California v. Super. Ct. (Olivo)

The State sought a writ of mandate to command the trial court to honor the affidavit of prejudice (peremptory challenge) they filed against the trial court judge Joel Agron, under Code of Civil Procedure section 170.6. The underlying case was a murder prosecution which the State dismissed and refiled the same day along with the peremptory challenge. Respondent, the Superior Court of San Bernardino County, refused to honor the peremptory challenge, deeming it untimely. Relying on Birts v. Superior Court, 22 Cal.App.5th 53 (2018), the court concluded the State was engaged in prosecutorial “gamesmanship” and attempting to “forum shop[],” and held the second complaint was a continuation of the prior case, not a new case, making the peremptory challenge untimely. The State argued this case fell under Paredes v. Superior Court 77 Cal.App.4th 24 (1999), which recognized that when a criminal case was dismissed and refiled, it was a new case for purposes of Section 170.6. They argued Birts did not apply because they weren’t attempting to avoid a ruling of the trial court. The Court of Appeal agreed and therefore directed the trial court to honor the peremptory challenge. View "California v. Super. Ct. (Olivo)" on Justia Law