Decisions in Criminal, Labor, & Property Law Matters

By FindLaw Staff on December 27, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Sheppard v. N. Orange County Reg'l Occupational Program, G041956, concerned a challenge to the trial court's judgment in favor of the defendant, in an instructor's suit against the North Orange County Regional Occupational Program (NOCROP) for failing to pay wages in violation of Wage Order No. 4-2001, failure to pay wages in breach of a written contract, and unfair competition.

The court reversed the trial court's order granting summary judgment on the pleadings as to the violation of the minimum wage law claim, as the minimum wage provision in Wage Order No. 4-2001 applies to plaintiff's employment with NOCROP because the program was the creation of one or more public school districts through Education Code section 52301, and the Legislature has plenary authority over public school districts and was constitutionally authorized to vest in the IWC, through section 1173, the power to impose the minimum wage law provision contained in Wage Order No. 4-2001 as to employees of such public school districts.  The court also reversed the trial court's order sustaining defendant's demurrer to plaintiff's breach of contract claim as the California Supreme Court precedent establishes that a public employee has a contractual right to earned but unpaid compensation.  However, the court affirmed the trial court's order sustaining the demurrer to the quantum meruit claim, as the Government Claims Act bars the assertion of such a claim against a public entity.

Schuman v. Ignatin, B215059, concerned a challenge to the the trial court's entry of judgment in favor of the defendant, in plaintiffs' suit against their neighbors seeking to block proposed construction.  In reversing the judgment, the court held that, because challenges to recorded amendments to CC&Rs must be brought within four years, defendant's challenge is time-barred.  The court also held that plaintiffs' failure to plead the statute of limitations did not waive the affirmative defense of statute of limitations.

People v. Woods, B223793, concerned a prosecution of defendant for cocaine possession and misdemeanor marijuana possession.  The court modified the judgment as, when a defendant is placed on probation pursuant to Penal Code section 1210.1(a), a court facility assessment pursuant to Gov. Code section 70373(a), restitution fine pursuant to Penal Code section 1202.4(b)(1), and a court security fee pursuant to Penal Code section 1465.8(a)(1), may not be stayed.

People v. Cabrera, G042390, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for various crimes including, carjacking, possession of a firearm by a felon and street terrorism.  The court held that a reasonably jury could find that Highland Street was a street gang, and that the evidence supports a determination that defendant's actions, committed without another Highland Street member present, promoted or furthered the gang's felony conduct.  The court also held that sufficient evidence supports the gang enhancement, and that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in excluding defendant's statement.  Lastly, because the jury was instructed on car theft, even assuming the trial court should also have instructed on the drug crimes, failure to do so was harmless.

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