SANCTION MOTIONS PUT ON HOLD (AGAIN)
by Marty Carlson
The afternoon session was scheduled to start at 1330 hrs. and upon entering the courtroom all attorneys were called into chambers, in fact they were called in there twice that usually means some type of problem. Court finally went into session around 1400 hrs.
The judge stated that during the lunch hour she checked into the motion that attorney Hans when referred to in his argument during the morning. The judge was confused on whose motion it was initially that was filed and never saw Hans motion either. Apparently, she is also supposed be notified by email when these come in and she was not. She stated apparently this one fell through the cracks as it was originally scheduled to be on another date, but it did not happen.
She advised Hans that he can supplement his current motion that he’s arguing today and also give the District Attorney’s Office a chance to respond. There appeared to be a lot of confusion with judge Zuniga about when to have the remaining arguments of the sanctions motion. The district attorney also noted that they may want to put on some evidence.
Judge Zuniga stated that there was a tentative ruling in chambers and stated that she was looking at section 177.5 CCP, listed below, and called it a specific statute and not just a general statute for sanctions.
She then decided to discuss some scheduling, and then again really got confusing. She stated that she wants her the case cites by the 22nd in addition to the DAs opposition on the 22nd. She stated there is a 1538.5 hearing scheduled for the 28th and 29th possibly the 30th of this month, in addition to other motions like a 1539 contempt motion against Kirk Bunch. She also noted that there is a hearing this Friday at 11 AM and to tell you the truth I have no idea what that is for because this hearing was totally screwed up and unable to comprehend.
She also requested all attorneys to meet and confer for possible resolution of some of the in limine motions and other issues that are coming up.
Again, another reason why these hearings never get finished because of the lack of coordination and organization in this courtroom. It apparently does no good to put out a schedule of court dates because they constantly get changed, and like today attorney Hans argument got interrupted in the middle and is now unable to finish it in a timely fashion.
It is probably just a coincidence, but it is interesting that this occurred during a segment of Hans argument in discussing some of the issues with the evidence like the jacket and the shirt and discrepancy in the testimony and the so-called injuries in the clothes.
California Code of Civil Procedure Section 177.5
177.5. A judicial officer shall have the power to impose reasonable money sanctions, not to exceed fifteen hundred dollars ($1,500), notwithstanding any other provision of law, payable to the court, for any violation of a lawful court order by a person, done without good cause or substantial justification. This power shall not apply to advocacy of counsel before the court. For the purposes of this section, the term person includes a witness, a party, a party s attorney, or both.
Sanctions pursuant to this section shall not be imposed except on notice contained in a party s moving or responding papers; or on the court’s own motion, after notice and opportunity to be heard. An order imposing sanctions shall be in writing and shall recite in detail the conduct or circumstances justifying the order.