People v. Superior Court of L. A. Cnty., B306519

CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtFEUER, J.
Citation59 Cal.App.5th 923,273 Cal.Rptr.3d 777
Parties The PEOPLE, Petitioner, v. The SUPERIOR COURT OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY, Respondent; Tatiana Arnold, Real Party in Interest. The People, Petitioner, v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Respondent; Ronnie Case, Real Party in Interest. The People, Petitioner, v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Respondent; Kelly Park, Real Party in Interest.
Docket NumberB306519,B306520,B306523
Decision Date12 January 2021

59 Cal.App.5th 923
273 Cal.Rptr.3d 777

The PEOPLE, Petitioner,
v.
The SUPERIOR COURT OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY, Respondent;

Tatiana Arnold, Real Party in Interest.


The People, Petitioner,
v.
The Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Respondent;

Ronnie Case, Real Party in Interest.


The People, Petitioner,
v.
The Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Respondent;

Kelly Park, Real Party in Interest.

B306519
B306520
B306523

Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 7, California.

Filed January 12, 2021


Jackie Lacey, District Attorney, John Niedermann and Matthew Brown, Deputy District Attorneys, for Petitioner.

No appearance for Respondent.

James & Associates, Becky S. James, Los Angeles, Lisa M. Burnett; The Kaufman Law Group, Gary Jay Kaufman and Noam Reiffman, Los Angeles, for Real Party in Interest Tatiana Arnold.

Spertus, Landes, & Umhofer, James W. Spertus, Samuel A. Josephs Los Angeles, and Lindsey M. Hay for Real Party in Interest Ronnie Case.

James & Associates, Becky S. James, Los Angeles, and Lisa M. Burnett for Real Party in Interest Kelly Park.

FEUER, J.

59 Cal.App.5th 927

Real parties in interest Tatiana Arnold, Kelly Park, and Ronnie Case were arraigned on amended complaints on August 1, 2018 with eight codefendants. The superior court continued the preliminary hearing numerous times, with Arnold, Park, and Case, out of custody, agreeing to limited time waivers under Penal Code 1 section 859b. Ultimately, the defendants agreed to waive time to August 16, 2019 as a "zero of 90" date, thereby agreeing the preliminary hearing would be held no later than November 14, 2019. Although Arnold, Park, and Case refused further time waivers, the court continued the preliminary hearing past November 14, finding good cause based on time waivers by their codefendants and a pending motion to disqualify the district attorney's office. The court denied the defendants’ motions to dismiss, but the defendants successfully petitioned

273 Cal.Rptr.3d 780

the superior court for a writ of mandate dismissing the complaints.

The People now petition for writs of mandate to compel the superior court to vacate its order dismissing the amended complaints. Although it is common in the superior courts for defendants to enter limited time waivers, agreeing, as here, to waive time to a new date as a "zero of 60" or "zero of 90" date, the People contend that under section 859b, if a defendant waives time beyond the initial 60-day period following arraignment, this constitutes a general time waiver, and the defendant loses his or her right to demand the preliminary hearing take place by a date certain. The People also assert there is a good-cause exception to the 60-day time limit allowing a continuance of the preliminary hearing to maintain joinder of the codefendants or to enable the defendants’ pending motion to disqualify the district attorney's office be heard before the preliminary hearing. Neither contention has merit. We conclude section 859b permits a defendant to enter a limited waiver of time beyond the initial 60-day time period by agreeing the preliminary hearing be held by a date certain. Absent a further time waiver by the defendant, the court may not continue the preliminary hearing beyond the agreed-upon date based on a finding of good cause. We deny the petitions.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

A. The Arraignments and Time Waivers

In 2015 the grand jury returned multicount felony indictments against Arnold, Park, Case, and other defendants. On March 16, 2017 the People voluntarily dismissed the indictments and filed criminal complaints against Arnold and Park (Super. Ct. No. BA455469) and Case (Super. Ct. No. BA455470). After multiple

59 Cal.App.5th 928

amendments, on July 12, 2017 the People filed a third amended complaint against Arnold and Park and a second amended complaint against Case. Arnold, Park, and Case have been out of custody since before the filing of the criminal complaints.

Following the sustaining of demurrers to multiple counts in both cases, on October 31, 2017 the People refiled the cases under case Nos. BA462349 (Arnold and Park) and BA455470 (Case). On the same day, Arnold, Park, and Case agreed to waive time for the arraignment to be held on February 16, 2018 and for the preliminary hearing to be held within 90 days of the arraignment.

On February 1, 2018 codefendant Paul Turley filed a motion to dismiss on behalf of all joining defendants, alleging the prosecution viewed legal documents seized from a storage unit in violation of defendants’ attorney-client privilege. The motion requested dismissal of all joining defendants or disqualification of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office under section 1424. Arnold and Park joined in Turley's motion.2

On February 16, 2018 the superior court arraigned Arnold, Park, and Case, and each pleaded not guilty to all charges.3 As part of a scheduling discussion, the prosecutor

273 Cal.Rptr.3d 781

requested the court hear the People's pending motion to consolidate the cases "prior to [when] the 10 days are up. If the court joins [the cases], then [it will be] good cause on one case. After [the cases are] joined, it's zero of ninety as to everything." Turley's attorney responded, "That's wrong, Your Honor. It would actually be a reason to rule against joinder if it actually took away the client's speedy trial rights. There is no law that allows joinder to basically gut the speedy trial statute." The court responded, "Oh, but it does .... If it's good cause for one and the case should be tried together, then it's good cause ... for all whether or not they agree to it ...." Turley's attorney replied, "[T]hat rule does not apply to [preliminary hearings]," citing Ramos v. Superior Court (2007) 146 Cal.App.4th 719, 53 Cal.Rptr.3d 189 ( Ramos ). The court continued the hearing to February 20.

The court and counsel had a similar discussion on February 20, 2018 after Arnold, Park, Case, and other defendants declined to agree to a time waiver beyond May 17 (90 days from February 16). Turley's attorney stated, "We are

59 Cal.App.5th 929

waiving the 60 days from February 16th such that it expires on May 17th. We're not waiving our 60-day right. We're extending it." The court responded, "Well, but that's the same as waiving it." But the court clarified, "You're only waiving time to a specific date, which is May the 17th," which the court noted was the "last day to proceed to preliminary hearing without a further waiver." Turley's attorney noted, "And Ramos will apply." The court added, "Well, the bottom line is if you don't get it within the statutory agreed date, you can't without their agreement, then the case is dismissed, that's what Ramos means. I don't think we have to parse words."

On August 1, 2018 the court granted the People's motion to consolidate the cases.4 The same day Arnold, Park, and Case were arraigned on the consolidated amended complaints5 and pleaded not guilty. On August 1, 2018, December 7, 2018, and March 15, 2019 Arnold, Park, and Case agreed to waive time for the preliminary hearing to be held within 60 days of specified dates (setting new "zero of 60" dates), ultimately agreeing the preliminary hearing would be held within 60 days of May 17, 2019.6

On May 17, 2019 the court again continued the preliminary hearing and inquired whether the defendants agreed to waive time for the preliminary hearing to be held within 90 days of August 16, "[u]nderstanding that they're waiving and giving up their right to an earlier preliminary hearing date." Arnold, Park, and Case personally agreed to waive time.

273 Cal.Rptr.3d 782

On August 16, 2019 the court continued the preliminary hearing to December 6, 2019 as a "zero of 90" date, such that the preliminary hearing would take place within 90 days of December 6. But Arnold, Park, and Case declined to waive time. The court made a finding of good cause, explaining "the case should remain joined together and good cause for one is good cause for anyone who is not waiving."

59 Cal.App.5th 930

B. Arnold, Park, and Case's Joint Motion To Dismiss

On November 19, 2019 Arnold, Park, and Case filed a joint motion to dismiss under section 859b, arguing the statute mandated dismissal because the preliminary hearing was continued for longer than 60 days from their arraignments without their personal waiver because they had only agreed to a continuance to November 14, 2019 (90 days after August 16, 2019). The People filed an opposition, arguing that once a defendant waives time past the initial 60-day period, he or she loses the right to demand the preliminary hearing take place within 60 days.

At the hearing on the motion, Case's attorney argued the Court of Appeal in Ramos, supra , 146 Cal.App.4th 719, 53 Cal.Rptr.3d 189 interpreted section 859b to impose a 60-day "outer limit" by which the People have to commence the preliminary hearing, with no exception for good cause, and Case agreed...

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5 practice notes
  • People v. Delgado, B299482
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • February 10, 2022
    ...Grinding Co., Inc. (2021) 11 Cal.5th 1118, 1125, 282 Cal.Rptr.3d 369, 492 P.3d 993 ; accord, People v. Superior Court (Arnold) (2021) 59 Cal.App.5th 923, 931, 273 Cal.Rptr.3d 777.) As a threshold matter, we read the term "collectively" in a commonsense manner to mean what it says—committed ......
  • People v. Moreno, F077381
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • May 21, 2021
    ...through the courts." (Favor, supra, 59 Cal.App.5th at pp. 989-990, fn. omitted; accord, People v. Superior Court (Arnold) (2021) 59 Cal.App.5th 923, 932 (Arnold); People v. Figueroa (2017) 11 Cal.App.5th 665, 673-675 (Figueroa).) b. Statutory Deadline Must Yield to Constitutional Right to E......
  • People v. Delgado, B299482
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • February 10, 2022
    ...policy.'" (Mendoza v. Fonseca McElroy Grinding Co., Inc. (2021) 11 Cal.5th 1118, 1125; accord, People v. Superior Court (Arnold) (2021) 59 Cal.App.5th 923, 931.) As a threshold matter, we read the term "collectively" in a commonsense manner to mean what it says-committed by more than one pe......
  • People v. Gonzalez-Bobadilla, E075346
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • June 3, 2021
    ...(2020) 47 Cal.App.5th 631, 651-652 (Garcia) and, more recently, reaffirmed that conclusion in People v. Superior Court (Arnold) (2021) 59 Cal.App.5th 923. Here, as in those cases, Gonzalez-Bobadilla waived the 60-day deadline in a limited manner. He agreed his preliminary hearing could take......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
5 cases
  • People v. Delgado, B299482
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • February 10, 2022
    ...Grinding Co., Inc. (2021) 11 Cal.5th 1118, 1125, 282 Cal.Rptr.3d 369, 492 P.3d 993 ; accord, People v. Superior Court (Arnold) (2021) 59 Cal.App.5th 923, 931, 273 Cal.Rptr.3d 777.) As a threshold matter, we read the term "collectively" in a commonsense manner to mean what it says—committed ......
  • People v. Moreno, F077381
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • May 21, 2021
    ...through the courts." (Favor, supra, 59 Cal.App.5th at pp. 989-990, fn. omitted; accord, People v. Superior Court (Arnold) (2021) 59 Cal.App.5th 923, 932 (Arnold); People v. Figueroa (2017) 11 Cal.App.5th 665, 673-675 (Figueroa).) b. Statutory Deadline Must Yield to Constitutional Right to E......
  • People v. Delgado, B299482
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • February 10, 2022
    ...policy.'" (Mendoza v. Fonseca McElroy Grinding Co., Inc. (2021) 11 Cal.5th 1118, 1125; accord, People v. Superior Court (Arnold) (2021) 59 Cal.App.5th 923, 931.) As a threshold matter, we read the term "collectively" in a commonsense manner to mean what it says-committed by more than one pe......
  • People v. Gonzalez-Bobadilla, E075346
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • June 3, 2021
    ...(2020) 47 Cal.App.5th 631, 651-652 (Garcia) and, more recently, reaffirmed that conclusion in People v. Superior Court (Arnold) (2021) 59 Cal.App.5th 923. Here, as in those cases, Gonzalez-Bobadilla waived the 60-day deadline in a limited manner. He agreed his preliminary hearing could take......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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