In an appeal from the termination of reunification services, the Court finds mother’s limited progress was the result of the Agency’s delay in providing necessary individual and family therapy services, rather than mother’s lack of effort or cooperation. The order terminating service was remanded with directions, in the absence of contradictory evidence, to provide mother with an additional period of reunification services consistent with the opinion.

The Court of Appeal reversed appellant’s involuntary manslaughter conviction (Pen. Code, § 192, subd. (b)) where the trial court erred in admitting extensive hearsay evidence describing the decedent’s attack and failed to provide a limiting instruction, despite correctly ruling in limine that only statements describing the decedent’s past or present pain (and not how he was injured and what happened) could be admitted for their truth under Evidence Code sections 1250 and 1251. The Court further held that the error was not harmless where the primary disputed issue at trial was the cause of the decedent’s death and where the prosecution heavily relied on the hearsay evidence at trial.

In this consolidated appeal, the Court of Appeal held that Assembly Bill 333 applies retroactively to Penal Code section 186.22(b)(1) (gang enhancement). (People v. Tran (2022) 13 Cal.5th 1169.) The Court further held that the amended definitions of “criminal street gang” and “pattern of criminal gang activity” in A.B. 333 apply retroactively to Penal Code section 182.5 (gang conspiracy). The Court, therefore, reversed appellants’ convictions and remanded the matter to allow the prosecution the opportunity to elect whether to retry appellants under current law.

The Court of Appeal remanded for resentencing in light of two amendments (Senate Bill No. 567 (2021-2022 Reg. Sess.) and Assembly Bill No. 124 (2021-2022 Reg. Sess.)) to Penal Code section 1170, which limited the court’s ability to impose a sentence exceeding the middle term and created a presumption in favor of the low term under certain circumstances. 

[Published Opinion] Penal Code section 1172.75 (the SB 483 resentencing provision for prior-prison-term enhancements) provides that a court conducting a resentencing under the statute “shall apply . . . any . . . changes in law that reduce sentences or provide for judicial discretion so as to eliminate disparity of sentences and to promote uniformity of sentencing.” The Court of Appeal held that this language requires a court conducting a resentencing under Penal Code section 1172.75 to apply SB 620 and SB 1393, including where the defendant’s original judgment of conviction became final prior to those bills’ effective dates.

The Court of Appeal held that appellant’s admission to two prior strike convictions was invalid because the record does not reflect that appellant was informed of or expressly waived his constitutional rights to trial by jury and confrontation, and his privilege not to incriminate himself. The Court therefore vacated the judgment and remanded for correction of that error.

[Published Opinion] In a habeas proceeding, the Court of Appeal held that the Parole Board’s denial of petitioner’s request to present witnesses at his parole rescission hearing violated the Board’s own procedural rules as well as petitioner’s due process rights. The court further found that the matter is not moot, despite petitioner having had two further parole suitability hearings, and that petitioner did not forfeit his due process challenge by failing to object at the rescission hearing to the denial of his request to present witnesses.

The Court of Appeal held that the firearm use enhancement (Pen. Code, § 2022.5(a)) attached to appellant’s conviction for shooting at an occupied vehicle must be stricken because firearm use is an element of the offense.

The Court of Appeal held that substantial evidence did not support the trial court’s findings that appellants acted with reckless indifference to human life and, therefore, revered the orders denying appellants’ petitions for resentencing under Penal Code section 1172.6.

The Court of Appeal finds the juvenile court failed at multiple junctures and in multiple ways to afford proper notice to father of the dependency proceedings and his rights as an alleged father as required by law. The court violated father’s statutory and due process rights which cumulatively resulted in a process that was fundamentally unfair. The order terminating parental rights was reversed and remanded to the juvenile court.

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