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Name: People v. Hargis
Case #: F076087
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/20/2019
Summary

Where Court of Appeal remanded case for a Franklin hearing, the trial court had jurisdiction to grant defendant’s motion for a juvenile fitness/transfer hearing under Proposition 57 because the new law went into effect after the appellate opinion was filed, but before the case was final. In 2009, 16-year-old Hargis was convicted in criminal court of various offenses. His first appeal resulted in remand for a Franklin hearing to present facts for a future youthful parole hearing. The remittitur issued and the trial court set the matter for a hearing. Prior to the Franklin hearing, Proposition 57 was enacted and it eliminated the prosecution’s discretion to directly file juvenile cases in criminal court. At the Franklin hearing, Hargis moved for the case to be remanded to juvenile court pursuant to Proposition 57. The trial court denied the motion because it found it had no jurisdiction. Hargis appealed. Held: Reversed. Upon issuance of the remittitur, a trial court’s jurisdiction is normally limited to making orders necessary to carry out the judgment ordered by the appellate court. Here, however, Hargis’ entitlement to a juvenile fitness/transfer hearing could not have been addressed in the Court of Appeal’s remand order because Proposition 57 had not yet passed. The limited remand did not constitute a “straightjacket” for the trial court such that it had no power to hear a motion on an issue that could not have been raised during the prior appeal. (See People v. Superior Court (Lara) (2018) 4 Cal.5th 299, 305.) Proposition 57 applies retroactively to all juveniles whose cases were not yet final at the time its enactment and it applies in Hargis’ case. The trial court should have entertained and granted defendant’s motion for a juvenile fitness/transfer hearing; this would not have required the trial court to disobey the remittitur.

The applicability of Senate Bill No. 620 to appellant’s case is dependent on the outcome of his juvenile fitness/transfer hearing. Effective January 1, 2018, Penal Code section 1385 was amended to give trial courts discretion to strike gun use enhancements. While new statutes which ameliorate punishment apply to defendants whose judgments are not final on the statute’s operative date, the remittitur in Hargis’ first appeal issued January 3, 2017. Accordingly, whether Hargis may receive the benefit of SB 620 depends on the outcome of his juvenile fitness hearing. If he is retained under juvenile court jurisdiction, the juvenile court may decide whether to strike the gun use as part of its disposition. If Hargis remains in criminal court, his convictions and sentence will be reinstated and he will not be entitled to the ameliorative benefits of SB 620 because his conviction in adult court was final when the legislation was enacted.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: https://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/archive/F076087.PDF