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Name: People v. Washington
Case #: B284474
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 05/25/2018

In a petition for resentencing under Proposition 47, a petitioner’s statement that the value of the stolen property did not exceed $950 is sufficient to meet his initial prima facie burden with respect to the value of the stolen goods in question. In 2002, Washington was convicted of identity theft, burglary, and possession of a forged driver’s license based on evidence that he used another person’s identity without permission to secure credit and purchase items at a department store. After the passage of Proposition 47 in 2014, Washington filed a petition requesting that his felony burglary conviction be reclassified to a misdemeanor. The trial court summarily denied the petition, finding that identity theft does not constitute the new crime of shoplifting under Penal Code section 459.5, which was added by Proposition 47. Washington appealed. On appeal, the People conceded that shoplifting under section 459.5 includes identity theft in light of People v. Gonzales (2017) 2 Cal.5th 858, but argued that Washington did not meet his initial burden of showing that the value of the stolen property did not exceed $950. Held: Reversed. Under Proposition 47, a person who has completed his or her sentence for a qualifying conviction may file an application to have the felony conviction designated as a misdemeanor. (Pen. Code, § 1170.18, subd. (f).) The trial court’s initial screening of the application is limited to a determination of whether the applicant has presented a prima facie basis for relief under section 1170.18 based on a review of the petition itself (generally prepared pro per) and a review of the record of conviction. If there is a prima facie basis for relief, the trial court may then hold a full qualification hearing where additional evidence on the issue of eligibility may be received. Here, Washington met his initial burden by affirmatively stating that the value of the stolen property was $450. He was not required to submit a declaration, court documents, or record citations. The Court of Appeal disagreed with People v. Perkins (2016) 244 Cal.App.4th 129 on this point.

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