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Name: People v. Belloso
Case #: B290968
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 11/26/2019
Summary

Subsequent history: Review granted 3/11/2020 (S259755). The published opinion in this case involved another issue as well.

Editor’s Note: This is the court that decided Dueñas.

Belloso was convicted of carrying a dirk or dagger (Pen. Code, § 21310) and he admitted a number of sentencing allegations. The court imposed a $30 court facilities assessment (Gov. Code, §70373, subd. (a)(1)) and a $40 court operations assessment (Pen. Code, § 1465.8, subd. (a)(1)). The court also imposed the statutory minimum restitution fine of $300 (Pen. Code, § 1202.4, subd. (b)(1)), and it imposed and suspended a parole revocation restitution fine in the same amount (Pen. Code, § 1202.45). Belloso did not object to imposition of the assessments and fines (which were imposed prior to the Dueñas decision) or raise his inability to pay. On appeal, Belloso argued the trial court violated his rights to due process and equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment by failing to consider his ability to pay before imposing court assessments and restitution fines, relying on Dueñas.

Holdings/Reasoning:

  • The court reaffirmed its holding in Dueñas, and found the reasoning in People v. Hicks (2019) 40 Cal.App.5th 320, 326 and People v. Aviles (2019) 39 Cal.App.5th 1055, 1061 unpersuasive.
  • The court disagreed an excessive fines analysis under the Eighth Amendment is preferable or would lead to a different result. The constitutionality of imposition of fines and assessments should be analyzed under the due process clause.
  • Belloso did not forfeit his arguments under Dueñas. At the time Belloso was sentenced, Dueñas had not yet been decided (following People v. Castellano (2019) 33Cal.App.5th 485, 489).
  • The court concluded Belloso should have an opportunity on remand to request a hearing and present evidence demonstrating his inability to pay the assessments and the statutory minimum restitution and parole revocation fines.
  • On remand, if Belloso demonstrates his inability to pay the assessments, the trial court must strike them. If the trial court determines Belloso does not have the ability to pay the restitution fine and parole revocation restitution fine, it must stay execution of the fines.