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Name: In re Tokhmanian
Case #: B208427
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 12/04/2008

The Governor’s 30-day period to review a parole decision starts only when the decision becomes effective, regardless of whether this is due to lapse of time, parole board approval, or court action. The Court of Appeal provided a detailed discussion of the parole review process to determine when the Governor’s 30-day period to review a grant of parole begins. (See Cal. Const., art. V, § 8; Pen. Code, § 3041.2) The court noted that when a panel finds an inmate is suitable for parole, that finding is not immediately effective. Instead, the parole board has 120 days to review the decision. If the board agrees with the decision, then at the end of the 120 days, the decision becomes effective. On the other hand, if the decision is disapproved and referred for rehearing, the panel’s original decision never becomes effective and the Governor has no constitutional power to review it because the Constitution only confers power to review a grant, denial, revocation, or suspension of parole, but not a decision by the board ordering rehearing. So where, as here, a trial court overrules the parole board and reinstates a panel’s decision to grant parole, the Governor’s 30-day review period begin from the date of the order of the court.