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Name: People v. Ogle
Case #: B214086
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 06/22/2010

“Stalking is an act of domestic violence and admissible to prove propensity to commit the crime of making criminal threats.” Appellant went to prison for stalking his ex-wife. When he was released from custody, he called her multiple times threatening to kill her and her family. At appellant’s trial for making criminal threats, the prosecutor offered evidence of prior acts of domestic violence against the ex-wife (Pen. Code, secs. 1101, subd. (b), and 1109), including not only assaults, but the acts of stalking for which appellant had previously been incarcerated, and the trial court admitted them. On appeal, appellant argued the stalking convictions should not have been allowed as propensity evidence under section 1109 because they were not acts of domestic violence. The court noted section 1109 defines domestic violence by referencing both Penal Code section 13700 and Family Code section 6211. The Family Code definition is broader in that it is not limited to crimes involving bodily injury, or threats thereof, but rather extends to crimes of abuse, including any behavior that can be enjoined under Family Code section 6320. That statute in turn, specifically lists stalking. The court disagreed with People v. Zavala (2005) 130 Cal.App.4th 758 holding otherwise because that case only considered the Penal Code definition.