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Case Update

In France, they close the country down in August so everybody can go on vacation.  We may be heading toward that, at least around Labor Day; no decisions out of the Supreme Court this week, and a light load in the appellate districts.  Of course, the Supreme Court wasn't writing because it was listening:  several key oral arguments, which I'll discuss later this week or next.  Meantime, in the courts of appeals...

Civil.  Providing a package of diapers, single can of formula, and some baby food were insufficient to constitute "support or maintenance" so as to make father's consent to adoption necessary, says 2nd District... 6th District says that merely living with boyfriend, when no show of mutual financial support, does not constitute "cohabitation" for purpose of terminating spousal support...

Criminal.  8th District holds that to maintain error in trial court's failure to enforce defense subpoena, defendant must make plausible showing of how  witness's testimony would have been both material and favorable to his defense... 6th District holds that robbery with physical harm not allied offense with felonious assault... 10th District says no constitutional problem in convicting defendant of a felony failure to register as a sex offender, even though registration requirement resulted from conviction of sexual imposition, a 3rd degree misdemeanor... 8th District says that guilty plea waives statutory right to speedy trial, but not constitutional right to speedy trial... 10th District holds that prior expunged conviction is still an offense which bars a defendant from getting a subsequent conviction expunged... 5th District reiterates law that trial judge need not advise defendant at plea hearing that jury verdict must be unanimous... 9th District concludes that insertion of object inside female's vulva or labia, without penetration of vaginal cavity, sufficient for rape...

More on final appealable orders.  Every lawyer knows that an appellate court only has jurisdiction over final orders, and for several years the 9th District has applied that rule with a vengeance.  Back in 2007, it began dismissing criminal appeals if the journal entry didn't indicate that the defendant had initially pled not guilty, an interpretation of CrimR 32 that was ultimately corrected in State v. Baker(9th District rulings discussed here; Baker discussed here.)  A couple of weeks ago the 9th decided that if it determined on appeal that the judge had erroneously imposed post-release controls, it was without jurisdiction to decide the remaining assigned errors.  And last week, in State v. Harmon, it decides that if a defendant's sentence is later deemed void because of improper imposition of PRC, he's entitled to a whole new appeal after his resentencing, even if he appealed before.  And the rulings in his old appeal aren't res judicata. 

Here's a reason for videotaping trials.  In State v. Wilkins, the 2nd District rejects, among other claims, that the judge should have declared a mistrial because Wilkins, acting as his own attorney, collapsed during trial.  The court notes that the collapse "has given Wilkins the somewhat dubious distinction of YouTube celebrity."  You can see it here:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrlVrQu_0iI[/youtube] 

 

 

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