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Name: People v. Hall
Case #: B151722
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 11/18/2002
Subsequent History: None

When appellant’s probation was revoked, the trial court ordered him to perform 139 hours of community service in lieu of the cost of probation services, since he was unemployed. The appellate court here found that the trial court erred. Penal Code section 1203.1b, subdivision (a) requires the probation officer to determine a defendant’s ability to pay for the cost of probation services, and to inform the defendant of his right to have a court determine his ability to pay the amount. Here, the record fails to reflect any evidence that appellant was informed of this right, nor an indication that he waived his right to a hearing. The court received no evidence and made no finding regarding appellant’s ability to pay. In fact, the “conversion” to community service could evidence an implicit determination that appellant was unable to pay. The court’s order was creative and well-intentioned, but outside the law. It was also unenforceable because it could not be a condition of probation.