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Decisions in Criminal, anti-SLAPP, Contracts, Family, Employment & Tax Law Matters

By FindLaw Staff on October 22, 2010 4:20 PM

Shelden v. Marin County Employees Ret. Ass'n, A124912, involved a former deputy sheriff's petition for writ of mandate and administrative mandamus, claiming that Marin County Employees' Retirement Association and its governing Board of Retirement calculated his retirement benefits incorrectly.  In affirming the trial court's denial of the petition, the court held that the trial court's conclusion that plaintiff's work on the arrest warrant service team was not part of his "normally scheduled or regular working hours" is well supported, and thus, it was procedurally fair for the defendants to decline to include plaintiff's work on the arrest warrant service team in his retirement calculation.

In re Marriage of Foley, B214462, concerned a challenge to the trial court's judgment awarding the husband partnership distributions from his law practice as his separate property for the year in which the parties separatedIn marital dissolution proceedings.  In reversing and remanding, the court held that part of the 2004 partnership distribution is community property because the community's right to part of the 2004 partnership distribution accrued prior to separation.

In re E.R., A124706, concerned a challenge to a juvenile defendant's first degree murder conviction for gang-related shooting.  In reversing the conviction, the court remanded the matter in concluding that the juvenile court erred when it changed its verdict on the murder charge from second to first degree, and here, the juvenile court explicitly found that the murder was of second degree, even if that finding is inconsistent with the conspiracy finding.

Hyduke's Valley Motors v. Lobel Fin. Corp., G042816, concerned a challenge to the trial court's postjudgment order denying plaintiff's motion for attorney fees, in a car wholesaler's suit against finance companies to recover purchase price of vehicles it sold to a used car dealer.  In affirming, the court held that attorney fees are available under Civil Code section 1717 only if the party prevails in an action on the contract, and the trial court correctly concluded plaintiff did not prevail in an action on the conditional sales contracts, and there is nothing in the record supporting plaintiff's contention it was an intended beneficiary of the sales contracts between the used car dealer and the purchasers.

Chiatello v. City & County of San Francisco, A126234, concerned a challenge to the trial court's dismissal of the action in a taxpayer's suit for declaratory relief that a city and county's amendment to the existing municipal payroll tax was invalid.  In affirming the dismissal, the court held that plaintiff is unable to identify a single judicial decision approving use of section 526a by a person not personally liable for a tax to halt collection of that tax.  Thus, the trial court correctly concluded that plaintiff lacks standing to sue, and that no injunctive relief may be granted to prevent tax collection.

Antounian v. Malletier, B215034, involved plaintiffs' suit for malicious prosecution against defendant-manufacturers of luxury goods, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, the manufacturers' law firm, and individual lawyers, arising from an underlying suit against plaintiffs for trademark infringement and counterfeiting.  In affirming the trial court's grant of defendants' anti-SLAPP motion, the court held that the plaintiffs' claims were properly subject to a special motion to strike and plaintiffs have not shown a probability of prevailing on the merits of their malicious prosecution claim.

1-800-Got Junk? LLC v. Superior Court, B221636, concerned a challenge to the defendant's request for a writ of mandate directing the trial court to vacate its order that the law of Washington State applies to this action and to enter a new order that California law applies, in plaintiff's suit against a defendant franchisor, 1-800-Got Junk?, for wrongfully terminating a franchise.

In denying the petition, the court held that, because a multi-state franchisor has an interest in having its franchise agreements governed by a uniform body of law, defendant had a reasonable basis for inserting a choice of law provision in the franchise agreement, and  defendant cannot avoid that Washington choice of law provision it included in the franchise agreement.  The court also held that the enforcement of the choice provision is not barred by section 20010 as the instant franchise agreement, which gave the franchisee enhanced protection from summary termination pursuant to Washington law, did not diminish the franchisee's substantive rights under the California Franchise Relations Act  (CFRA) and therefore did not amount to a waiver of compliance with the CFRA.

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