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Name: People v. Amaya
Case #: B261189
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 11/03/2015

Proposition 47 petition for resentencing can be made orally. Amaya pleaded no contest to six counts of second degree commercial burglary. According to a probation report, Amaya admitted going into six different party supply stores and renting tables and chairs without any intention of returning them. Five of the six cases involved losses totaling less than $950. The court placed Amaya on probation. In December 2014, Amaya admitted a second probation violation and was reinstated on probation. At the hearing, Amaya made an oral motion to reduce “this” to a misdemeanor under Proposition 47. The trial court denied the motion. Amaya appealed. Held: Reversed and remanded. On appeal, the People argued that the trial court properly denied Amaya’s petition because it was made orally rather than in writing. Proposition 47 permits individuals currently serving a sentence for a felony conviction that would have been a misdemeanor if Proposition 47 had been in effect at the time of the offense to petition for recall of sentence before the trial court that entered the judgment of conviction. (Pen. Code, § 1170.18, subd. (a).) The Court of Appeal reasoned that Amaya’s oral motion qualified as a petition. Although other statutes contain express language requiring a written petition (see Pen. Code, §§ 851.8 [petition for destruction of arrest records must be served], 1474 [petition for writ of habeas corpus must be signed]; 4852.01 [petition for certificate of rehabilitation must be filed]), there is no such language in Proposition 47. The People failed to show that the word “petition” necessarily means “written petition.” Because five of Amaya’s six second degree commercial burglary convictions qualified for reduction to misdemeanors under Proposition 47, the court reversed and remanded to the trial court with directions to issue a new order changing the convictions to misdemeanor shoplifting (Pen. Code, § 459.5).