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Name: People v. Murdock
Case #: B279452
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 07/19/2018
Summary

Penal Code section 1381 does not apply to a defendant seeking disposition of a Postrelease Community Supervision (PRCS) arrest warrant. In December 2014, Murdock was released on PRCS in a Ventura County case. When advised by the court probation agency that he had absconded, the court issued a warrant for his arrest, summarily revoked PRCS, and ordered that the PRCS period be tolled. A few months later, Murdock was sentenced to jail on a different crime in Monterey County, which was committed before he was placed on PRCS in Ventura County. While incarcerated on that new offense, he sent a demand to the Ventura County District Attorney to be brought to trial on the PRCS matter within 90 days, as contemplated under section 1381. After not having been brought to trial within 90 days, he moved to recall the PRCS warrant and dismiss the associated revocation matter, asserting both noncompliance with section 1381 and a due process violation. His motion was denied. After serving the balance of his sentence on the Monterey County matter, he was arrested on the PRCS warrant and returned to Ventura County, where the probation agency filed a formal petition to revoke his PRCS. The court found Murdock in violation of his PRCS, revoked and reinstated it, and ordered him to serve 120 days in jail. He appealed. Held: Reversed on due process grounds. When a defendant begins serving a state prison sentence while any criminal proceeding in which he remains to be sentenced is pending, the pending action shall be dismissed if defendant’s request to be brought to trial or sentenced within 90 days is not complied with. (Pen. Code, § 1381.) Here, Murdock was not entitled to relief under section 1381. His PRCS was part of the sentence already imposed the Ventura County case and thus was not a matter in which he “remained to be sentenced.”

Defendant had a due process right to timely disposition of the PRCS proceedings pending in another county. Murdock also argued the failure to bring him to Ventura County to resolve the PRCS revocation matter within a reasonable time after he made his demand constituted a violation of his due process rights. The Court of Appeal agreed. Under Matthews v. Eldridge (1976) 424 U.S. 319, 334-335, identification of the specific dictates of due process generally requires consideration of three distinct factors: (1) the private interest that will be affected by the official action; (2) the risk of an erroneous deprivation of such interest through the procedures used, and the probable value, if any, of additional or substitute procedural safeguards; and (3) the government’s interest, including the function involved and the fiscal and administrative burdens that the additional or substitute procedural requirement would entail. Here, these factors favored Murdock. First, the PRCS warrant issued because Murdock allegedly absconded from supervision, but once he notified the authorities and requested resolution of the PRCS matter, he could no longer be said to be absconding. Second, if the PRCS violation had been timely addressed, any term of incarceration imposed as a sanction for violating PRCS would have had to run concurrently with the jail sentence in Monterey County. The tolling of PRCS would also have ended and PRCS would have been reinstated or terminated. Third, there would have been no additional burden on Ventura County to bring defendant before the court as demanded, because that was going to happen anyway, if simply later. Thus, the court reversed and remanded with directions to the trial court to recalculate the PRCS tolling period from the date the PRCS warrant was issued until the date the authorities in Ventura County received notice of Murdock’s demand under section 1381.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/B279452.PDF