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Name: People v. Gayton
Case #: G034527
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 02/28/2006

Appellant received prejudicially ineffective assistance of counsel where his appointed attorney failed to review the defendant’s probation file prior to a contested probation revocation hearing. The petition to revoke appellant’s probation alleged that he had failed to report to his probation officer, and at the contested hearing the probation officer testified that he had never seen or spoken to appellant during the time that he had been on probation. The probation officer failed to bring the probation file to the hearing with him, and trial counsel had not requested it. Appellant testified on his own behalf and reported numerous interactions with the probation officer, including regular reporting as required by the terms of his probation. The court believed the probation officer’s version of events and revoked appellant’s probation. The probation file, later produced, proved that appellant’s version of events was correct. The appellate court issued a writ of habeas corpus, finding that counsel was prejudicially ineffective for failing to examine the file or to impeach the probation officer’s testimony at the hearing.