Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit, 4th Circuit, California.
The people, the plaintiffs and the defendants said Clarence Edward COYER, the defendants and the appellants.
Decision: May 10, 1983
Quin Denvir, State Public Defender, and George L. Schraer, Associate Public Defender, San Francisco, represented the defendants and appellants. John K. van der Kamp, Attorney. General, Robert H. Philibosian, Deputy Chief. artie General, kr. Div., William D. Stein, Associate. artie General, Robert R. Granucci, Michael Buzzell, Assistant Attorney General, San Francisco, for plaintiffs and defendants.
After a jury found Clarence Coyer guilty of rape (Pen.Code, §261, Subd. (2)) and false imprisonment (Pen.Code, §236), his sentence was appealed.
Perry C. was driving on the road from Sacramento to Oakland when his car broke down. Almost immediately after stopping at the shoulder, the complainant stopped to help. He claims his father owns the triple-A service at Fairfield. The applicant offered C. to drive him to the train station and arrange for his car to be towed and repaired by his father. Also around this time, California Highway Patrol Officer Fred Williams pulled up near the damaged car. Williams offered to give C. a lift to make the call, but since the complainant provided towing service, she decided to drive him to the Triple-A station.
As the complainant and C. Fairfield approached, the complainant stated that his name was "Tom Jennings". The applicant began to address C. affectionately, referring to her as his girlfriend and suggesting that she move in with him. Despite C.'s protests, the applicant deviated from the highway at Vallejo and entered an undeveloped rural area, where he raped her.
After the incident, the complainant drove to Fairfield and informed C. that he was not allowed to leave the car. However, in Fairfield, the applicant stopped at a market and asked C. to buy him a Coca-Cola. C. The complainant walked away seconds after getting out of the vehicle. The victim immediately reported the incident to the police.
About three weeks later the applicant was arrested. He denies any sexual contact between himself and C. He said he picked up C. off the freeway and dropped her off at a fairfield market.
The applicants are asking for a "list of the charges currently pending" of the witnesses that prosecutors expect to call before the trial. The original applicant also requested disclosure of witness arrest records, criminal records and the names of witnesses to these charges. At the motion hearing, defense attorneys acknowledged that their motion was too broad and only attempted to uncover a list of pending charges against the witnesses. The court said defense attorneys could use the court index to discover charges against witnesses pending in Solano County; he sees no connection between the charges pending in other parts of the country and a possible bias of the witnesses. The court refused to order disclosure of the pending charges; it also heard and rejected the applicant's request for a reconsideration of the judgment.
“Contrary to the legal development of civil investigations in California, the right of the accused to seek an investigation in preparation for the defense of a criminal proceeding is a court-created doctrine that evolved in the absence of applicable legislation that a right of discovery is based on the basic statement that he is entitled to a fair trial and a fair defense based on all relevant and reasonably available information [cited]” (Pitchess v. Superior Court (1974) 11 Cal. 3d 531, 535–536, 113 Cal .Rptr.897, 522 P.2d 305.) “The defendant could not prove that the material sought existed or was admissible as required evidence in court. (People v Zamora (1980) 28 Cal.3d 88, 96, 167 Cal. Rptr. 573, 615 P.2d 1361; Hill v. Superior Court (1974) 10 Cal.3d 812, 817, 112 Cal. Rptr. 257, 518 P.2d 1353.)"'" However, if the accused cannot readily obtain the information through his own efforts, he is generally entitled to pre-trial knowledge of any non-privileged evidence or evidence of information which may lead to discovery if such knowledge would help you. It is prudent to prepare a defense ․” [appointment. ]' [Meeting. ]” (Hill v. Superior Court, supra, 10 Cal.3d 812, 817, 112 Cal. Rptr. 257, 518 S.2d 1353; ⟩emphasis in the original).
Applying these principles to the present case, we conclude that defendants have the right to disclose charges against prosecution witnesses anywhere in the state. Contrary to what prosecutors argue in the first court, the fact that criminal proceedings are pending is important for a witness's motivation to testify even without "an express promise of leniency or immunity". During a trial, “defense counsel may ask whether charges will be filed against a witness, since such circumstances often indicate that a witness might be seeking clemency by testifying. [cited]” (People v. Claxton (1982) 129 Cal. App. 3d 638, 661, 181 Cal.Rptr. 281.) Hence in People v. Prosecution's finding: "[i] It must be emphasized that the motive for the falsification of the minor witness has no basis for the existence of a reasonable claim" (Id., p. 932, 144 Cal. Rptr. 6. ) In similar Thus, "a witness's probationary status may be used to indicate possible bias or bias due to fear of the dangers of probation," and the exclusion of such evidence may constitute a reversible error (People v. Espinoza (1977) 73 Cal. App. 3d 287, 291, 140 Cal.Rptr.846; see Davis v. Alaska (1974) 415 U.S.308, 94 S.Ct.1105, 39 L.Ed.2d 347.) As this court in People v. Brown (1970) 13 Cal.App.3d 876, 91 Cal.Rptr. 904, cert. Den 404 US 835, 92 S.Ct. 120, 30 L.Ed.2d 66 [rejected for other reasons Donald L. v. Superior Court (1972) 7 Cal.3d 592, 102 Cal.Rptr. 850, 498 P.2d 1098 and People v. Chi Ko Wong (1976) 18 Cal.3d 698, 135 Cal.Rptr. 392, 557 p. 2d 976] It is the subjective expectations of the witness, not the objective limits of the prosecution's influence, that determine: the actual power of the authorities to help or harm him is disputed." (Id., S 883, 135 Cal.Rptr 392, 557 p.2d 976; emphasis in original text.) Also operates independently of local probation, probation and juvenile boards Consider all of these entities as a single law enforcement agency. The defendant certainly has the right to stand trial if a witness's concerns about charges pending in another county have caused him or her to testify for prosecution in that country Summary Judgment (See People v. Allen, supra, 77 Cal.App.3d 924, 932–933, 144 Cal.Rptr. 6.)
The applicant seeks to find information that may lead to admissible evidence at trial and help in the preparation of his defense. The other requirements for a criminal discovery are also met. The information has not been claimed as confidential; In fact, as the trial court said, it was a matter of public records. A list of the charges currently pending against witnesses for the prosecution can be compiled from the information available to the prosecution. (Hill v. Superior Court, supra, 10 Cal.3d 812, 817-818, 112 Cal.Rptr. 257, 518 P.2d 1353; Engstrom v. Superior Court (1971) 20 Cal.App.3d 240, 244-245 , 97 Cal. Rptr. 484;⟩See also Penal Code Section 11105.) There are no similar records, and defense attorneys can obtain such information themselves. We therefore conclude that the court abused its discretion by refusing to order the prosecutor to provide the defense attorney with a list of all criminal charges pending against the prosecution's witnesses.
Now we need to consider the implications of improperly restricting discovery. Contrary to the applicant's contention, California's improper refusal of discovery by a court or failure by a prosecutor to make an inherently reversible error. The burden of proof of bias lies with the defendant. (See People v. Sewell (1978) 20 Cal.3d 639, 646, 143 Cal.Rptr. 879, 574 P.2d 1231; People v. LaSalle (1980) 103 Cal.App.3d 139, 153-154, 162 Cal. Rptr. 816.) According to this record, the use of traditional innocuous error analysis would actually be "speculative" since we do not know whether compliance with the defendant's motion will uncover pending charges. Nevertheless, there is a remedy. No physical evidence was destroyed. The information originally requested by the complainant remains available to the public prosecutor. (Cf. People v. Zamora, supra, 28 Cal.3d 88, 167 Cal.Rptr. 573, 615 p.2d 1361.) In Commonwealth v. Slaughter (1978) 482 Pa. 538 [394 A.2d 453] The Pennsylvania Supreme Court faces the same problem. There the court erred in Davis v. Alaska, above, 415 U.S. 308, 94 S.Ct. 1105, 39 L.Ed.2d 347, denial of defense counsel's access to child witness records, where available. Rather than an immediate reversal, Slaughter ordered the following injunction:
"(The records do not even state whether Ragland actually has a juvenile delinquency, much less whether such a record, if any, would support the applicant's claim of bias.) juvenile files through his counsel. Counsel will then be able to argue before the trial court which records, if any, it would have used had it been allowed to use them to cross-examine Ragland, give the jury evidence of possible bias in Ragland or other information that would bring the case to court should Davis, supra, set aside the judgment and a new court order finds that the applicant has not submitted facts to make the case compatible with Davis' motives, his original order must be upheld become. seek an adequate remedy” (Commonwealth v. Slaughter, supra, 482 Pa. 538 [394 A.2d 453, 460]).
In such cases, no California court has ordered detention for ascertained errors; however, such provisions are not unknown in criminal proceedings involving other forms of error. In people v. Moll (1980) 104 Cal.App.3d 194, 163 Cal.Rptr. 501, this court found an error pointing to People v. Marsden (1970) 2 Cal.3d 118, 84 Cal.Rptr. 156, 465 P.2d 44 when the trial court failed to examine the reasons why the defendant had requested the appointment of another counsel. Since the trial log itself was error-free, it is appropriate to act on the basis of concrete pre-trial errors. “In dealing with criminal matters, the Court of Appeal is not limited to the more usual option of affirming, setting aside, or amending the impugned judgment or decision. The court "may, if appropriate, remit the case to the court of first instance for additional proceedings in the circumstances." "(Pen. Code, §€1260) ․ However, if the process was free from partial errors and the appeal prevailed, the appeal only found that there was an unresolved issue which may or may not invalidate the judgment, and the Court of Appeal in some cases decides the court to take evidence, resolve outstanding ones and institute further proceedings to confirm a decision so made” (People v. Minor, supra, 104 Cal. App. 3d 194, 199, 163 Cal. Rptr. See People v. Vanbuskirk (1976) 61 Cal App 3d 395, 405-407, 132 Cal Rptr 30 [Resubmission of evidence on the fairness of the pre-trial accreditation process].
Defendants request, pursuant to Section 909 of the Code of Civil Procedure and Rule 23(b) of the California Courts Code, that this court not remit the matter to the trial court and instead appoint a judge to establish evidence of the existence of the pendency of the indictment and establish the facts of the case clear up against the witnesses for the prosecution. Even in civil appeals, "the determination of fact under rule 23 is a special procedure which should be used with caution and only when expressly required..." (Jacobs v. State Bd. of Optometry (1978) 81 Cal. App. .3d 1022, 1034, 147 Cal. Rptr. 225.) These provisions generally do not apply to criminal appeals by jury. (People v. Pena (1972) 25 Cal. App. 3d 414, 421, 101 Cal. Rptr. 804, dis. for other reasons in People v. Duran (1976) 16 Cal. 3d 282, 292, 127 Cal. Rptr 618, 545 P.2d 1322.) The Supreme Court is the forum chosen to exercise evidence and resolve issues of fact. If the resolution of issues raised on appeal requires consideration of issues outside of the trial record, the appellate court will generally allow the accused to present that evidence to the trial court first. (See People v. Fosselman (1983) 33 Cal.3d 572, 582–584, 189 Cal.Rptr. 855, 659 P.2d 1144.) In particular, Minor and Vanbuskirk show that the California Court of Appeals can order this slaughter to fix the found error.
The judgment was reversed and the trial court was ordered to order the prosecutors to provide the applicant's counsel with a list of pending criminal charges against prosecution witnesses at the trial. If no such charge is made by then, the court will reinstate the original sentence and sentence. If any of these charges are pending, the court will weigh the weight of this new evidence against the entire record and decide whether to grant the complainant a new trial.
Part of this Opinion has not been published because the publication criteria were not met. (Cal. Court Rules, Rules 976 and 976.1.)
CALDECOTT, P.J. and POCHÉ, J. agree.
- Go to the courthouse and ask to look at paper records.
- Go to the courthouse and look at electronic court records.
- If your court offers it, look at electronic records over the internet. This is called “remote access.”
The majority of Court of Appeal opinions are not certified for publication and are thus not published in the Official Reports. These opinions are known as "unpublished"; they generally cannot be cited or relied upon in other cases (see California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115).What are the three decisions that appeals courts can make about a case? ›
- "Abuse of discretion" Standard.
- "Substantial evidence" Standard.
- "De novo" Standard.
- Criminal Cases. Criminal cases involve enforcing public codes of behavior, which are codified in the laws of the state. ...
- Civil Cases. Civil cases involve conflicts between people or institutions such as businesses, typically over money. ...
- Family Cases.
PACER is the judiciary's electronic method of providing access to court dockets and to copies of documents filed with the court. You may register for PACER online. There is no registration fee.Are court hearings public in California? ›
In general, you can attend civil trial proceedings because the general public has a First Amendment right of access to civil trials. See NBC Subsidiary, Inc.
The chances of winning a criminal appeal in California are low (about 20 percent of appeals are successful). But the odds of success are greater if there were errors of law and procedure at trial significant enough to have affected the outcome of the case.How often are appeals successful in California? ›
In California, less than 20% of all civil appeals succeed in reversing the original ruling. That's because the law says the Court of Appeal must presume that the trial court's decision was correct – unless the appellant can prove the court was incorrect.How long does the California Court of Appeal decision take? ›
The judges have 90 days from the date the case is submitted to decide the appeal. The clerk of the court will mail you a notice of that decision. The appellate court's decision will become final in 30 days unless any of the parties disagrees with the opinion and files a certain kind of petition.Are appeals ever successful? ›
Depending on the type of case, the overall success rate for appeals is somewhere between 7% and 20%.
After losing an appeal, the appellate court will typically affirm the original decision made by the lower court. In other words, the lower court's decision will stand, and the ruling will become final. In some instances, the appellate court may also modify the original decision instead of affirming it.What do most appealed cases concern? ›
Appeals in either civil or criminal cases are usually based on arguments that there were errors in the trial s procedure or errors in the judge's interpretation of the law.What does D mean in a court case? ›
DEFENDANT - In civil cases: the person against whom a lawsuit is brought. In criminal cases: the person against whom a criminal charge is brought.How do you win preponderance of evidence? ›
' The preponderance of evidence standard comes into play when the plaintiff satisfies the burden of proof by offering evidence that demonstrates their claims have a greater than 50% chance to be true. In other words, if a claim can be demonstrated to be more likely to be true than not true, the burden of proof is met.Can a court refuse to hear a case? ›
The key thing to understand about the Supreme Court's authority to review a case is that it is discretionary. In other words, the Supreme Court of the United States is not required to hear every appeal. Indeed, the Supreme Court only agrees to hear a small number of cases.Who can request public records in California? ›
The California Public Records Act (CPRA) was passed by the California Legislature in 1968 for government agencies and requires that government records be disclosed to the public, upon request, unless there are privacy and/or public safety exemptions which would prevent doing so.What records are public in California? ›
- Reviewing your criminal record.
- Applying for employment, licensing, certification.
- Foreign Adoptions.
- Agencies seeking authorization to conduct fingerprint background check for prospective employee.
Courthouse visits (individuals): Generally, all Court proceedings are open to the public, with the exceptions of Juvenile Justice Court, Juvenile Dependency Court and select closed hearings. Members of the public DO NOT need to schedule an appointment to observe Court and participate as an audience member.How do I find someone's criminal record for free in California? ›
Another option to find free public police records in California is to search online public records databases provided by local police departments and sheriff's offices. For instance, one public police record that can be published online by law enforcement is an arrest log.Are California criminal records public? ›
Criminal History Records are not subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act. In California, state and local summary criminal history information is confidential and access is strictly regulated by statute.
If you are not satisfied with the County's action or inaction on your case, you or your Authorized Representative can request a State Hearing by: Calling the California Department Social Services State Hearings Division at 1-800-952-5253.What makes a successful appeal? ›
To win an appeal, you must adequately demonstrate an error of law or wrongdoing committed by the court during the trial proceedings. The appellate court typically assumes judges and legal professionals follow applicable rules and laws during a case.What are the top 5 appeal? ›
- Fear as a Motivator. ...
- Humor Creates Emotional Connections. ...
- Rational Appeals to the Practical Side. ...
- Sex and Sensuality Sell. ...
- Fear of Missing Out.
|Notice or Motion to Appeal - Civil (Gov. Code 68926, 68926.1(b), 5.180) (for each notice of appeal & cross appeal) CRC 8.100(b) (Check made payable to Court of Appeal)||$775|
|Notice of Appeal - Criminal or Juvenile||No Fee|
|Notice of Appeal in Conservatorship Proceeding (Rule 8.480)||No Fee|
An error of law is the strongest type of ground for appeal because the appellate court reviewing the case does not have to give any weight to what the trial court judge did. The appellate court will look at the law that was supposed to be applied and decide whether or not the trial court judge made a mistake.What happens if you lose an appeal in California? ›
What happens if you lose an appeal? An appellant who has lost their appeal has several options based upon the nature of the civil or criminal case. These include filing a motion for a rehearing, filing an application for a writ of habeas corpus, attempting to transfer the case, and appealing to the highest court.How long does appeal process take? ›
An appellate court may issue its opinion, or decision, in as little as a month or as long as a year or more. The average time period is 6 months, but there is no time limit.What happens after a court of appeals reaches a decision? ›
Most appeals are final. The court of appeals decision usually will be the final word in the case, unless it sends the case back to the trial court for additional proceedings, or the parties ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.What information does an appellate court judge use to make a decision? ›
The court of appeals makes its decision based solely on the trial court's or agency's case record. The court of appeals does not receive additional evidence or hear witnesses.What is the grace period for Court of Appeal in California? ›
If the appellant's opening brief is not filed within this 15-day grace period allowed under the rule, the appeal may be dismissed. If the respondent's brief is not filed within the 15-day grace period, the court may decide the case on the appellant's opening brief, the record, and any oral argument by the appellant.
Step 1: File the Notice of Appeal. Step 2: Pay the filing fee. Step 3: Determine if/when additional information must be provided to the appeals court as part of opening your case. Step 4: Order the trial transcripts.How do you get a judge to rule in your favor? ›
- Know the Court. Judges who preside in courts are human beings with their differences. ...
- Be Professional. ...
- Outline the Theory of your Case. ...
- Be Clear and Concise. ...
- Don't Focus too much on Technicalities.
The default rule is that perfecting an appeal (i.e., filing a timely notice of appeal) automatically stays all trial court proceedings on the order appealed from, including enforcement proceedings. (Code Civ. Proc., § 916.) But there are many exceptions to the default rule, requiring close analysis.What are the 3 possible outcomes of an appeal? ›
Appeals are complicated and sometimes result in the case going back to the trial court. A specific conviction may be reversed, a sentence altered, or a new trial may be ordered altogether if the Appeals Court decides that particular course of action.Can you appeal the same case twice? ›
An appeal of a conviction goes to a California Court of Appeal. An adverse decision by an appellate court can be appealed a second time. The second appeal goes to the Supreme Court of California.What is it called when an appellate court hears a case? ›
Appellate jurisdiction refers to the power of a court to hear appeals from lower courts.What are the two possible outcomes when a case is heard on appeal? ›
The appellate court will do one of the following: Affirm the decision of the trial court, in which case the verdict at trial stands. Reverse the decision to the trial court, in which case a new trial may be ordered.What are the three most common appeals? ›
Aristotle postulated three argumentative appeals: logical, ethical, and emotional.Which two types of cases are appealed? ›
Appeals. Both criminal and civil cases can be appealed.What does the letter R mean in a court case? ›
The nature of the proceeding is abbreviated by a letter code. For example, “R” stands for a Rate case, and "RM" is a Rulemaking case.
3d. California Reporter (first, second, and third series) California Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal.What does NC mean in court? ›
|GL||GUILTY TO LESSER|
|OT||OTHER (Older cases only)|
In a civil lawsuit, the burden of proof rests on the plaintiff or the person filing the suit. The plaintiff should prove that the allegations are true and that the defendant, or the other party, caused damages.What is an example of clear and convincing evidence? ›
An example of clear and convincing evidence might be a document that contains a signature from a person who is accused of fraud, and the signature is verified by a handwriting expert as authentic.What is clear and convincing evidence? ›
New Mexico, 467 U.S. 310 (1984), "clear and convincing” means that the evidence is highly and substantially more likely to be true than untrue. In other words, the fact finder must be convinced that the contention is highly probable. States vary with regard to which standard of proof they require.What is the rule of 4? ›
The “rule of four” is the Supreme Court's practice of granting a petition for review only if there are at least four votes to do so. The rule is an unwritten internal one; it is not dictated by any law or the Constitution.Should I remain silent in court? ›
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.How do I find a LA County court case? ›
You can obtain a summary of the status and actions taken on your case at the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles website. Click “Access Your Case” in the middle of the front page. You will need your case number to access information. Do not type the letters that appear before the case number.Are California Family court records public? ›
Family Law records are public records subject to public view and copying, unless they are confidential by operation of law or sealed by the court.Are police records public information in California? ›
Police reports are considered ! public records' within the meaning of the California Public Records Act and the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance. Police reports must be released unless an exception applies.
Criminal History Records are not subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act. In California, state and local summary criminal history information is confidential and access is strictly regulated by statute.Are Los Angeles property records public? ›
The Assessor's Office maintains many property records for assessment purposes. In accordance with the California Public Records Act and the ordinances and policies of the County of Los Angeles, the public may request and inspect a reasonable identifiable record or records.What do the letters in a court case number mean California? ›
Letters at the end of the number are usually local notes such as, e.g. the judge's initials, and are commonly skipped (2:14-cv-123456-ABC-RZ vs. 2:14-cv-123456).Are California divorce records public? ›
In short, no, divorce records are not confidential but are publicly accessible. The California Rules of Court mandate that all electronic records must be available to the public in some way, unless those records are sealed or confidential.Can you look up child support cases in California? ›
Requesting Information About Your Case
You may send an email by logging into your personal Customer Connect account, you may call 1-866-901-3212 or you may make your request in person by visiting the local child support agency that manages your case.
(A) Information subject to an order of confidentiality issued under Family Code section 6301.5 must be kept confidential in any family law case and any other civil case with the same parties.What do judges look for in child custody cases California? ›
Determining what's in the best interest of your child
If you and the other parent can't agree on a parenting plan, then you will have to ask a judge to decide. To decide what is best for a child, the judge considers: The age and health of the child. The emotional ties between the parents and the child.
Access for All. A person who wishes to observe a court in session may check the court calendar online or at the courthouse and watch a proceeding. Our Constitution and court tradition give citizens right of access to court proceedings.Who has access to California courts? ›
While the general public can access California court case lookup services, requestors not parties to the records demanded may not have full remote access to some electronic records.Can a judge dismiss a case in California? ›
Yes. It is possible for a case to be dismissed at the pretrial hearing. During the hearing, the judge will likely issue a decision regarding any pretrial motions to dismiss the case. Thus, if those motions are successful, your case may be dismissed at the pretrial.