This case was last updated from California Courts of Appeal on 06/21/2022 at 05:15:21 (UTC).

Morales-Ambriz v. Superior Court for the County of Contra Costa

Case Summary

On 11/18/2021 Morales-Ambriz filed an Other lawsuit against Superior Court for the County of Contra Costa. This case was filed in California Courts of Appeal, First Appellate District - Division 5 located in Statewide, California. The Judge overseeing this case is Cope, John. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Case Details Parties Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ***3951

  • Filing Date:

    11/18/2021

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Other

  • County, State:

    Statewide, California

Judge Details

Trial Court Judge

Cope, John

 

Party Details

Petitioner

Amy Karen Morales-Ambriz

Respondent

Superior Court for the County of Contra Costa

Interested Party

The People

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Petitioner Attorney

Carmela Anne Caramagno

P.O. Box 1811

Lafayette, CA 94549

Interested Party Attorneys

Amber White

Attorney at Ofc District Attorney

900 Ward St

Martinez, CA 94553

Office Of The District Attorney

900 Ward Street

Martinez, CA 94553

Office of the Attorney General

455 Golden Gate Avenue - Suite 11000

San Francisco, CA 94102-7004

Court Documents

Court documents are not available for this case.

 

Docket Entries

  • 04/04/2022
  • DocketDescription: Received copy of document filed in trial court.; Notes: Statement of Decision

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  • 01/07/2022
  • DispositionDescription: Petition denied or dismissed after alternative writ or palma issued.; Disposition Type: Final BY THE COURT:* In light of respondent superior court's January 4, 2022 "Order Vacating this Court's Order to Strike the Accused's Motion to Disqualify Judge John Cope, etc.," the alternative writ issued by this court on December 21, 2021 is discharged, and the petition is dismissed as moot. * Before Jackson, P.J., Simons, J., and Needham, J.

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  • 01/07/2022
  • DocketDescription: Case complete.

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  • 01/07/2022
  • DocketDescription: Petition denied or dismissed after alternative writ or palma issued.; Notes: BY THE COURT:* In light of respondent superior court's January 4, 2022 "Order Vacating this Court's Order to Strike the Accused's Motion to Disqualify Judge John Cope, etc.," the alternative writ issued by this court on December 21, 2021 is discharged, and the petition is dismissed as moot. * Before Jackson, P.J., Simons, J., and Needham, J.

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  • 01/06/2022
  • DocketDescription: Received copy of:; Notes: Order vacating order to strike motion to disqualify; filed in the Contra Costa Superior Court 1/4/22

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  • 12/21/2021
  • DocketDescription: Alternative writ or OSC issued.; Notes: ALTERNATIVE WRIT OF MANDATE To the Superior Court of the State of California, in and for the County of Contra Costa, Greetings: The petition for writ of mandate on file herein having been considered and good cause appearing for the issuance of this alternative writ of mandate, WE COMMAND YOU, forthwith upon receipt of this writ to either: (a) Vacate your November 5, 2021 "Order Striking 'The Accused's Motion to Disqualify Judge John Cope' etc.," and enter a new and different order specifying further action being taken on petitioner's statement of disqualification, after the court revisits the options available to it under section 170.3, subdivision (c), except for striking the statement, in People v. Morales-Ambriz, Case No. 023303906, OR; (b) In the alternative, show cause before this court, when ordered on calendar, why a peremptory writ of mandate should not issue. Respondent court shall make a decision whether to comply with the directive of paragraph (a) on or before January 7, 2022. If respondent court chooses to comply, the alternative writ will be discharged and the petition will be dismissed as moot. If respondent court instead elects to show cause, the matter will be heard when ordered on calendar. Petitioner shall immediately inform this court by letter of respondent court's decision, and shall serve and file in this court any new orders issued by respondent related to the alternative writ of mandate. Witness the Honorable Teri L. Jackson, Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal of the State of California, First Appellate District, Division Five. Attest my hand and the Seal of this Court this 21st day of December, 2021. CHARLES D. JOHNSON Clerk of the Court By: Annie Reasoner, Deputy Clerk

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  • 12/21/2021
  • DocketDescription: Order filed.; Notes: ORDER GRANTING ALTERNATIVE WRIT OF MANDATE BY THE COURT:* The court has conducted a detailed review of the record1 and the parties' briefing regarding this petition. It appears respondent superior court erred in when it issued its November 5, 2021 order striking petitioner's statement of disqualification against the Honorable John C. Cope. Contrary to respondent's determination that "[n]either defendant's statement of disqualification nor the supplemental is verified as required by Code of Civil Procedure section 170.3(c)(1)," petitioner's counsel's supplemental declaration filed November 3, 2021 was verified, in compliance with Code of Civil Procedure section 2015.5. Respondent additionally decided, for various reasons expressed in its November 5, 2021 order, that the "statement of disqualification fails to state facts which constitute grounds for disqualification of this court pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 170.1." It appears respondent erred in reaching this conclusion. Section 170.4, subdivision (b), grants the trial judge against whom a statement of disqualification is filed the authority to strike the statement if, as relevant here, "on its face it discloses no legal grounds for disqualification." One of the grounds for disqualification set forth in section 170.1, and asserted by petitioner below, exists where "[a] person aware of the facts might reasonably entertain a doubt that the judge would be able to be impartial." (Code Civ. Proc., 170.1, subd. (a)(6)(A)(iii).) The test for determining whether disqualification is required under this provision is an objective one, and pivots on whether a reasonable person-an average person on the street-aware of the facts, would entertain doubts concerning the judge's impartiality. (United Farm Workers of America v. Superior Court (1985) 170 Cal.App.3d 97, 104-105.) While respondent found, among other things, that petitioner's filings were "based on hearsay, innuendo, information and believe, and unsupported assertions and conclusions"-which may have been in part based on the verification issue discussed above-the verified supplemental declaration of petitioner's counsel appears, on its face, to contain sufficient allegations to come within section 170.1, subdivision (a)(6)(A)(iii). As such, the statement, as supplemented, should not have been stricken under section 170.4, subdivision (b), but instead should have been resolved on the merits by a different jurist pursuant to the procedures set forth in section 170.3, subdivision (c)(5).2 Or, alternatively, the statement of disqualification, as supplemented, should have been resolved pursuant to one of the other options available to respondent superior court under section 170.3, subdivision (c).3Therefore, let an alternative writ of mandate issue commanding respondent Contra Costa County Superior Court, in People v. Morales-Ambriz, Case No. 023303906, to set aside and vacate its November 5, 2021 "Order Striking 'The Accused's Motion to Disqualify Judge John Cope' etc.," and to enter a new and different order specifying further action being taken on petitioner's statement of disqualification, after the court revisits the options available to it under section 170.3, subdivision (c), except for striking the statement, or, in the alternative, to appear and show cause before Division Five of this court why a peremptory writ of mandate should not be granted. If respondent superior court complies with this court's directives as set forth above, and does so on or before January 7, 2022, the court will discharge the alternative writ, and dismiss the petition as moot. Petitioner shall immediately inform this court by letter of respondent court's decision, and shall serve and file in this court any new orders issued by respondent related to the alternative writ of mandate. Should respondent court choose not to follow the above procedure, but instead to appear and show cause before this court why a peremptory writ of mandate should not issue, this matter will be heard before Division Five when ordered on calendar. The alternative writ is to be issued, served and filed on or before December 22, 2021, and shall be deemed served upon mailing by the clerk of this court of copies of the alternative writ and this order to all parties and to respondent superior court. A written return to the alternative writ shall be served and filed on or before January 28, 2022, and a reply to the return shall be served and filed on or before February 8, 2022. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.487(b).) If, however, respondent superior court complies with the alternative writ, and proof thereof is filed herein on or before those dates, then no return or reply need be filed. * Before Jackson, P.J., Simons, J. and Needham, J.1. 1 The court has not considered exhibits that were not initially submitted to the superior court before it issued the challenged ruling. (See People v. Superior Court (Lavi) (1993) 4 Cal.4th 1164, 1173, fn. 5; see also petitioner's Reply, section (1)(b).) Petitioner's request for judicial notice is denied, consistent with the foregoing, and because the request does not comply with the requirements of California Rules of Court, rule 8.252. 2. This court expresses no opinion on what the outcome of such an inquiry, or an inquiry on any other asserted ground for disqualification, should be. Nor does the court accept petitioner's invitation to require the superior court to accept supplemental pleadings and exhibits, as that request is more properly made in the superior court-or before the judge assigned to decide the ultimate issue of disqualification-in the first instance. 3 For purposes of resolving this petition, it is unnecessary for this court to decide other questions regarding the propriety of respondent's November 5, 2021 order.

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  • 12/10/2021
  • DocketDescription: Reply filed to:; Notes: Reply in support of petition

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  • 12/07/2021
  • DocketDescription: Response filed to:; Notes: Response to petition, from the Attorney General

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  • 12/02/2021
  • DocketDescription: Filed letter from:; Notes: Contra Costa District Attorney, in response to petition

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3 More Docket Entries
  • 11/22/2021
  • DocketDescription: Application filed to:; Notes: Application to file amended writ petition, from Carmela Caramagno, attorney for petitioner

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  • 11/22/2021
  • DocketDescription: Order filed.; Notes: BY THE COURT:* Petitioner's stay request is denied without prejudice to being renewed upon a showing of circumstances necessitating a stay. The court requests that the Attorney General serve and file a response to the petition, and the request for judicial notice, on or before December 6, 2021. Petitioner may serve and file reply points and authorities on or before December 20, 2021. In addition to responding to the request for judicial notice and the petition's arguments, the court requests briefing on the following matters: (1) Should this court consider any exhibits accompanying the petition, and/or matters included in the request for judicial notice, which were not initially presented to the superior court before it issued the challenged ruling? (See, e.g., People v. Superior Court (Lavi) (1993) 4 Cal.4th 1164, 1173, fn. 5.) In responding to this inquiry, the parties shall specifically identify any exhibits (by exhibit letter and page numbers) that were not initially submitted to the superior court. (2) What is the applicable standard of review of a ruling striking a disqualification motion, and do petitioner's contentions have merit upon application of that standard? (3) In the event this court concludes the superior court erroneously struck the disqualification motion-as supplemented by petitioner's counsel's declaration filed November 3, 2021-as being unverified, should this court grant writ relief to compel the superior court to (a) vacate its November 5, 2021 order reaching that conclusion, and to (b) thereafter issue a new and different order stating that the court will, at a later date, issue a further order after the court reconsiders its remaining reasons for striking the disqualification motion, which may have been at least partially influenced by the court's determination that the disqualification motion was unverified? We advise the parties that this court might proceed by issuing a peremptory writ in the first instance. (See Palma v. U.S. Industrial Fasteners, Inc. (1984) 36 Cal.3d 171, 177-180.) Generally the court will employ "the accelerated Palma procedure ... only when petitioner's entitlement to relief is so obvious that no purpose could reasonably be served by plenary consideration of the issue ... or where there is an unusual urgency requiring acceleration of the normal process." (Ng v. Superior Court (1992) 4 Cal.4th 29, 35.) * Before Jackson, P.J., Simons, J., and Needham, J.

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  • 11/19/2021
  • DocketDescription: Exhibits lodged.; Notes: Amended exhibits, with corrected bookmarks, from Carmela Caramagno, attorney for petitioner Morales-Ambriz

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  • 11/18/2021
  • DocketDescription: Filed proof of service.

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  • 11/18/2021
  • DocketDescription: Request for stay filed.; Notes: of Trial Court Proceedings (Trial Setting is set for November 29, 2021)

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  • 11/18/2021
  • DocketDescription: Filed document entitled:; Notes: "Notice of Related Case"Two writs in two criminal cases pending in Judge Cope's department: People v. Joseph Stallworth CCC#02- 333209- 5; and People v. Amy Karen Morales-Ambriz CCC#02- 330390-6 challenging Judge Cope in each of the these pending matters.

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  • 11/18/2021
  • DocketDescription: Request for judicial notice filed.; Notes: of the records and files in the matter of People v. Marcelles P., Appellate Court case #A139919.

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  • 11/18/2021
  • DocketDescription: Exhibits lodged.; Notes: Exhibits A - S

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  • 11/18/2021
  • DocketDescription: Filed petition for writ of:; Notes: Mandate or Other Appropriate Relief Stay Requested of Criminal Proceedings

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  • 11/05/2021
  • DocketTrial Court Name: Contra Costa County Superior Court - Main; County: Contra Costa; Trial Court Case Number: 023303906; Trial Court Judge: Cope, John

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