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Name: People v. Nguyen
Case #: S075300
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 12/28/2000
Subsequent History: Modified on 1/17/01, without change in judgment

Disapproving People v. Mai (1994) 22 Cal.App.4th 117, the California Supreme Court held that California’s Penal Code section 211 requires a robbery victim to have been in possession of the property taken. Penal Code section 211 does not adopt the view contained in Model Penal Code section 222.1, which defines robbery as the use of force or fear against any person during the commission of a theft. In California, in order for a robbery to be committed, a victim must be in possession of the property. The court cited approvingly the cases which utilized the concept of constructive possession, but held that here, the guest of the business that was robbed was not in constructive or actual possession of the property, and was therefore not a robbery victim. Moreover, the record did not demonstrate that anything personal, such as identification, had been taken from him.