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Name: People v. DeLeon
Case #: A140050
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 10/28/2015
Subsequent History: Review granted 2/3/2016: S230906

Parole revocation hearings held in superior court pursuant to the Realignment Act of 2011 need not be preceded by a preliminary probable cause hearing. DeLeon was on parole following his 2003 conviction for committing a lewd act on a minor. One term of parole prohibited him from possessing pornographic material. During a parole check in August 2013, his parole agent found pornographic material on DeLeon’s cell phone. He was taken to jail and charged with a parole violation. The CDCR gave DeLeon written notice of the parole violation and a petition to revoke parole was filed in superior court. A judicial officer reviewed the report and found probable cause to summarily revoke DeLeon’s parole. The matter was set for hearing. DeLeon’s motion to dismiss the petition because he did not get a probable cause hearing within 15 days of his arrest (Pen. Code, § 3044), was denied and his parole revoked. He appealed. Held: Affirmed. In Morrissey v. Brewer (1972) 408 U.S. 471, the Court outlined the due process requirements for parole revocation, which includes an informal preliminary hearing to determine whether there is probable cause for an administrative agency to hold a formal hearing to revoke parole. But Morrissey, which applies to revocation proceedings by executive branch agencies, does not clearly mandate that process be employed by the courts. Although CDCR previously had the power to grant and revoke parole, the 2011 the Realignment Act transferred this authority to the state courts. The procedures followed in this case, where a judicial officer reviewed the charges and supporting materials and made a probable cause determination within 15 days of arrest, written notice of the violation was provided to DeLeon, counsel was appointed, and a full evidentiary hearing occurred within 45 days of arrest, satisfied due process.