November 23, 2020

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Civil Tentative Ruling Announcement


If the Tentative Ruling in your case is satisfactory, you need not appear at the scheduled time, the ruling becomes final, and the prevailing party prepares the order.

However, if you are not satisfied with the Tentative Ruling, and wish to appear and argue the matter, YOU MUST NOTIFY the Clerk’s Office and opposing counsel of your intent before 4:00 p.m. TODAY. If a TELEPHONIC HEARING is requested per CCP §367.5, COURT CALL MUST be notified AND the Clerk’s Office MUST also be notified before 4:00 p.m. TODAY.

When doing so, you must indicate as to which issue(s) and/or motion(s) a hearing is being requested. If requesting a hearing for clarification of a tentative ruling, specify what matter(s) and/or issue(s) need clarification.

You may request a hearing by calling the calendar line at (209) 530-3162 or the main line at (209) 530-3100, prior to 4:00 p.m. - OR- by e-mailing at civil.tentatives@stanct.org Email requests must be made prior to 4:00 p.m. AND confirmed by return e-mail. If you do not receive confirmation e-mail from the clerk, you MUST call (209) 530-3162 to request your hearing.

Please refer to Local Rule of Court 3.12 concerning Court reporter fees.

If a Hearing is required or you have requested a Hearing for a Law and Motion Matter Scheduled in Department 21, 22, 23 or 24 in Modesto, please contact the Court Reporter Coordinator at (209) 530-3105 to request a reporter and determine availability. If a Staff Reporter is not available, you may need to provide your own.

Effective April 2, 2012

Staff Court Reporters may be available, though it is not guaranteed, to report law and motion matters on the following schedule:

Department 21 -- Wednesdays and Fridays only. Staff Reporters may be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Please call to confirm.
Department 22 -- Tuesdays and Thursdays only. Staff Reporters may be available on Wednesdays and Fridays. Please call to confirm.
Department 23 -- Wednesdays and Fridays only. Staff Reporters may be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Please call to confirm.
Department 24 -- Tuesdays and Thursdays only. Staff Reporters may be available on Wednesdays or Fridays. Please call to confirm.

If a Staff Reporter is not available, counsel can make arrangements to have their hearing reported by a private CSR. Please contact the Court Reporter Coordinator at (209)530-3105 to request a Staff Reporter and to determine if a Staff Reporter will be available for your hearing.

November 23, 2020

 

 

The following is the tentative ruling for a case calendared before Honorable Frank Dougherty sitting on assignment in Department 6:

 

 

2028964 – WOHLER, JOHN vs. CITY OF MODESTO – Petitioner’s Motion for Writ of Mandate CCP 1085 – GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.

 

Plaintiff argues in his motion for a writ of mandate and his supporting papers that Defendant failed to provide him with an opportunity to review, initial and submit a response to complaints made against him.  The Court accepts that Plaintiff did not have a right to do this before he was interrogated in the course of an internal affairs investigation, but he certainly should have been provided with that opportunity following his interrogation.  Accordingly, the Court grants Plaintiff’s petition insofar as Plaintiff seeks the right to review, initial and submit a response to those complaints, specifically, the Beauchesne complaints, the Sanders incident and the Delgado complaint.

 

Plaintiff further seeks a writ of mandate requiring the City to pay civil penalties for violating the Police Officers Bill of Rights Act.  This is an improper use of the writ procedure.  Section 1085, subdivision (a) of the Code of Civil Procedure provides that a writ is for other purposes than awarding money damages:

 

A writ of mandate may be issued by any court to any inferior tribunal, corporation, board, or person, to compel the performance of an act which the law specially enjoins, as a duty resulting from an office, trust, or station, or to compel the admission of a party to the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which the party is entitled, and from which the party is unlawfully precluded by that inferior tribunal, corporation, board, or person.

 

(Emphasis added.)  Section 1086 provides:

 

The writ must be issued in all cases where there is not a plain, speedy, and adequate remedy, in the ordinary course of law. It must be issued upon the verified petition of the party beneficially interested.

 

Penalties and money damages are easily recoverable in the ordinary course of law.  Plaintiff does not seek any category of relief other than the payment of money:  “Wohler seeks statutory civil penalties, $25,000 for each and every violation, actual damages, costs of suit, and attorney fees as authorized in Govt. Code §3309.5.”  (Memorandum in Support of Verified Petition for Writ of Mandate at 9:1-3.) 

 

Plaintiff is entitled to attempt to prove his case for penalties and money damages in further proceedings on this matter.  Defendant has not conclusively proven that it complied with the Police Officers Bill of Rights Act, or that its actions, if not in compliance, constituted harmless error. 

 

 

The following are the tentative rulings for cases calendared before the Honorable Timothy W. Salter sitting on assignment in Department 21:

 

 

***There are no tentative rulings for Department 21***

 

 

The following are the tentative rulings for cases calendared before Judge Stacy P. Speiller in Department 22:

 

 

***There are no tentative rulings for Department 22***

 

 

The following are the tentative rulings for cases calendared before Judge John D. Freeland in Department 23:

 

 

***There are no tentative rulings for Department 23***

 

 

The following are the tentative rulings for cases calendared before Judge Sonny S. Sandhu in Department 24:

 

 

***There are no tentative rulings for Department 24***

 

 

The following are the tentative rulings for cases calendared before Commissioner Jared D. Beeson in Department 19 located at the Turlock Division at 300 Starr Avenue, Turlock, CA:

 

 

***There are no tentative rulings for Department 19***