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Name: People v. Leggett
Case #: C073586
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/16/2013
Subsequent History: Review granted 12/18/13: S214264

Trial court’s summary denial of a petition for resentencing under strikes reform law is not an appealable order when the petitioner is not qualified by Penal Code section 1170.126, to seek relief. Leggett is an inmate serving a life sentence under the Three Strikes law. In March 2013 he filed a petition to recall his sentence under Penal Code section 1170.126, the statutory implementation of Proposition 36, the Three Strikes Reform Act. The trial court summarily denied the petition, finding Leggett was disqualified from seeking relief because his commitment offense was attempted robbery, a serious felony. He appealed. Held: Appeal dismissed. Under Proposition 36, a defendant with two or more prior serious/violent felonies is not subject to a life term if the current offense is not serious or violent, not a disqualifying offense as listed in the statute, and the defendant has no enumerated disqualifying prior. Section 1170.126 provides a procedure whereby a qualified defendant serving a life sentence may seek recall of his/her sentence and resentencing as a two strike defendant. When a petition is filed, the court must determine whether the defendant is eligible for resentencing. Leggett’s attempted robbery conviction excludes him from the class of defendants authorized to seek relief under section 1170.126. As the right to appeal is statutory, the only possible statute under which Leggett may appeal is Penal Code section 1237 – from an order made after judgment affecting his substantial rights. However, section 1170.126 creates a substantial right only for qualified defendants.