Decisions in Civil, Criminal, Insurance, and Contract Matters

By FindLaw Staff on April 13, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

People v. House, No. B212057 involved a challenge to the trial court's imposition of restitution and parole revocation fines on a defendant convicted of various theft crimes.  In affirming the decision, the Second District held that the defendant forfeited her right to object to the amount of the fine and failed to establish that her counsel provided ineffective assistance faililing to object.  However, because the recent amendment to the Penal Code section 4019 applied retroactively, trial court's calculation of pre-sentence custody credits is vacated.

People v. Botello, No. B212183, involved defendants' challenge to a sentence term of 80 years to life each, for murder and related crimes.  However, because the evidence was insufficient to support the charged firearm enhancements and failure to plead Cal. Penal Code section 12022.53(e)(1), failure to ensure jury findings under this subdivision, and failure to raise the provisions at sentencing and obtaining a sentence that in fact violated the subdivision, the prosecution forfeited its right to rely on that subdivision, and therefore the murder sentences are remanded for resentencing. 

In Garcia v. World Savings FSB, No. B214822, the Second District faced a challenge to the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant in plaintiff's action against the defendant-lender alleging wrongful foreclosure, breach of contract promissory estoppel and unfair business practices.  In affirming the summary judgment for defendant in part, the court held that although the facts presented at trial established detrimental reliance sufficient to support a claim based on promissory estoppel, there was no exchange of true consideration.  However, the judgment is reversed in part where plaintiffs presented sufficient evidence of a definite promise from defendant's employee to support their promissory estoppel claim. 

In United Enters., Inc. v. Superior Ct. (Royal Indem. Co.), the Fourth District dealt with an action by an insurer seeking a declaration that it was not required to defend the petitioner in an underlying suit for recovery of environmental response costs, damages, and other forms of equitable and statutory relief arising from the operation of a shooting range.  In granting the petitioner's request for a writ of mandate, the court held that under Montrose Chemical Corp. v. Superior Court, 6 Cal.4th 287 (1993), the petitioner is entitled to a stay of real property in interest's summary judgment motion.

In Salenga v. Mitsubishi Motors Cred. of Am., Inc., No. D055228, the Fourth District faced a challenge to the dismissal of the complaint without leave to amend in a cross-complaint seeking to restrict the business practice in which creditors obtained deficiency judgments against vehicle buyers who had defaulted on their auto loans, under certain circumstances, pursuant to the Rees-Levering Motor Vehicle Sales and Finance Act.  In reversing the decision, the court held that it would have been better exercise of discretion for the trial court to allow leave to amend as there exists a realistic possibility of amendment for a successful allegation of the claim under the Act. 

In Alvarez v. Super. Ct., No. A125626, the First District dealt with a petition for a writ of mandate seeking to compel the trial court to accept defendant's plea bargain for his robbery convictions while on bail.  In denying the petition, the court held that the trial court's judicial assignment procedure was authorized by existing law and no new local rule was required for its implementation. 

In Porter v. Wyner, No. B211398, the Second District faced a challenge to the trial court's order granting a new trial following judgment for plaintiffs arising from an underlying suit where the defendant represented the plaintiffs and allegedly promised to pay plaintiffs certain proceeds from their attorneys' fees.  However, because the communications between the attorney and client were not within the mediation confidentiality protection of Evidence Code section 1119, trial court's grant of new trial is reversed. 

Sabi v. Sterling, No. B205279, concerned a plaintiff's action claiming that she became eligible to receive Section 8 assistance payments but that the defendants refused to participate in the program and thus refused to accept rent subsidy that would have been paid under the Section 8 program for plaintiff's apartment.  In affirming the judgment in favor of the defendant, the court held that the Section 8 assistance payments were not paid to the Public Housing Authority, but to the landlord and the section 8 payments to the landlord were not included in the source of income. 

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