Rulings in Criminal Cases, Injunctive Relief on Home Contruction, and Judicial Review of Arbitration

By FindLaw Staff on March 01, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The California Court of Appeal for the First District decided a criminal matter, a CFCA claim, and a challenge to a trial court's injunctive order requiring homeowners bring their home back down to size.

In Clear Lake Riviera Cmty. Ass'n v. Cramer, No. A122205, the court faced a challenge to the trial court's decision ordering the homeowners to abate their violation by bringing their home into compliance. In affirming the trial court's decision, the First District held that the association's height guideline was validly adopted, of which defendants were in violation of by building their home outside of the compliance despite the warning.  Therefore, in order to come within the compliance, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering the defendants to cut their house down in height rather than pay damages.

In People v. McPike, No. A122030, the court faced a challenge to a conviction for both misdemeanor petty theft and a felony count of receiving stolen property.  In reversing the conviction, the court held that the defendant cannot be convicted of stealing and receiving the same property.  The court further held that in determining which crime to affirm, there is no practical or policy reason to deny the jury's verdict in affirming the greater of the two offenses. 

In San Francisco Unified Sch. Dist. v. Laidlaw Transit, Inc., No. A123914, the court decided whether plaintiff's California False Claims Act (CFCA) claim against the defendant can survive a demurrer.  In reversing the trial court's judgment in favor of the defendant, the court held that under the CFCA, where a vendor impliedly certifies compliance with its express contractual requirements when it bills a public agency, allegations that the implied certification was false and had a tendency to influence the public agency's decision to pay for goods or services are sufficient to survive a demurrer. 

The Second District decided the issue of whether a parties' arbitration agreement allowed for an expanded judicial review and a criminal defendant's challenge to his conviction. 

In Gravillis v. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Co., No. B216373, the court dealt with the issue of whether the parties' arbitration agreement provided for an expanded scope of judicial review, arising from plaintiff's broker's failure to disclose extensive structural damage to his home.  Trial court's affirmance of an arbitrator's award of damages in favor of the plaintiff is upheld as the parties' agreement does not explicitly and unambiguously provide for an expanded scope of such review.

In People v. Carter, No. B210203, the court faced a challenge to a criminal defendant's conviction  for second degree robbery.  First, in affirming the conviction, the court concluded that defendant did not make a Marsden motion at his arraignment, and as such, the trial court was not required to hold such a hearing.  Second, the trial court did not err in denying the motion to suppress because the traffic stop was not unlawful.  And third, the court's failure to pre-instruct the jury with CALCRIM No. 101 was harmless error, as the giving of the instruction would have had not effect on the outcome of the trial. 

Lastly, in People v. Cissna, No. D053464, the Fourth District faced challenge to trial court's denial of a criminal defendant's motion for a new trial.  In reversing the trial court's denial, the court held that defendant's right to an impartial jury was prejudicially tainted by the juror's conduct, as the juror's conversations with the friend were pervasive, focused on merits of the case and the presumption of prejudice has not been rebutted.  On two additional issues, the court held that if the prosecution wishes to introduce the victim's diary, the defense is entitled to examine the entire subject pursuant to appropriate protective orders, and rejected defendant's claim that Penal Code section 288.5 violates his right to a unanimous verdict is rejected.

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