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Name: People v. Hodges (2023) 92 Cal.App.5th 186
Case #: B323199
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 06/02/2023
Summary

Because the trial court had no jurisdiction to grant defendant’s motion to vacate his sentence, the order denying relief was not appealable. In 2001, defendant was sentenced to 230 years to life as a three strikes offender. The conviction was affirmed on direct appeal. In 2022, he filed a motion to vacate his sentence on the ground that it was unauthorized, asserting that he should only be sentenced as a second strike offender. The trial court denied relief. Hodges appealed. After appellate counsel filed a brief raising no issues and requesting review under Wende and Delgadillo, Hodges filed two supplemental briefs pro per, raising ineffective assistance of counsel claims. Held: Appeal dismissed. The trial court had no jurisdiction to entertain defendant’s request, filed more than 20 years after entry of judgment. Thus, the order denying relief could not and did not affect his substantial rights. Defendant’s motion was in essence a habeas petition and is not appealable under Penal Code section 1237, subdivision (b). Further, defendant is not entitled to independent review of the record under Wende because his purported appeal is from an order denying postconviction relief rather than a first appeal of right from a criminal conviction. Noting that, if the underlying order were appealable, Hodges would be entitled to have the court consider claims raised in his supplemental brief, the court summarily rejected those claims.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: https://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/B323199.PDF