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Decisions In Criminal, Civil, Contract, Administrative, and Environmental Matters

By FindLaw Staff on May 26, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Ladd v. Warner Bros. Entm't, Inc., No. B204015, concerned a plaintiffs' suit against Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (Warner), claiming that Warner's practice of allocating the same share of the licensing fee to every movie in a package regardless of its value to the licensee deprived plaintiff of a fair allocation of the licensing fees to which plaintiff was entitled as a profit participant. In affirming the judgment of the trial court, the court held that the record supports the jury's determination that Warner's straight-lining method of allocating licensing fees to profit participants breached the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.  Furthermore, the court held that Warner failed to meet its burden at trial to show what portion, if any, of plaintiff's damages may have been barred by the 1996 settlement agreement or by the August 1, 1999 accrual of the four-year statute of limitations, and as such, entitling plaintiff to recover all of his proved damages. 

In People v. Casas, No. E048184, the Fourth District faced a challenge to a conviction of defendant for embezzlement, for using a trade-in vehicle to follow a customer home to collect the down payment and driving 400 miles for a drug purchase, using part of the customer's down payment to pay for the drugs.  In affirming the conviction, the court held that even if the defendant had intended to eventually return both the trade-in vehicle and the $400 down payment, his appropriation of both, for his own personal use, was significant in duration and incompatible with the owner's enjoyment or use of the property.   

612 S. LLC, v. Laconic Ltd P'ship, No. D056646, concerned a bondholder's suit seeking a judgment ordering the foreclosure and sale of property subject to a water district bond issued under the provisions of the Improvement Act of 1911 and the Municipal Improvement Act of 1913.  The court affirmed the part of the judgment where the trial court properly rejected the property owner's claim that it was a bona fide purchaser because the record reveals that it had constructive notice of the Bond and assessment lien.  However, trial court's judgment holding the property owner personally liable for any deficiency after the foreclosure sale of the property is reversed, as well as the award of attorney fees and costs as the trial court abused its discretion in deciding attorney fees and costs without consideration of all the evidence.  

S.M. v. E.P., No. D055230, concerned a plaintiff's paternity and custody suit, where the court held that the plaintiff's concession to the Iowa court's exercising jurisdiction over his paternity and custody dispute with the defendant renders moot his appeal from the trial court's minute order deferring jurisdiction over the custody dispute to an Iowa court.  However, the trial court's restraining order is reversed because the court abused its discretion in issuing the restraining order against plaintiff because in issuing the order, the court misapplied the statutory requirements and misapprehended the legal effect of the order. 

In People v. Ramirez, No. B213097, the Second District faced a challenge to a conviction of defendant for shooting at an occupied automobile, which killed the victim.  In affirming in part the judgment of the trial court, the court held that there was substantial evidence to support defendant's conviction for willfully and maliciously shooting a firearm at an occupied automobile.  However, the court held that the section 12022.55 enhancement must be reversed as the uncontradicted evidence demonstrates the victim was inside the car at the time of the shooting.  

Los Angeles County Fire Dep't v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd., No. B214649, concerned a challenge to the WCAB's denial of a county's petition for reconsideration in its claim that the battalion chief for the county fire department was not entitled to any maintenance allowance from September 8, 2005, to September 26, 2006 for his permanent disability.  In affirming in part the WCAB's denial, the court held that the battalion chief's right to pending maintenance allowance ended with repeal of former section 139.5 except for that part of the maintenance allowance that was not included in the county's petition for reconsideration and, therefore, became final before the repeal of former section 139.5.   

In People v. Henry, No. A125270, the First District faced a challenge to a conviction of defendant for being a felon in possession of a firearm, following a no contest plea.  In affirming the conviction, the court held that defendant's motion to suppress was properly denied as the evidence seized from his car during the warrantless search incident to his arrest was admissible, due to the application of the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule.   

Chino Commercial Bank, NA v. Peters, No. E049170, concerned a breach of contract and fraud suit brought by a bank to recover overdraft fees and seeking a right to attach property of defendant, arising from a Nigerian-style email scam.  In affirming the judgment of the trial court in favor of the bank, the court held that under the California Uniform Commercial Code, defendant had the burden of proving that the bank did act negligently, and he failed to do so.   

Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. County of San Bernardino, No. D056652, concerned a suit against the County of San Bernardino for its approval of an open-air human waste composting facility under the CEQA.  In affirming the judgment, the court held that the trial court was correct in determining that substantial evidence does not support the FEIR's position that an enclosed facility alternative is infeasible and unworthy of more in-depth consideration.  Furthermore, the court correctly determined the FEIR is inadequate on the additional ground that it does not include a WSA as required by section 10910. 

People v. Weddles, No. C057666, concerned a conviction of defendant for first-degree residential burglary and related crimes.  In affirming the conviction, the court held that sufficient evidence supports defendant's convictions for the robbery of victim, who was forced at gunpoint to turn over to the robbers some $1,500 that belonged to the victim's brother.   

Barragan v. County of Los Angeles, No. B217398, concerned a plaintiff's suit against the County of Los Angeles under the Tort Claims Act, claiming that the dangerous condition of the road caused the accident, rendering her quadriplegic.  In reversing the trial court's denial of plaintiff's relief from the TCA requirements, the court held that the rule mandating an injured party to attempt to obtain counsel within six months in order to establish excusable neglect is not absolute, and may instead, be overcome by evidence of disability.   

Glendale Redevelopment Agency v. County of Los Angeles, No. B212718, concerned a petition for writ of mandate, by community redevelopment agencies, seeking an order that the county accept their revised Statement of Indebtedness (SOI) and pay additional sums for the year in question.  In reversing the trial court's denial of the petition, the court held that nothing in section 33675 prohibits a redevelopment agency from correcting errors in an SOI by filing a revised document.   

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