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Name: People v. Moran
Case #: S215914
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 08/04/2016

Probation condition prohibiting defendant from entering the premises or adjacent parking lot of any Home Depot store in California is constitutional. Moran pleaded no contest to second degree burglary and admitted a prior prison term enhancement based on a theft he committed at Home Depot. He was granted probation. One of his probation conditions prohibited him from going on the premises or adjacent parking lot of any Home Depot store in California. Moran did not object to this term. On appeal he challenged the condition as violating his constitutional right to travel and state law. The Court of Appeal struck the term, concluding the condition was overbroad and potentially a violation of Moran’s right to travel. The prosecution’s review petition was granted. Held: Reversed. The right to travel is an aspect of personal liberty. However, this right is subject to limits. An incidental impact on the right to travel that has some purpose other than restriction on the right to travel, and which does not discriminate among classes of persons by penalizing the exercise by some of this right, is not unconstitutional. Reasonable restrictions on a probationer’s right to travel are permissible. The restriction on Moran’s movement caused by the probation term is too de minimis to implicate the concerns that underlie the constitutional right to travel. Moran is still free to move around his community, the city, and the State of California. [Editor’s Note: In footnote 5, the court noted that a defendant may challenge the constitutionality of a probation condition even absent an objection if the issue presents a pure question of law. But the court also noted that defendants are well advised to object at sentencing to conditions they find improper to ensure they preserve the issue for appeal.]

The probation condition prohibiting defendant from entering any California Home Depot does not violate the principles of People v. Lent (1975) 15 Cal.3d 481. When a trial court places a defendant on probation, it has broad discretion to impose reasonable conditions that further the rehabilitation of the defendant and protect public safety. Although the court’s discretion is not unlimited, a condition of probation will not be held invalid unless it “(1) has no relationship to the crime of which the offender was convicted, (2) relates to conduct which is not itself criminal, and (3) requires or forbids conduct which is not reasonably related to future criminality.” All three prongs must be satisfied before the condition will be deemed invalid. Here, the “stay away” condition of Moran’s probation is reasonably related to his crime because he stole from a Home Depot store. It is also directed at curbing Moran’s future criminality by preventing him from returning to the scene of his crime and helping him avoid any temptation to repeat his offense. The term’s statewide scope does not render it improper; it recognizes the possibility that Moran targeted the store because it has a predictable layout, multiple exits or some other characteristic that caused Moran to choose Home Depot as his victim.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: