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Maas v. Superior Court (People)

California Court of Appeals, Fourth District, First Division

December 10, 2014

MICHAEL EUGENE MAAS, Petitioner,
v.
THE SUPERIOR COURT OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Respondent; THE PEOPLE, Real Party in Interest.

[REVIEW GRANTED BY CAL. SUPREME COURT]

PROCEEDING in mandate following the superior court's denial of a petition for writ of habeas corpus. Petition granted to address a peremptory challenge issue. John M. Thompson, Judge. San Diego County Super. Ct. Nos. SCE185960, SCE188460

Page 170

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 171

COUNSEL

Russell S. Babcock, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Petitioner.

No appearance for Respondent.

Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, Julie L. Garland, Assistant Attorney General, Peter Quon, Jr. and Susan E. Miller, Deputy Attorneys General, for Real Party in Interest.

OPINION

MCINTYRE, J.

In this case, we hold that where petitioner collaterally attacks his criminal convictions and sentences by way of a petition for writ of habeas corpus and the matter is assigned to a judge other than the original trial judge, petitioner may assert a peremptory challenge under Code of Civil Procedure section 170.6 (section 170.6) to the judge assigned to the petition.

Petitioner Michael Eugene Maas petitions for writ of habeas corpus, raising issues regarding the validity of his sentence and ineffective assistance from his counsel. He also contends the superior court denied him his statutory right under section 170.6 to challenge the judge assigned to his habeas corpus petition in that court. We construe his section 170.6 argument as seeking a writ of mandate and grant relief on that ground. We decline to address the remaining issues set forth in Maas's petition for writ of habeas corpus as they are premature.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

In 1998, Maas was convicted of grand theft of an automobile and unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle. He was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. In a subsequent case, he was convicted of burglary and forgery of a fictitious check and sentenced to a consecutive term of 25 years to life. We affirmed the judgments of conviction on appeal. (People v. Thomas et al. ...


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