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Decisions In Criminal, Contracts, Family Law, & Products Liability Matters

By FindLaw Staff on May 28, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In In re Damian M., No. D055552, the Fourth District faced a challenge to the juvenile court's denial of minor-defendant's request for deferred entry of judgment (DEJ), after admitting that he possessed the 10.1 pounds of marijuana for sale.  In affirming the judgment, the court held that the juvenile court was well within its discretion in denying DEJ to the minor under the circumstances of the offense he committed and the criminal sophistication shown by his conduct.  Furthermore, a probation condition requiring the minor's parents to participate in the minor's school program is a legitimate remedial measure designed to aid in preventing further delinquent behavior by the minor.   

Martinez v. Ford Motor Co., No.B214955, concerned an action for strict and negligent product liability, brought by two survivors and the heirs and estates of two decedents from a car crash in Mexico of a Ford vehicle that had been purchased in San Diego.  In reversing the trial court's dismissal of the complaint for forum non conveniens, the court noted that the defendants used a California court for discovery they could not have obtained in Mexico to get evidence unrelated to their forum non conveniens motion, and having availed themselves of the advantages of California courts to the prejudice of plaintiffs, defendants cannot now be heard to say the state's courts are inconvenient. 

Villa Vicenza Homeowners Ass'n v. Nobel Court Dev., LLC, No. D054550, concerned a challenge to the trial court's denial of developers' motion to compel arbitration in a homeowners association's suit for construction defects.  In affirming the decision, the court held that the recorded CC&R's, standing alone, are not a contract between the developer and the homeowners association, which only came into existence after the CC&Rs were recorded, and thus, here there has been no showing the association entered into a binding arbitration agreement. 

Chude v. Jack In The Box Inc., No. B212874, concerned a plaintiff's suit against Jack in the Box for sustaining second degree burns when she spilled coffee she had just purchased at the defendant's drive-through window.  In affirming the trial court's grant of defendant's motion for summary judgment, the court held that Civ. Code section 3333.4 bars uninsured motorists and convicted drunk drivers from recovering non-economic damages in certain cases.     

In re Maria R., No. D056110, concerned a challenge to the trial court's findings in a dependency proceeding that petitioner's children were described by Welfare and Institutions Code section 300(d) or (j) and removal of the children from parental custody.

In affirming the judgment of the trial court in part, the court held that there is substantial evidence to support the trial court's findings that the mother's husband sexually abused the two oldest daughters within the meaning of section 300(d) and another daughter was at substantial risk of being sexually abused within the meaning of section 300(j).  Furthermore, the court held that there is substantial evidence to support the trial court's findings that returning the children to the home would pose a substantial danger to their physical health, safety or well-being.  However, with respect to the son, there is not substantial evidence to support the trial court's finding that he was at substantial risk of being sexually abused under section 300(j).  Nonetheless, the court remanded the matter as to the son as section 300(j) does not limit the grounds of dependency adjudication for a child whose sibling has been abused to the same subdivision of section 300 that applies to that sibling, as the plain language of section 300(j) directs the trial court to consider whether there is a substantial risk that the subject child will be abused or neglected.    

People v. Collins, No.S058537, concerned an automatic appeal of a defendant's conviction and death sentence for first degree murder, robbery and kidnapping.  In affirming the conviction and the death sentence, the court rejected defendant's claims of error including: 1) trial court's denial of defendant's motion for a mistrial; 2) asserted Doyle error; 3) prosecutorial misconduct; 4) sufficiency of the evidence of unadjudicated criminal activity; 5) jury instructions; and 6) cumulative error.   

In People v. Jacinto, No. S164011, the Court faced a challenge to the court of appeal's reversal of trial court's decision granting defendant's motion to dismiss the charges in a prosecution of defendant for murder.  In affirming the judgment of the court of appeal, the court held that, under the circumstances of this case, the deportation of a sole witness favorable to the defense did not violate defendant's federal and state constitutional rights to the compulsory attendance of witnesses in his favor.     

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