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Name: Babalola v. Superior Court
Case #: B226170
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 02/14/2011

Except in cases involving domestic violence, a protective order under Penal Code section 136.2 cannot be based solely on the nature of the charges and requires a showing of good cause belief that a witness has been harmed or intimidated, or that either is reasonably likely to occur. The defendant was charged with two counts of assault with a semi-automatic firearm against his neighbors. At a pretrial hearing the prosecutor requested a protective order for the victims under section 136.2 based on their living proximity and the animosity between them. The court granted the request over defense objection. The defendant filed a petition for writ of mandate. The reviewing court considered the evolution of section 136.2 which was part of a statutory scheme criminalizing witness intimidation, and which authorized the issuance of a protective order upon “good cause belief that [victim or witness] intimidation … has occurred or is likely to occur.” Subsequently the Legislature dispensed with this requirement in domestic violence cases to provide additional protection for those victims by allowing consideration of the nature of the underlying charge. But, since this is not a domestic violence case, and since there is no evidence suggesting witness intimidation or reasonable likelihood of it in the future, there was no good cause to issue a protective order.