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Name: People v. Perkins
Case #: E062878
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 01/25/2016
Summary

Defendant whose Proposition 47 petition was summarily denied for lack of supporting evidence may file a new petition because the rules regarding burden of proof were unsettled when the petition was filed. Perkins was convicted of numerous offenses, including receiving stolen property and three counts of grand theft of a firearm. After Proposition 47 passed in November 2014, Perkins petitioned to reduce his receiving stolen property offense to a misdemeanor. He attached no evidence regarding the value of the items possessed. The form he used did not provide the option of seeking reduction on the grand theft offenses. The trial court summarily denied the petition, finding the property valued at more than $950. Perkins appealed, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence of value and claiming the court should have considered resentencing on his grand theft convictions. Held: Affirmed. Proposition 47 reduced certain theft and drug felonies to misdemeanors. It provides a mechanism by which qualified defendants may seek to reduce felony convictions to misdemeanors (Pen. Code, § 1170.18). Receipt of stolen property and grand theft offenses are now misdemeanors if the value of the property stolen/possessed does not exceed $950 (Pen. Code, §§ 496, subd. (a), 490.2, subd. (a)). The statute is silent as to who bears the burden of establishing eligibility for sentence reduction. The Court of Appeal here agreed with the holding in People v. Sherow (2015) 239 Cal.App.4th 875, that a Proposition 47 petitioner must establish his eligibility for resentencing with sufficient information to allow the trial court to determine eligibility. When Perkins filed his petition, the ground rules for such filings were unsettled. Therefore, he may renew his petition in the trial court, adding the grand theft counts and providing adequate supporting evidence.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/E062878.PDF