Decisions In Habeas Proceedings, Plus Insurance, Property & Corporate Matters

By FindLaw Staff on June 16, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

City of San Jose v. Union Pac. R.R. Co., No. H033503, concerned a city's suit against a railroad company to condemn roadway easements over railroad tracks to widen an already existing road.  In affirming the trial court's judgment, the court held that, under the controlling authority of Oakland v. Schenck, 197 Cal. 456 (1925), the city was free to argue that, despite the parceling, the entire taking amounted to no more than a nominal diminishment of the railroad company's right to use the land for railroad tracks. 

In re Ross, No. C062466, concerned a defendant's petition for habeas relief challenging the Governor's reversal of the parole board's finding that he was suitable for parole.  In denying the petition, the court held that, when on remand after the granting of a petition for writ of habeas corpus, a governor reconsiders whether a prisoner is suitable for parole, the governor is permitted to rely on new evidence provided to him by the parole board and regarding which the inmate has had an opportunity to respond.     

In re Furnace, No. F058113, concerned a defendant's petition for habeas relief, claiming that the evidence used to validate him and place him in the security housing unit for an indeterminate term was false, unreliable and insufficient.  In denying the defendant's petition for relief, the court held that "some evidence" necessary to support defendant's validation is present in the record.  Furthermore, the court held that the regulation meets the four-pronged Turner test as defendant's validation, which was based in part on his possession of a book, newspaper article, pictures, and CD, did not violate his First Amendment rights. 

Luna v. Brownell, No. B212757, concerned the issue of whether a deed is void if real property  is transferred by a quitclaim deed to the trustee of a trust that has not been formed.  The court held that it is not void as between the grantor and grantee merely because the trust had not been created at the time the deed was executed, if (1) the deed was executed in anticipation of the creation of the trust and (2) the trust is in fact created thereafter. Such a deed is valid between the grantor and grantee on the date the trust was formed. 

Legacy Vulcan Corp. v. Superior Court, No. B215713, concerned an insured's petition for a writ of mandate challenging a pretrial order that decided three stipulated legal questions concerning the scope of the duty to defend under a liability insurance policy.  In granting the petition, the court held that the umbrella coverage was primary coverage and the existence of a duty to defend with respect to that coverage did not depend on the exhaustion of any underlying insurance.  Furthermore, the court held that the plaintiff need not show that the claims were actually covered under the policy in order to establish a duty to defend with respect to the primary coverage provided by the umbrella provision, but need only show a potential for coverage.  Lastly, the court held that a "retained limit" or "self-insured retention" provision in a policy providing primary coverage relieves the insurer of the duty to provide an immediate "first dollar" defense only if the policy expressly so provides, and as such, plaintiff need not have incurred a liability in excess of the retained limit described in the policy before the insurer's duty to defend could arise. 

Kruss v. Booth, No. G041738, concerned a shareholder derivative suit, involving a variation on a pump and dump scheme.  In reversing the trial court's judgment of dismissal, the court held that the plaintiff must be given leave to amend his second amended complaint so as to allege violations of director fiduciary duty under California law as he had alleged violations of California law in his first amended complaint, but the trial court erroneously thought the case was governed by Nevada law and required plaintiff to plead violations of Nevada law in the second amended complain.  Furthermore, the court held that the trial court erred in dismissing the suit as the second amended complaint alleged self-dealing on the part of the defendant directors that continued into the period when the plaintiff did own stock in the company.  

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