Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield

Privacy: Data: Shield: Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield:

Protecting Privacy in Transatlantic Data Flows:

As of April 12, 2017, companies can join a Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield for transfers from Switzerland.

At the first annual review, the Department of Commerce will work with the Swiss Government to put in place the binding arbitration option in Annex I of the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework.

Privacy Shield is a program with a set of Principles to which U.S. companies can self-certify. Those companies can then transfer data from the European Union to the United States in compliance with EU data protection requirements. The U.S. government and the European Commission negotiated the Privacy Shield Principles to enhance and replace the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework. Privacy Shield also includes safeguards and limitations, addressed by other parts of the U.S. government, about national security and law enforcement data access.

The substantive requirements of the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield are the same. The full text of the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework is available here ( )

The Department of Commerce maintains a list of companies that have joined. Each entry includes a company’s covered subsidiaries, a description of the covered data, and dispute resolution information. Currently about 1,900 companies have joined the Privacy Shield program.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Decision and Order In the Matter of China National Chemical Corporation, FTC Matter/File Number: 1610093, Docket Number: C-4610

Contract drafting

Confidentiality agreement

(From Decision and Order In the Matter of China National Chemical Corporation, a corporation; ADAMA Agricultural Solutions Ltd., a corporation; and Makhteshim Agan of North America, Inc., doing business as ADAMA, a corporation, FTC Matter/File Number: 1610093, Docket Number: C-4610 (last updated April 4, 2017)).


“Confidential Information” means any and all of the following information:

1.all information that is a trade secret under applicable trade secret or other law;

2.all information concerning product specifications, data, know-how, formulae, compositions, processes, designs, sketches, photographs, graphs, drawings, samples, inventions and ideas, past, current and planned research and development, current and planned manufacturing or distribution methods and processes, customer lists, current and anticipated customer requirements, pricelists, market studies, business plans, software and computer software and database technologies, systems, structures, and architectures;

3.all information concerning the relevant business, which includes historical and current financial statements, financial projections and budgets, tax returns and accountants’ materials, historical, current and projected sales, capital spending budgets and plans, business plans, strategic plans, marketing and advertising plans, publications, client and customer lists and files, contracts, the names and backgrounds of key personnel and personnel training techniques and materials; and

4.all notes, analyses, compilations, studies, summaries and other material to the extent containing or based, in whole or in part, upon any of the information described above;

Provided, however, that Confidential Information shall not include information that (i) was, is, or becomes generally available to the public other than as a result of a breach of this Order; (ii) was or is developed independently of and without reference to any Confidential Information; or (iii) was available, or becomes available, on a non-confidential basis from a third party not bound by a confidentiality agreement or any legal, fiduciary or other obligation restricting disclosure.

Decision and Order In the Matter of China National Chemical Corporation, FTC Matter/File Number: 1610093, Docket Number: C-4610

Contract drafting

Meaning of "records"

(From Decision and Order In the Matter of China National Chemical Corporation, a corporation; ADAMA Agricultural Solutions Ltd., a corporation; and Makhteshim Agan of North America, Inc., doing business as ADAMA, a corporation, FTC Matter/File Number: 1610093, Docket Number: C-4610 (last updated April 4, 2017).


“Record(s)” means information, data, books, records, files, databases, printouts, and documents of any kind, whether stored or maintained in hard copy paper format, by means of electronic, optical, or magnetic media or devices, photographic or video images, or any other format or media, directly relating to the CP Products or the CP Business, including: customer files, customer lists, customer purchasing histories; correspondence; sales and purchase order information and records; referral sources; supplier, vendor, and procurement files and lists; specifications and information for all materials, ingredients, and components used in product formulation; process and production formulas, instructions, and guidelines, including Confidential Statements of Formulas; product data sheets and specifications; production reports; research and development data and information; quality control and quality assurance specifications, testing methods, and reports; labeling specifications; packaging specifications; Material Data Safety Sheets; advertising, marketing, display, and promotional materials; sales materials; marketing analyses and research data; educational and training materials; employee lists and contracts, salary and benefits information, and personnel files and records (to the extent permitted by law) for CP Employees; financial and accounting records and documents, financial statements; studies and reports; product registration data; registrations, licenses, and permits; regulatory compliance records and data; applications, filings, submissions, communications and correspondence with Government Agencies; operating guides, technical information, manuals, policies and procedures; service and warranty records, maintenance logs, equipment logs; and all other Records that are necessary for the Acquirer to operate the CP Business in a manner consistent with the purposes of this Order.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

P. v. Gonzales, S231171

Interpretation (of a statute): Interpretation (of an initiative): Term of art:

“The first principle of statutory construction requires us to interpret the words of the statute themselves, giving them their ordinary meaning, and reading them in the context of the statute (or, here, the initiative) as a whole.  If the language is unambiguous, there is no need for further construction.  If, however, the language is susceptible of more than one reasonable meaning, we may consider the ballot summaries and arguments to determine how the voters understood the ballot measure and what they intended in enacting it.”  (In re Tobacco II Cases (2009) 46 Cal.4th 298, 315.)  “In construing constitutional and statutory provisions, whether enacted by the Legislature or by initiative, the intent of the enacting body is the paramount consideration.”  (In re Lance W. (1985) 37 Cal.3d 873, 889 (Lance W.).)

The electorate “is presumed to be aware of existing laws and judicial construction thereof.”  (Lance W., supra, 37 Cal.3d at p. 890, fn. 11.)

“It is a well-recognized rule of construction that after the courts have construed the meaning of any particular word, or expression, and the legislature subsequently undertakes to use these exact words in the same connection, the presumption is almost irresistible that it used them in the precise and technical sense which had been placed upon them by the courts.”  (People v. Lopez (2005) 34 Cal.4th 1002, 1007.)  This principle applies to legislation adopted through the initiative process.  (People v. Lawrence (2000) 24 Cal.4th 219, 231.)

(…) Section 459.5 provides a specific definition of the term “shoplifting.”  In doing so, it creates a term of art, which must be understood as it is defined, not in its colloquial sense.  Indeed, by defining shoplifting as an entry into a business with an intent to steal, rather than as the taking itself, section 459.5 already deviates from the colloquial understanding of that term.  (See Webster’s Collegiate Dict. (11th ed. 2003) p. 1151.)

“Terms of art are words having specific, precise meaning in a given specialty.  Having its origins in Lord Coke’s vocabula artis, the phrase term of art is common in law because the legal field has developed many technical words whose meanings are locked tight . . . .”  (Garner, Dict. of Legal Usage (3d ed. 2011) p. 883; see also People ex rel. Lungren v. Superior Court (1996) 14 Cal.4th 294, 302.)

“When the Legislature uses a term of art, a court construing that use must assume that the Legislature was aware of the ramifications of its choice of language.”  (Ruiz v. Podolsky (2010) 50 Cal.4th 838, 850, fn. 3.)  The same principle applies to the electorate.

Secondary sources: Webster’s Collegiate Dict. (11th ed. 2003); Garner, Dict. of Legal Usage (3d ed. 2011).

(Cal. S.C., March 23, 2017, P. v. Gonzales, S231171).

L'interprétation d'une loi au sens formel commence par les termes mêmes du texte : leur sens ordinaire leur est donné, et ils sont lus dans le contexte de la systématique du schéma législatif (ou de l'initiative). Sans ambigüité, point besoin d'interpréter davantage. Mais si le texte de la loi ou comme ici de l'initiative est susceptible de plus d'une interprétation raisonnable, la cour peut considérer le matériel présenté avant la votation à l'appui de l'initiative, pour déterminer ce qui a été compris par ceux qui ont voté, et pour déterminer ce qu'entendait obtenir ceux qui ont accepté le texte proposé (cf. In re Tobacco II).

L'électorat est présumé connaître le droit positif au jour de la votation, ainsi que la jurisprudence qui l'applique.

Quand les Tribunaux ont interprété un texte légal et que le législateur utilise les mêmes mots de ce texte dans le même contexte, il est présumé que le législatif entend donner à ces mots un sens identique à celui donné par les Tribunaux. Ce principe s'applique également à la législation adoptée par le biais d'une initiative soumise au vote populaire.

La Section 459.5 du Code pénal donne une définition spécifique du terme "shoplifting" (vol à l'étalage). Ce faisant, la loi créé un terme technique, qui doit être compris comme tel et non dans son sens commun. Et en effet, en définissant "shoplifting" comme l'entrée dans un commerce avec l'intention de dérober, donc sans mention du fait de dérober, la Section 459.5 dévie déjà à ce niveau du sens commun du terme.

Quand le législateur, ou l'électorat dans le cadre d'une initiative, utilise un terme de l'art, le Tribunal qui applique ce terme doit présumer que ce législateur était conscient du sens technique du terme.


P. v. Gonzales, S231171

Theft: Burglary: Larceny: Theft by false pretenses: Embezzlement: Shoplifting: Check: Petition for misdemeanor resentencing: Common law: Wobbler: CALCRIM No. 1800: CALCRIM No. 1703: Asportation: Robbery:

In 2014, Proposition 47 created the new crime of “shoplifting,” defined as entering an open commercial establishment during regular business hours with the intent to commit “larceny” of property worth $950 or less.  (Pen. Code, § 459.5, subd. (a).)  This provision is related to the general burglary statute, which also applies to an entry with intent to commit “larceny” or any felony.  (Pen. Code, § 459.)  In 1927, the theft statutes were consolidated.  (Pen. Code, §§ 484, 490a; see Stats. 1927, ch. 619, §§ 1, 7, pp. 1046-1047.)  Subsequent cases held the burglary statute included an entry with intent to commit nonlarcenous theft.  Here we hold the electorate similarly intended that the shoplifting statute apply to an entry to commit a nonlarcenous theft.  Thus, defendant’s act of entering a bank to cash a stolen check for less than $950, traditionally regarded as a theft by false pretenses rather than larceny, now constitutes shoplifting under the statute.  Defendant may properly petition for misdemeanor resentencing under Penal Code section 1170.18.

In 2014, the electorate passed initiative measure Proposition 47, known as the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act (the Act), reducing penalties for certain theft and drug offenses by amending existing statutes.  (Voter Information Guide, Gen. Elec. (Nov. 4, 2014) text of Prop. 47, pp. 70-74 (Voter Information Guide).)  The Act also added several new provisions, including Penal Code section 459.5, which created the crime of shoplifting.  Subdivision (a) provides:  “Notwithstanding Section 459, shoplifting is defined as entering a commercial establishment with intent to commit larceny while that establishment is open during regular business hours, where the value of the property that is taken or intended to be taken does not exceed nine hundred fifty dollars ($950).  Any other entry into a commercial establishment with intent to commit larceny is burglary.”  Shoplifting is punishable as a misdemeanor unless the defendant has previously been convicted of a specified offense.  (§ 459.5, subd. (a).)  Section 459.5, subdivision (b) contains an explicit limitation on charging:  “Any act of shoplifting as defined in subdivision (a) shall be charged as shoplifting.  No person who is charged with shoplifting may also be charged with burglary or theft of the same property.” 

Section 1170.18 now permits a defendant serving a sentence for one of the enumerated theft or drug offenses to petition for resentencing under the new, more lenient, provisions.

Section 1170.18, subdivision (a) provides:  “A person who, on November 5, 2014, was serving a sentence for a conviction, whether by trial or plea, of a felony or felonies who would have been guilty of a misdemeanor under the act that added this section . . . had this act been in effect at the time of the offense may petition for a recall of sentence before the trial court that entered the judgment of conviction in his or her case to request resentencing in accordance with Sections 11350, 11357, or 11377 of the Health and Safety Code, or Section 459.5, 473, 476a, 490.2, 496, or 666 of the Penal Code, as those sections have been amended or added by this act.” 

“Britain’s 18th century division of theft into the three separate crimes of larceny, false pretenses, and embezzlement made its way into the early criminal laws of the American states.”  (People v. Williams (2013) 57 Cal.4th 776, 784 (Williams).)  California’s first Penal Code recognized these distinctions, containing separate provisions for each type of theft.  Former section 484 defined larceny as “the felonious stealing, taking, carrying, leading, or driving away the personal property of another.”  (1872 Pen. Code, former § 484.)  The crime of larceny derived from the common law and required both a taking without the property owner’s consent and asportation of the property with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of possession.  (People v. Davis (1998) 19 Cal.4th 301, 305; Williams, at pp. 782-783.)  Grand larceny was a felony; petit larceny, a misdemeanor.  (1872 Pen. Code, former §§ 487-490.)

Larceny includes larceny by trick, which involves fraudulently acquiring possession, but not title, of property.  (Williams, supra, 57 Cal.4th at pp. 783-784; People v. Ashley (1954) 42 Cal.2d 246, 258 (Ashley).) 

Larceny was a crime against one’s possession of property.  By contrast, theft by false pretenses required that a defendant not merely take possession, but title as well.  (Williams, supra, 57 Cal.4th at p. 784; see Ashley, supra, 42 Cal.2d at p. 258.)  As originally enacted, section 532 applied, in part, to “every person who knowingly and designedly, by false or fraudulent representation or pretenses, defrauds any other person of money or property . . . .”  (1872 Pen. Code, former § 532.)  Finally, embezzlement involves “an initial, lawful possession of the victim’s property, followed by its misappropriation.”  (Williams, at p. 784.)  Section 503, unchanged since the original Penal Code, defines embezzlement as “the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been intrusted.” 

The disaggregation of theft into different statutes created pleading challenges.  Prosecutors had to plead the correct type of theft corresponding with the defendant’s conduct, though “it was difficult at times to determine whether a defendant had acquired title to the property, or merely possession, a distinction separating theft by false pretenses from larceny by trick” or “whether a defendant, clearly guilty of some theft offense, had committed embezzlement or larceny.”  (Williams, supra, 57 Cal.4th at p. 785.)  To address this difficulty, the Legislature amended section 484 in 1927 to define a general crime of “theft.”  Theft was defined expansively to include all the elements of larceny, false pretenses, and embezzlement.

The amended provision stated in relevant part:  “Every person who shall feloniously steal, take, carry, lead, or drive away the personal property of another [larceny], or who shall fraudulently appropriate property which has been entrusted to him [embezzlement], or who shall knowingly and designedly, by any false or fraudulent representation or pretense, defraud any other person of money, labor, or real or personal property [false pretenses] . . . is guilty of theft.”  (Stats. 1927, ch. 619, § 1, p. 1046.)  The Legislature additionally amended sections 486 to 490 to change references to grand and petit “larceny” to grand and petty “theft.”  (Stats. 1927, ch. 619, §§ 3-6, p. 1047.) 

The Legislature also amended sections 951, pertaining to the form of an indictment or information, and 952, specifying the substantive requirements of a charge, to ease the pleading requirements.  (See Stats. 1927, chs. 612, 613, p. 1043.)  Specifically as to theft, section 952 was amended to state that a charge need only “allege that the defendant unlawfully took the property of another.”  (Stats. 1927, ch. 612, § 1, p. 1043.)

Juries need no longer be concerned with the technical differences between the several types of theft, and can return a general verdict of guilty if they find that an ‘unlawful taking’ has been proved.  (Ashley, supra, 42 Cal.2d at p. 258; see People v. Fewkes (1931) 214 Cal. 142, 149.)

In other words, the crime is called theft, but to prove its commission, the evidence must establish that the property was stolen by larceny, false pretenses, or embezzlement.

The trial court must instruct on the theory of theft applicable based on the evidence presented.  (Cf. Judicial Council of Cal. Crim. Jury Instns. (2016) Bench Notes to CALCRIM No. 1800, p. 1128.)  However, the jury need not unanimously agree on which type of theft a defendant has committed and “it is immaterial whether or not they agreed as to the technical pigeonhole into which the theft fell.”  (Nor Woods,  37 Cal.2d at p. 586.)

(…) Robbery involves a taking by means of force or fear.  Burglary and shoplifting do not require any taking, merely an entry with the required intent.  For more than a century, entry into a store, even during business hours, with the requisite intent was understood to constitute burglary.  (People v. Barry (1892) 94 Cal. 481, 482-483.)

(…) Neither the consolidation of the theft offenses nor the nomenclature change of section 490a altered the elements of the various theft offenses.  (See Myers, 206 Cal. at p. 485; see also Williams, supra, 57 Cal.4th at p. 789.)  Thus, a court would inform the jury that, in order to convict of shoplifting, the jury must find a defendant entered a commercial establishment during business hours with intent to commit theft, and separately instruct on the appropriate form of theft based on the evidence presented.  (See CALCRIM No. 1703.)

(…) A defendant may be eligible for misdemeanor resentencing under section 1170.18 if he “would have been guilty of a misdemeanor under the act that added this section . . . had this act been in effect at the time of the offense . . . .”  (§ 1170.18, subd. (a).)  Under section 459.5, shoplifting is a misdemeanor unless the defendant has suffered a disqualifying prior conviction.  (§ 459.5, subd. (a).)

(Second degree burglary, which is an alternative felony/misdemeanor, commonly known as a “wobbler.”  (People v. Williams (2005) 35 Cal.4th 817, 820.))

Section 459.5, subdivision (b) requires that any act of shoplifting “shall be charged as shoplifting” and no one charged with shoplifting “may also be charged with burglary or theft of the same property.”  A defendant must be charged only with shoplifting when the statute applies.  It expressly prohibits alternate charging and ensures only misdemeanor treatment for the underlying described conduct.  The statute’s use of the phrase “the same property” confirms that multiple burglary charges may not be based on entry with intent to commit different forms of theft offenses if the property intended to be stolen is the same property at issue in the shoplifting charge. Thus, the shoplifting statute would have precluded a burglary charge based on an entry with intent to commit identity theft here because the conduct underlying such a charge would have been the same as that involved in the shoplifting, namely, the cashing of the same stolen check to obtain less than $950.  A felony burglary charge could legitimately lie if there was proof of entry with intent to commit a nontheft felony or an intent to commit a theft of other property exceeding the shoplifting limit.

(Cal. S.C., March 23, 2017, P. v. Gonzales, S231171).

En 2014, la Proposition 47 a institué la nouvelle infraction de vol à l'étalage ("shoplifting"), défini comme l'entrée dans un établissement commercial pendant les heures d'ouverture habituelles, avec l'intention de dérober une chose d'une valeur de 950 dollars ou d'une valeur inférieure (Code pénal de Californie, § 459.5, subd. (a)). Cette disposition est liée à l'infraction plus générale de "burglary", qui s'applique aussi à une entrée avec l'intention de dérober ou avec l'intention de commettre n'importe quel "felony" (Pen. Code, § 459). Plus généralement encore, les différentes dispositions liées aux divers types de "vol" ou été consolidées en 1927 pour ce qui est de la Californie. Puis la jurisprudence a jugé que l'infraction de "burglary" comprenait le fait d'entrer avec l'intention de commettre un vol qui n'était pas en même temps un "larceny". En l'espèce, la Cour juge que l'intention de l'électorat était similaire : l'infraction de "shoplifting" s'applique à une entrée en vue de commettre un "vol" qui n'est pas en même temps un "larceny". Ainsi, l'acte du prévenu consistant à entrer dans une banque pour encaisser moins de 950 dollars à l'aide d'un chèque volé constitue un "shoplifting" au sens de la nouvelle disposition, alors qu'auparavant cette infraction était tenue pour un " theft by false pretenses" plutôt qu'un "larceny". De la sorte, en l'espèce, le prévenu peut valablement solliciter le prononcé d'une nouvelle peine, qui serait cette fois un "misdemeanor", au sens de la Section 1170.18 du Code pénal. "Shoplifting" est en effet punissable comme "misdemeanor", sauf si le prévenu a été antérieurement condamné pénalement (§ 459.5, subd. (a)). La Section 459.5 (b) précise que tout acte de "shoplifting" au sens de la subdivision (a) doit être poursuivi en tant que "shoplifting", nul prévenu de "shoplifting" ne pouvant être également prévenu de "burglary" ou de "theft".

L'initiative acceptée en 2014 (Proposition 47) essentiellement réduit les peines pour certaines catégories de vols et pour certaines infractions en matière de stupéfiants. En particulier, la Section 1170.18 permet nouvellement à un condamné pour "felony", l'infraction étant comprise dans lesdites catégories, de solliciter une nouvelle fixation de sa peine, la convertissant en "misdemeanor". Cette conversion n'est possible que si les nouvelles dispositions prévoient que l'acte ne sera plus un "felony" mais sera un "misdemeanor". Il est sans importance que la condamnation initiale résulte d'un verdict du Tribunal ou d'un "plea".

Au 18è siècle, la conception britannique en la matière consistait à diviser le vol ("theft") en trois crimes séparés : "larceny", "false pretenses", et "embezzlement", conception reprise par le droit pénal d'origine des jeunes Etats-Unis. Le premier Code pénal de Californie reconnaissait ces distinctions et contenait des dispositions séparées pour chaque type de "theft". L'ancienne Section 484 du Code pénal de 1872 définissait "larceny" comme l'infraction de voler, prendre, ou transporter la propriété d'autrui. La définition de "larceny" dérive de la Common law et requiert une soustraction sans le consentement du possesseur et un déplacement de la chose avec l'intention de soustraire la chose de manière permanente. "Grand larceny" était un "felony", "petit larceny" un "misdemeanor" (cf. Code pénal de 1872, §§ 487-490).

"Larceny" inclut l'infraction de "larceny by trick", qui implique l'acquisition frauduleuse de la possession, mais non de la propriété.

"Larceny" était une infraction visant la possession d'une chose. Par contraste, "theft by false pretenses" exigeait que le prévenu non seulement s'empare de la possession, mais également du titre de propriété. Dans sa rédaction originale de 1872, la Section 532 s'appliquait à celui qui, avec conscience et volonté, par une fausse représentation ou par une représentation frauduleuse, acquerrait d'une autre personne une somme d'argent ou une chose.

Enfin, "embezzlement" requiert une possession légale initiale suivie d'une appropriation illicite. La section 503, inchangée depuis la première version du Code pénal, définit "embezzlement" comme l'appropriation frauduleuse d'une chose confiée.

La désagrégation de la notion de "theft" en différentes infractions fut source de difficultés, en particulier pour l'accusation, qui devait accuser le prévenu de la commission de l'infraction spécifique à son comportement. Or il était parfois délicat de déterminer si un prévenu avait acquis la propriété ou seulement la possession d'une chose, distinction séparant "theft by false pretenses" de "larceny by trick". Il pouvait également être délicat de déterminer si un prévenu, clairement coupable de "theft" au sens large, avait précisément commis un "embezzlement" ou un "larceny". Pour remédier à ces difficultés, le législateur a amendé la section 484 en 1927 pour définir une infraction générale de "theft". "Theft" a été ainsi défini de manière à inclure tous les éléments de "larceny", "false pretenses", et "embezzlement".

La nouvelle loi de 1927 dispose notamment ceci : celui qui dérobe la chose d'un tiers ("larceny"), ou qui s'approprie une chose qui lui a été remise en confiance ("embezzlement"), ou qui, avec conscience et volonté, par représentation frauduleuse, s'empare d'une somme d'argent, du travail, d'une chose mobilière ou immobilière d'un tiers ("false pretenses"), est coupable de vol ("theft"). En outre, les notions de "grand and petit larceny" ont été remplacées par les notions de "grand and petty theft". Enfin, la mise en prévention a été simplifiée : en particulier, s'agissant de "theft", la Section 952 a été modifiée pour indiquer que la réquisition peut se limiter à soutenir que le prévenu s'est illicitement emparé de la propriété d'autrui.

Ainsi, depuis la réforme de 1927, un Jury n'a plus à s'occuper des différences techniques entre les divers types de "theft". Il peut retourner un verdict général de culpabilité s'il estime prouvé qu'une chose a été illicitement dérobée.

En résumé, l'infraction porte désormais le nom de "theft", et pour prouver sa commission, les preuves doivent établir que la propriété a été dérobée par "larceny", "false pretenses", ou "embezzlement".

La cour doit indiquer au Jury quel type de "theft" est applicable à la cause, en fonction des preuves apportées (cf. Bench Notes to CALCRIM No. 1800). Cependant, le Jury ne doit pas être unanime s'agissant de savoir quel type au juste de "theft" le prévenu a commis.

"Robbery" implique le fait de dérober une chose en utilisant de la force ou de la peur. "Burglary" et "shoplifting" n'exigent pas que la chose soit prise : une entrée avec l'intention de commission suffit.

Ni la consolidation de 1927 ni les changements de dénomination n'ont modifié les éléments des diverses infractions de "theft". Ainsi, la cour informera le Jury que pour retenir l'infraction de "shoplifting", dit Jury doit considérer comme prouvé que le prévenu est entré dans un établissement commercial pendant les heures d'ouverture avec l'intention de commettre un "theft". Le Jury doit également être en mesure de déterminer le type de "theft", sur la base des preuves présentées (cf. CLACRIM No. 1703).

Comme déjà indiqué, la Section 459.5 (b) exige qu'un acte de "shoplifting" soit retenu comme tel. Celui qui est accusé de "shoplifting", un "misdemeanor", ne peut également être accusé de "burglary" ou de "theft" de la même chose. "De la même chose" résulte que l'accusation ne peut retenir plusieurs "burglary" basés sur une entrée avec l'intention de commettre différentes formes de "theft" si la chose visée est la même que celle retenue dans la prévention de "shoplifting". Ainsi, la disposition légale réprimant l'infraction de "shoplifting" empêche d'accuser l'auteur également de la commission d'un "burglary" si par exemple cet auteur est entré avec l'intention de commettre un "identity theft", parce qu'une telle conduite est la même que celle à la base du "shoplifting", soit l'encaissement du même chèque volé pour obtenir moins de 950 dollars. Une prévention de "felony burglary" pourra être retenue en cas de preuve d'une entrée avec l'intention de commettre un "felony" autre qu'un "theft", ou avec l'intention de commettre un "theft" d'une autre chose, d'une valeur excédant la limite posée par la disposition régissant l'infraction de "shoplifting".

Thursday, March 9, 2017

FTC Business Guidance, Consumer Review

FTC Business Guidance Explains It’s Illegal to Ban Honest Reviews

The FTC has released business guidance to help companies comply with the recently-passed Consumer Review Fairness Act, which protects consumers’ ability to share in any forum their honest opinions about a business’s products, services, or conduct.  Some companies had been using contract provisions – including their online terms and conditions – to threaten to sue consumers or penalize them financially for posting negative reviews or complaints.  The new law makes that illegal.  The FTC website features the new FTC staff guidance, Consumer Review Fairness Act: What Businesses Need to Know, and a related blog post.

Monday, March 6, 2017

J.M. v. Huntington Beach Union High School Dist., S230510

Tolling: Equitable tolling: Equity: Equitable remedies: Deadline: Statute of limitations:

The doctrine of equitable tolling may also apply to the limitation periods imposed by the claims statutes.  Addison v. State of California (1978) 21 Cal.3d 313 (Addison) recognized “a general policy which favors relieving plaintiff from the bar of a limitations statute when, possessing several legal remedies he, reasonably and in good faith, pursues one designed to lessen the extent of his injuries or damage.”  (Id. at p. 317; see McDonald v. Antelope Valley Community College Dist. (2008) 45 Cal.4th 88, 100.)  In Addison, the plaintiffs presented a timely claim.  When it was rejected they filed a federal lawsuit, which was eventually dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.  In these circumstances, the period for suing in state court was equitably tolled during the pendency of the federal action.  The elements of timely notice, lack of prejudice to the defendant, and reasonable good faith conduct by the plaintiff were satisfied.  (Addison, at p. 319.)
Here, the Court of Appeal rejected J.M.’s equitable tolling argument because he did not pursue an alternate remedy.  J.M. contends he did, by filing a complaint simultaneously with his petition for relief under section 946.6.  The complaint does not appear in the record, though a trial court register refers to one.  In any event, it is not “reasonable” to pursue a court action when the claims filing requirements have not been satisfied, nor did J.M. ever provide the District with “timely notice.”  (Addison, supra, 21 Cal.3d at p. 319; see Lantzy v. Centex Homes (2003) 31 Cal.4th 363, 371 (Lantzy) [“equitable tolling should not apply if it is ‘inconsistent with the text of the relevant statute’ ”].)  More fundamentally, there was no limitation period that might have been tolled by the filing of a complaint.  The period for seeking relief from the District’s deemed denial had already expired by the time counsel acted.

We note that pursuit of an alternate remedy is not always required for equitable tolling.  The doctrine is applied flexibly to “ensure fundamental practicality and fairness.”  (Lantzy, supra, 31 Cal.4th at p. 370; see Witkin, Cal. Procedure (5th ed. 2008) Actions, § 694 et seq., p. 914 et seq.)  But J.M. advances no sufficient basis for equitable tolling here.  “As with other general equitable principles, application of the equitable tolling doctrine requires a balancing of the injustice to the plaintiff occasioned by the bar of his claim against the effect upon the important public interest or policy expressed by the Government Claims Act limitations statute.”  (Addison, supra, 21 Cal.3d at p. 321.)  J.M. fails to establish an injustice.  He simply failed to comply with the claims statutes, missing an easily ascertainable deadline that has been in place for over 50 years.  (See Stats. 1965, ch. 653, § 22, p. 2016.)  If oversight of such plain rules justified equitable relief, the structure of the Government Claims Act would be substantially undermined, and its provisions for timely notice to public entities subverted.

Secondary sources: Witkin, Cal. Procedure (5th ed. 2008) Actions, § 694 et seq., p. 914 et seq.

(Cal. S. C., March 6, 2017, J.M. v. Huntington Beach Union High School Dist., S230510).

Suspension d'un délai :

"Equitable tolling", une doctrine qui permet d'obtenir la suspension d'un délai, s'applique également dans le domaine des actions en réparation d'un préjudice, singulièrement, comme ici, quand le défendeur est une administration.

La jurisprudence reconnaît le principe général de ne pas opposer l'échéance d'un délai à une partie qui a dans un premier temps choisi de bonne foi une procédure en réparation qui s'est par la suite révélée ne pas être le bon choix. De la sorte, cette partie doit pouvoir choisir de présenter ses prétentions selon d'autres modalités sans que le délai échu ne puisse lui être opposé. A cette fin, le délai sera suspendu pendant la première procédure. Cas d'un demandeur qui saisit la cour de district fédérale, demande rejetée pour défaut de compétence matérielle. Le délai pour saisir la cour de l'état est suspendu pendant la durée de la procédure fédérale antérieure.

La suspension d'un délai ne peut pas être accordée si elle est inconsistante avec les dispositions légales applicables à l'affaire.

La conduite d'une procédure alternative n'est pas systématiquement exigée pour permettre la suspension équitable d'un délai. Dite doctrine de suspension est appliquée de manière flexible, pour assurer une solution pragmatique et équitable. Comme pour les autres théories juridiques relevant de l'équité s'agit-il de mettre en balance : ici l'injustice causée au demandeur par l'échéance d'un délai avec l'intérêt public important au respect des délais fixés par le droit des dommages-intérêts.