Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, April 11, 2023


Page 1


Connolly Asks That Bid to Bar Lowenthal From Resentencing Proceeding Be Sent Out of County


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The lawyer for Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Patrick E. Connolly yesterday filed a request that his client’s motion to disqualify another judge of the same court, Daniel J. Lowenthal, in a proceeding in which a convicted murderer/robber is seeking resentencing, be shifted to another county for a determination.

That’s the standard procedure when challenges-for-cause, pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure §170.3,  are brought against a judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court.  They are normally shipped to Orange County.

Connolly’s lawyer, Harvinder S. Anand, nonetheless, filed a request “that the Judicial Council appoint a court outside the County of Los Angeles to decide  Judge Connolly’s application to disqualify Judge Lowenthal… because the  Application concerns two Los Angeles County Superior Court Judges.”

(Under §170.3(c)(5), it is the chairperson the Judicial Council—that is, Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero—who assigns the judge to act on the statement of disqualification.) 

Connolly, who sits in Compton, contends that Lowenthal, whose courtroom is in Long Beach, must be bumped from the resentencing proceeding because he has prejudged the matter, having expressed the view that the prosecution committed error at the 2007 trial of Justin Ashley Flint by failing to disclose exculpatory information. The lead prosecutor in the case was Connolly.

Lowenthal has filed a verified answer denying bias.

Lowenthal’s disqualification bid has raised eyebrows not only because public utterances by one judge against another is unusual, but because Connolly is not a “party,” to whom the procedures set forth in §170.3(c)(1) are available.

Anand argued in a memorandum of points and authorities:

“Judge Connolly has a due process right to be heard concerning these important issues, which bear on His Honor’s standing as a judge and could very well impact His Honor’s employment. Judge Connolly should not suffer adverse consequences for events that occurred more than 15 years ago without being given an opportunity to be heard, and especially not after His Honor has been a judge for more than 14 years.


Copyright 2023, Metropolitan News Company