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Name: People v. Hall
Case #: B292294
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 08/29/2019
Summary

Subsequent history: No petition for review was filed in this case and the remittitur issued.

Hall pleaded no contest to three counts of identity theft with a prior (Pen. Code, § 530.5, subd. (c)(2)). The trial court imposed $3,000 in direct victim restitution, a $300 restitution fine (Pen. Code, § 1202.4, subd. (b)), $90 criminal conviction assessment (Gov. Code, § 70373), $120 court operations assessment (Pen. Code, § 1465.8), and public defender fees of $508 (Pen. Code, § 987.8). “All of the fines and fees owed to the court” were stayed so Hall could focus on paying victim restitution. The fines and fees were imposed prior to the Dueñas decision. The only issue on appeal was Hall’s challenge to the fines and fees based on Dueñas. She argued that the fees and assessments must be reversed, and the $300 restitution fine must be stayed, pending a hearing on her ability to pay. She did not present the issue to the trial court, either at the time of sentencing or after, as required by Penal Code section 1237.2. She argued section 1237.2 did not apply because she was claiming a violation of her constitutional rights, not a miscalculation of the fees.

Holdings/Reasoning:

  • Appeal dismissed. The plain language of section 1237.2 “does not limit [its] reach only to situations where the fee simply did not apply at all or was a result of mathematical error.” (People v. Alexander (2016) 6 Cal.App.5th 798, 801.) Section 1237.2 “applies any time a defendant claims the trial court wrongly imposed fines, penalty assessments, surcharges, fees, or costs without having first presented the claim in the trial court, and by the terms of the statute, the trial court retains jurisdiction pending appeal to correct any error.” [Editor’s Note: A court has held that section 1237.2 only applies in cases where the erroneous imposition or calculation of fines, penalty assessments, surcharges, fees, or costs is the sole issue on appeal. (See People v. Jenkins (2019) 40 Cal.App.5th 30 below.)
  • The court’s disposition of this appeal did not implicate Hall’s constitutional rights. In this case, the trial court has already stayed “all of the fines and fees owed to the court” so that Hall might give priority to paying the direct victim restitution.
  • In the trial court, Hall is entitled to request that the court make the stay of her fines and fees permanent, “and has always had that right under section 1237.2.”