Public Defender Petitions Supreme Court over Trial Delays
In the Supreme Court of California, Miguel Angel Estrada, Petitioner, v.The Superior Court of the City and County of San Francisco, Respondent; The People, Real Party in Interest. Andrew Kuhaiki, Petitioner, v. The Superior Court of the City and County of San Francisco, Respondent; The People, Real Party in Interest. PETITION FOR REVIEW of the decision of the Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District Division One, Nos. A166474, A166508
Summary: Following the covid-19 lockdown, the San Francisco Superior Court reopened all of its criminal trial courtrooms in June 2021. However, during the thirteen months that followed, it operated these courtrooms at only 56 percent capacity. And in mid-2022, trial courtrooms we’re closed on 176 occasions due to judges’ vacations, which had become the leading cause for closed courtrooms. The superior court’s backlog grew by forty percent since reopening. The superior court held that the covid-19 pandemic justified continuing petitioners’ trials past their statutory deadlines in July and August 2022. On the days of the continuances, multiple courtrooms were closed because of judges’ vacations and routine absences. In denying a petition filed by the San Francisco Public Defender, thd Court of Appeal upheld the good cause finding.
Public Defender Files for Review in Supreme Court