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Name: In re Anthony
Case #: B256949
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 04/27/2015

Trial court’s order granting former inmate’s Penal Code section 1485.55 motion for compensation for an erroneous conviction is not appealable by the prosecution. Anthony’s petition for writ of habeas corpus challenging his 1995 murder conviction was granted and his conviction vacated. Anthony then sought compensation from the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board (board) for his erroneous incarceration (former Pen. Code, § 4900), which required proof of actual innocence. While his claim was pending, the procedures governing section 4900 claims were amended. Section 1485.55 was adopted and this section allows a person who prevails on a habeas claim to ask the court for a declaration of factual innocence and requires the board to accept the finding without further hearing. The prosecution appealed the granting of Anthony’s request, asserting the new section should not be applied retroactively and the court’s finding was unsupported. Held: Appeal dismissed. To support its assertion of appellate jurisdiction in this case, the prosecution cited Penal Code section 1238, subdivision (a)(5), which authorizes an appeal from an order after judgment affecting the substantial rights of the people. However, this subdivision is inapplicable to orders that relate to matters collateral to the criminal proceeding. Here, the challenged order (which facilitated Anthony’s ability to obtain compensation) had no impact on his underlying criminal judgment. The prosecution did not appeal the order granting Anthony’s writ petition and the charges were ultimately dismissed. Additionally, the prosecution did not identify any way that the order would impact its ability to pursue future prosecutions. The trial court’s order also did not deny the prosecution a hearing on the issue of factual innocence because this issue was litigated at the hearing on the motion.