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Name: People v. Robinson (2024) 100 Cal.App.5th 133
Case #: A165379
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 03/01/2024

A certificate of probable cause is required for claims of error concerning pretrial mental health diversion (Pen. Code, § 1001.36) following a guilty plea, including ineffective assistance of counsel. Defendant pleaded no contest to two felonies. He appealed but did not obtain a certificate of probable cause (CPC). On appeal, he argued trial counsel was ineffective for failing to request pretrial mental health diversion, that the trial court violated its sua sponte duty to consider defendant’s eligibility for diversion, and that the claims were cognizable on appeal without a CPC because they were based on the “sentence or other matters occurring after the plea.” Held: Affirmed. Under Rule 8.304(b), a CPC is not required for an appeal based on the sentence or other matters occurring after the plea. In People v. Braden (2023) 14 Cal.5th 791, 810, the California Supreme Court recently clarified that a defendant is only eligible for pretrial mental health diversion “until adjudication (§ 1001.36, subd. (f)(1))—a phrase that encompasses both a plea hearing and an adjudication by trial.” Given the rule set forth in Braden, an attorney’s failure to request pretrial mental health diversion cannot, by definition, be a “matter occurring after the plea.” (Rule 8.304(b).) Raising that issue therefore requires a certificate of probable cause. For the same reason, a certificate of probable cause is also required for defendant’s related claim concerning the trial court’s purported sua sponte duty to consider mental health diversion. To the extent People v. Hill (2021) 59 Cal.App.5th 1190 held that no certificate of probable cause was required for a similar IAC claim because it did not attack the validity of the plea and instead challenged the trial court’s sentencing discretion relating to the application of section 1001.36, this court concluded that Braden implicitly abrogated Hill.