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Name: People v. Adelmann
Case #: E064099
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 08/31/2016

Where the “entire jurisdiction” of defendant’s case was transferred to another county (Pen. Code, § 1203.9), his Proposition 47 petition was properly filed in the receiving county. In 2012, defendant pleaded guilty in San Diego County to driving under the influence and possession of illegal drugs. He was granted three years’ probation. In December 2012, his motion to transfer jurisdiction of his case to Riverside County was granted (Pen. Code, § 1203.9). In January 2015, he filed a Proposition 47 petition to reduce his drug conviction to a misdemeanor in Riverside County (Pen. Code, § 1170.18, subd. (a)). He told the court he had attempted to file the petition in the San Diego Superior Court but that court rejected the motion because of the transfer. The prosecution claimed there was no jurisdiction in Riverside County to hear the petition. The petition was granted and the prosecution appealed. Held: Affirmed. Penal Code section 1203.9 outlines the process for jurisdictional transfer of a probation case. After transfer, jurisdiction of the case rests exclusively in the receiving county and the transferring court no longer has jurisdiction. Section 1170.18 (the statutory implementation of Prop. 47) provides that a defendant may seek resentencing of an enumerated felony before the trial court that entered the judgment of conviction (subds. (a), (f)). However, this requirement does not apply when the entire jurisdiction of the case has been transferred to another county. One of the objectives of Proposition 47 was to provide a process for defendants to obtain reclassification of certain felony offenses as misdemeanors. Allowing the county receiving the entire jurisdiction over a case to decide a Proposition 47 petition effectuates this purpose, is economical, and is a practical use of judicial resources.

Penal Code section 1203.9 is specific regarding jurisdiction of a case and prevails over section 1170.18, which is not. A specific statute should prevail over a general statute. “By allowing the ‘concurrent operation’ of both section 1203.9 and section 1170.18, a probationary defendant can waive his right to be resentenced by the same trial court and obtain expeditious relief in the court that has entire jurisdiction over his case.”

A defendant can waive his rights under Penal Code section 1170.18 to have his petition heard by the court that entered the judgment. As with other rights, a defendant may waive the right for the petition to be considered by a particular judge in a particular county (citing People v. Superior Court (Kaulick) (2013) 215 Cal.App.4th 1279 [addressing resentencing under Prop. 36]). By filing his Proposition 47 petition in Riverside superior court, defendant waived his rights to have the petition heard in San Diego County.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: