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The Sexually Violent Predators Act (SVPA) provides the court with discretionary authority to involuntarily medicate an incompetent person placed with the State Hospital pre-commitment. The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's order finding that defendant lacked the capacity to refuse treatment and compelling him to undergo the involuntary administration of antipsychotic medication by the State Department of State Hospitals. In this case, although defendant has not been committed to the State Hospital, the trial court had the discretionary authority under Welfare and Institutions Code section 6602.5 to order his involuntary medication upon a proper finding he was incompetent to refuse medical treatment. Defendant was represented by counsel, provided with a full evidentiary hearing on request, and the trial court expressly found that defendant lacked the capacity to refuse treatment. View "State Department of State Hospitals v. J.W." on Justia Law

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In 2006, police arrested defendant Daniel Marquez in Ventura County on a drug possession offense. Without his consent, authorities collected Marquez’s DNA sample and entered his DNA profile into a statewide database. Marquez was never charged with the drug offense. In 2008, investigators retrieved DNA evidence from an Orange County robbery, and that evidence matched Marquez’s DNA profile in the database. Police contacted Marquez, and with his consent they collected a second DNA sample, which matched the DNA evidence from the robbery. The State filed two robbery counts and a related offense. The trial court denied Marquez’s motion to suppress the DNA evidence, and a jury convicted him of the charged offenses. The court sentenced Marquez to 25 years to life in state prison, plus an additional 15 years for three alleged prior serious felony convictions. The Court of Appeal held that the 2006 collection of Marquez’s DNA sample was unlawful under the Fourth Amendment; the prosecution failed to prove that Marquez was validly arrested or that his DNA was collected as part of a routine booking procedure. However, the trial court properly admitted the 2008 DNA evidence under a well-established exception to the exclusionary rule: the attenuation doctrine. Additionally, due to a recent statutory change, the Court remanded for the trial court to consider striking the additional punishment for Marquez’s three prior serious felony convictions. The Court also ordered the trial court to modify Marquez’s custody credits. In all other respects, the judgment was affirmed. View "California v. Marquez" on Justia Law

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Melinda Strom appealed an amended criminal judgment and order for restitution. Strom pled guilty to misapplication of entrusted property in excess of $50,000 in violation of N.D.C.C. 12.1-23-07(1). Strom was sentenced to five years, all suspended for three years of supervised probation. Strom argued the district court abused its discretion in awarding restitution because it did not consider her ability to pay as required by N.D.C.C. 12.1-32-08(1). The North Dakota declared the statute unconstitutional in part and affirmed the restitution order and judgment. The Court concluded the district court did not abuse its discretion in fixing the amount of restitution without regard to the defendant's ability to pay. "To clearly state the scope of this decision, it is necessary to articulate what we do not decide here. In this matter, we examine only an award of restitution and not a contempt hearing or probation revocation for non-payment, and thus we limit consideration of ability to pay only in the context of setting the total amount of restitution. We do not completely preclude consideration of ability to pay. There may be times when such consideration may be appropriate, i.e., when determining the time or manner of payment or whether a defendant's failure to pay is willful." View "North Dakota v. Strom" on Justia Law

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Michael Foster appealed his conviction on one count of conspiracy to commit criminal mischief, one count of criminal mischief, and one count of criminal trespass. On appeal, Foster argued the district court erred in admitting or excluding certain evidence and that there was insufficient evidence to support the criminal mischief and conspiracy convictions. Finding no reversible error, the North Dakota Supreme Court affirmed the district court's judgment. View "North Dakota v. Foster" on Justia Law

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MyKennah Lott appealed after she was found guilty of preventing arrest following a bench trial. In January 2017, Lott and an acquaintance were found walking on property owned by the Dakota Access Pipeline. Law enforcement personnel approached the pair and Lott began to "step backwards at a fairly brisk pace" while law enforcement gathered more information. Lott was eventually informed she was under arrest for trespassing. Lott resisted arrest, broke free, and eventually had to be taken to the ground in order to be arrested. After a bench trial, Lott was found guilty of preventing arrest. During sentencing, the district court asked Lott's counsel for a sentencing recommendation. Counsel conferred with Lott and requested fines and fees be waived. Nothing in the record indicated Lott was personally addressed and afforded the opportunity to speak on her behalf during the sentencing phase. On appeal of her conviction and sentence, Lott challenged the sufficiency of the evidence and claimed she was improperly denied an opportunity to address the court during sentencing. The North Dakota Supreme Court affirmed the conviction, vacated the sentence, and remanded for resentencing. View "North Dakota v. Lott" on Justia Law

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Branden Lyon appealed an amended judgment entered after his convictions for attempted murder, terrorizing, terrorizing-­domestic violence, and illegal possession of a firearm. After review, the North Dakota Supreme Court conclude Lyon's sentence was illegal because the district court did not act within statutorily prescribed sentencing limits. The amended judgment was reversed and the case remanded for resentencing. View "North Dakota v. Lyon" on Justia Law

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Raymond Christensen appealed his conviction and sentence stemming from charges for leaving the scene of an accident involving injury and aggravated reckless driving. Because the district court substantially relied upon an impermissible factor in sentencing Christensen to jail, the North Dakota Supreme Court vacated the sentence and remanded for resentencing. View "North Dakota v. Christensen" on Justia Law

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Rainsberger was charged with murdering his elderly mother and was held for two months. He claims that the detective who built the case against him, Benner, submitted a probable cause affidavit that contained lies and omitted exculpatory evidence. When the prosecutor dismissed the case because of evidentiary problems, Rainsberger sued Benner under 42 U.S.C. 1983. The district court denied Benner’s motion, in which he argued qualified immunity. Benner conceded, for purposes of his appeal, that he knowingly or recklessly made false statements in the probable cause affidavit, arguing that knowingly or recklessly misleading the magistrate in a probable cause affidavit only violates the Fourth Amendment if the omissions and lies were material to probable cause. The Seventh Circuit rejected that argument. Materiality depends on whether the affidavit demonstrates probable cause when the lies are taken out and the exculpatory evidence is added in. When that is done in this case, Benner’s affidavit fails to establish probable cause to believe that Rainsberger murdered his mother. Because it is clearly established that it violates the Fourth Amendment “to use deliberately falsified allegations to demonstrate probable cause,” Benner is not entitled to qualified immunity. View "Rainsberger v. Benner" on Justia Law

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In an earlier appeal, Indiana Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company (Lumbermens) challenged an order denying its motion to vacate summary judgment on a bail bond forfeiture and to exonerate the bail bond. The day after Lumbermens filed its notice of appeal, American Surety Company (American), the appellant here, filed an undertaking to stay enforcement of the summary judgment during the first appeal. In an unpublished opinion, the Court of Appeal affirmed the order denying Lumbermens’ motion to vacate the summary judgment and to exonerate the bail bond. Six days before the Court of Appeal issued the remittitur in the first appeal, American filed a motion in the trial court to exonerate the undertaking and to be released from liability on the undertaking. The undertaking was filed pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 917.1; because Lumbermens’ appeal was from a postjudgment order denying a motion to vacate the summary judgment, which was not a money judgment or an order directing the payment of money, American argued section 917.1 did not apply, and the undertaking was ineffective at all times. The trial court denied the motion, concluding American forfeited its challenge to the validity of the undertaking by waiting to file its motion until 57 days after the Appeals Court issued its opinion in the first appeal, and six days before the remittitur. In this case, American renewed its argument the undertaking it filed on behalf of Lumbermens was ineffective because Lumbermens appealed from a postjudgment order, and not from the summary judgment itself and, therefore, the stay provided for in section 917.1 was never triggered. In addition, American argued the undertaking never became effective because the trial court did not approve it as required by statute. The Court of Appeal determined American was correct that the undertaking it filed in the first appeal was never effective. Likewise, American was correct that, even if section 917.1 applied to Lumbermens’ appeal, the undertaking was not effective because the trial court did not approve of it pursuant to section 995.840 (a). Nonetheless, the Court agreed with the State that American forfeited its challenge to the validity of the undertaking by waiting until six days before the issuance of the remittitur to file its motion to vacate the undertaking. And, even if the Court concluded American did not forfeit its challenges to the undertaking, the Court agreed with the State that American was estopped from challenging the undertaking on appeal. View "California v. American Surety Co." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court quashed a preliminary writ of prohibition and denied Petitioner’s petition for a writ of prohibition seeking to prohibit the Honorable Brian May from proceeding with any action other than vacating an order denying Petitioner’s application for change of judge pursuant to Rule 32.07, holding that Petitioner did not timely file his application for change of judge. Rule 32.07(b) requires the applicable for change of judge to be filed within ten days of the initial plea in a criminal case or within ten days of the designation of the trial judge. Petitioner filed an application for change of judge pursuant to Rule 32.07 in the underlying criminal case. When Respondent denied the application, Petitioner filed a petition for writ of prohibition. The Supreme Court denied relief, holding (1) Petitioner did not file his application for change of judge within ten days of the initial plea in his criminal case, and the fact that Petitioner waived arraignment on new charges in a superseding indictment did not negate the fact that he previously entered the initial plea in his criminal case approximately two years earlier; and (2) Petitioner’s application for change of judge was not filed within ten days of the designation of Respondent as the trial judge for Petitioner’s criminal case. View "State ex rel. Mario Richardson v. Honorable Brian H. May" on Justia Law