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Measure Altering High Court Appeals Procedure Takes Effect

May 07, 1985|Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Proposition 32, a ballot measure approved by voters in November that allows the state Supreme Court to choose which issues in a case it will decide, was put into effect by the court Monday.

The measure changes a state constitutional provision that required the court to address all issues in a case, even if it agreed with lower courts on all but one of numerous issues.

U.S. Court Procedures

Modeled after procedures used by the U.S. Supreme Court and courts in nearly all other states, Proposition 32 is intended to permit the California court to work more efficiently.

The measure does not apply to death penalty cases, in which the conviction and sentence are appealed directly from the trial court to the Supreme Court, which must address all issues involved.

On other cases, the court will be able to declare what issues it has resolved, and allow the earlier appeals court decision in the case to govern other issues.

The court has told lawyers seeking a Supreme Court hearing to specify the issues they want reviewed. But the justices have not committed themselves to saying publicly what issues they will study when they decide to hear a case.

In the past, the Supreme Court's decision to hear a case automatically nullified the appeals court ruling in the case. Under the new procedure, the high court will have the option of leaving all or part of the appeals court ruling in effect while the case is pending, giving lawyers some guidance on the issues during that period.

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