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Name: People v. Romanowski
Case #: B263164
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 12/13/2015
Subsequent History: Review granted 1/20/2016: S231405

Proposition 47 applies to theft of an access card (Pen. Code, § 484e, subd. (d)) provided the theft involved property valued at less than $950. In September 2014, Romanowski pleaded no contest to grand theft of access card information (Pen. Code, § 484e, subd. (d)). In March 2015, he filed a Proposition 47 petition for resentencing. (Pen. Code, § 1170.18.) The trial court denied the petition, concluding that Proposition 47 did not apply to the offense of theft of an access card. Romanowski appealed. Held: Reversed and remanded. Proposition 47 added Penal Code section 490.2, which redefines all grand theft offenses as misdemeanors if they involve property valued at less than $950. Section 484e, subdivision (d) states that every person who retains possession of another person’s access card information without the cardholder’s consent is guilty of grand theft. “The legal syllogism is therefore straightforward: if grand theft involving property valued at less than $950 is a misdemeanor, and acquiring or retaining possession of access card information is defined as grand theft, then acquiring or retaining possession of an access card information valued at less than $950 is a misdemeanor.” The voter’s intent also supports this construction of the plain language. The court disagreed with People v. Cuen (2015) 241 Cal.App.4th 1227 and People v. Grayson (2015) 241 Cal.App.4th 454, which reached the opposite conclusion. Remand was required because the trial court did not decide whether Romanowski’s theft involved property worth less than $950.