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Name: CDCR v. Superior Court (2023) 94 Cal.App.5th 1025
Case #: A166559
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 08/25/2023

Superior court did not have authority to accept a negotiated plea deal that would place lifetime parolee on probation for a new criminal offense instead of remanding him to CDCR’s custody. While defendant was released on lifetime parole, he committed felony offenses and a criminal case was initiated. The People and CDCR also each filed their own petition for revocation of defendant’s parole. The superior court accepted a negotiated disposition in the criminal case and placed defendant on felony probation. As part of the plea agreement, the superior court also dismissed the two pending parole revocation petitions at the People’s request (CDCR was not present). CDCR then filed a petition for writ of mandate in the Court of Appeal, arguing it was unlawful for the superior court to place defendant on probation pursuant to the negotiated disposition. Held: Petition granted. The superior court did not have authority to accept the negotiated disposition in this case. Penal Code section 3000.08(h) states that if a court determines a lifetime parolee has violated conditions of parole or the law, the parolee “shall” be remanded to the custody of CDCR and the jurisdiction of the Board of Parole Hearings. Here, when the superior court accepted defendant’s plea, it implicitly found he violated the law while on lifetime parole. Even though the prosecutor purported to withdraw both revocation petitions, section 3000.08(h) required that defendant be returned to the custody of CDCR. Additionally, based on the record in this case, the prosecutor had no authority to withdraw the revocation petition that CDCR filed pursuant to its own statutory mandate. [Editor’s Notes: (1) The court noted that, if no revocation petition had ever been filed, Penal Code section 1203.2(b)(1) would have provided the court a procedural mechanism to comply with section 3000.08(h). (2) The court concluded writ review was proper because CDCR had no other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy. CDCR also had standing to bring the mandate petition because the order sentencing defendant to probation has a direct, immediate, and detrimental impact on CDCR’s statutory authority and obligation to supervise lifetime parolees.]