Skip to content
Name: People v. Fuentes
Case #: A162315
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 01/30/2023
Summary

Pretrial release and protective order conditions to only have “peaceful contact” with the victim and prohibition from “disturbing the peace” were not unconstitutionally vague given the domestic violence context. Defendant pleaded guilty to willful infliction of corporal injury and the plea agreement included a Cruz waiver that applied if he violated any laws or conditions of his release. He was released on “enhanced supervision” pending sentencing with a peaceful-contact condition. A criminal protective order permitted defendant to have “only peaceful contact” with the victim and provided that he may not, among other things, “disturb the peace . . . of the protected persons . . . .” Subsequently, defendant yelled at the victim and withheld access to her phone and the internet. The trial court found defendant violated the Cruz admonishment by having “less than peaceful” communication with the victim and sentenced him to state prison. Defendant appealed, arguing the finding he violated the “peaceful contact” and “disturbing the peace” conditions could not support finding a Cruz waiver violation because both conditions were unconstitutionally vague. Held: Affirmed. The Court of Appeal analyzed the meaning of “disturbing the peace,” case law, statutes, Judicial Council forms, and the protective order in this case. “Given the circumstances and prohibitory language as a whole, a reasonable person subject to a domestic violence criminal protective order could not reasonably question that the order to not disturb the peace of the victim means not just to refrain from violence and violence-inciting behavior but also to not destroy the mental or emotional calm of the victim of his domestic violence.” (Quoting In re Marriage of Nadkarni (2009) 173 Cal.App.4th 1483, 1497.)

https://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/A162315.PDF