior Court, No. A125861, concerned a challenge to the trial court's denial of defendant's motion for section 987.9 funds on the ground that the district attorney had not announced that he was seeking the death penalty and that until he did, defendant's case was not "presently a capital case."  In reversing, the court held that this was an error as a "capital case" as used in section 987.9 means one where the defendant faces the possibility of the death penalty, where defendant actually risks death.  Therefore, unless the district attorney makes an announcement to the contrary, a defendant charged with murder with special circumstances is exposed to that punishment, and a section 987.9 request must be heard on the merits.     

Harris v. Wachovia Mortgage, FSB, No. E048585, concerned a suit for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and unfair business practices.  In affirming in part, the trial court's order sustaining without leave to amend a demurrer to plaintiffs' first amended complaint, the court held that the demurrer was properly sustained without leave to amend as to the unfair business practices claim as it was added without leave of court and exceeded the scope of the court's order granting leave to amend the original complaint.  Also, the court affirmed the trial court's order sustaining the as to the breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing claim as plaintiffs have not pleaded a violation of any duty arising under tort law.  However, the court reversed and remanded as to the order sustaining the demurrer as to the breach of contract claim as the settlement agreement is not preempted by Home Owners' Loan Act (HOLA).  Lastly, the court reversed the award of costs including attorney fees as a matter of law.     

In Tomlinson v. County of Alameda, No. A125471, the First District faced a challenge to the trial court's denial of plaintiffs' petition for a writ of administrative mandate, challenging a decision of a county to approve a subdivision development.  In reversing the trial court's denial of the petition, the court held that the project was not exempt from CEQA review as the county used the wrong legal standard in applying the exemption and substantial evidence does not show the proposed subdivision satisfied the exemption's criteria.     

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