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Name: People v. Eastman
Case #: H044458
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 08/23/2018

A court does not have discretion to impose a condition of probation requiring sex offender registration outside the parameters of Penal Code section 290 et seq. Defendant pleaded guilty to six counts of disorderly conduct (Pen. Code, § 647, subd. (j)(2)) and admitted allegations the acts were “committed . . . as a result of sexual compulsion and for purposes of sexual gratification.” (Pen. Code § 290.006.) The probation department recommended defendant be ordered to register as a sex offender for at least the period of probation. The trial court agreed with the recommendation but believed it did not have the discretion to impose such a condition: “there is no provision in the law for that. [¶] 290 is an all or nothing statute.” The sentencing court imposed lifetime registration. On appeal in the appellate division of the trial court, appellant argued the trial court abused its discretion because it erroneously believed it could not order sex offender registration as a term of probation. The appellate division agreed, and remanded for the trial court to exercise its discretion. The Sixth District Court of Appeal transferred the case on its own order. Held: Trial court’s order affirmed. A trial court’s broad discretion in crafting conditions of probation does not include the “power to carve out an exception to a comprehensive statutory scheme in order to design a probation condition that utilizes some, but not all, of the provisions of that scheme.” The Sex Offender Registration Act is a comprehensive, standardized, statewide system that is not amenable to “inconsistent directives crafted by individual trial courts” on a case-by-case basis. Agreeing with In re Bernardino S. (1992) 4 Cal.App.4th 613, the court held the Legislature’s creation of this comprehensive registration scheme precludes trial courts from altering those standards to suit their individual preferences in particular cases.

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