California Supreme Court Watch

Feb 09, 2022
Jane S.D. Doe v. Superior Court, S272166.

#22-28 Jane S.D. Doe v. Superior Court, S272166. (B313874; 71 Cal.App.5th 227; Los Angeles County Superior Court; BC712514.) Petition for review after the Court of Appeal denied a petition for peremptory writ of mandate. This case presents the following issues: (1) Is evidence that a plaintiff in a civil action suffered a prior sexual assault admissible for impeachment purposes (Evid. Code, § 783) or inadmissible as a claim that the plaintiff did not suffer injury (Evid. Code, § 1106, subd. (a))? (2) If admissible, what procedures and quantum of proof are required to admit such evidence?

Review granted: 2/9/2022

Case fully briefed: 8/15/2022

Cause argued and submitted: 5/25/2023

Opinion filed: Judgment reversed: 7/27/2023

See the Court of Appeal Opinion.

See the Petition for Review.

See the Oral Argument.

See the California Supreme Court Opinion.  (Jane S.D. Doe et al. v. Superior Court (2023) 15 Cal.5th 40.)

“We conclude that section 1106, subdivision (e), may permit admission of evidence that would otherwise be excluded under section 1106, subdivision (a). But such admissibility is subject to the procedures set out in section 783 and especially careful review and scrutiny under section 352. As we shall explain, the Legislature devised section 783 to protect against unwarranted intrusion into the private life of a plaintiff who sues for sexual assault, by identifying and circumscribing evidence that may be admitted to attack such a person’s credibility. Correspondingly, section 352, as applied in this setting, requires special informed review and scrutiny, designed to protect such a plaintiff’s privacy rights and to limit the introduction of evidence.”

“We reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeal and remand with directions that it remand to the trial court to undertake proper proceedings under Evidence Code sections 1106 and 783.”

Chief Justice Guerrero authored the opinion of the Court, in which Justices Corrigan, Liu, Kruger, Groban, Jenkins, and Evans concurred.