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Name: People v. Willie
Case #: A106952
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 10/03/2005

A trial court may not grant a district attorney’s motion ordering a police department to release a felon’s money to the Victim Compensation Board to pay a restitution fine. The defendant was convicted of various sex crimes and ordered to pay a significant restitution fine. The Sonoma Police Department, which had seized funds from defendant at the time of his arrest, refused to release the funds for payment of the restitution fine, citing the judicial exemption from execution for funds of an arrestee that are held for safekeeping. The Victim Compensation Board sought release of the funds via a writ of execution, but the sentencing judge terminated the writ proceeding and instead granted the district attorney’s motion to have the money released. The order was entered nunc pro tunc, dated the day of sentencing. The Court of Appeal held that this proceeding was improper and reversed. The writ of execution sought by the Victim Compensation Board was the proper method of obtaining the funds held by the police department, and because the judicially-created exemption from execution for an arrestee’s funds does not apply to one who has been actually convicted of the charges, the court may enforce the restitution fine as a money judgment.