Saturday, December 20, 2008

Commission Can't Continue Preliminary Hearing

Article VI, Section 22 provides: The Legislature may provide for the appointment by trial courts of record of officers such as commissioners to perform subordinate judicial duties." Does a commissioner have the power to continue a preliminary hearing in a criminal cases, where the parties disagree over whether a continuance should be granted. No, said the Court of Appeal in Harutyunyan v. Superior Court (here). The matter was contested and involved important rights, such a the defendant's right to a speedy trial.

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