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Name: People v. Wilson
Case #: A160394
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 07/20/2021

A superior court has no jurisdiction to modify parole conditions in the absence of an alleged parole violation or pending revocation proceeding. One of defendant’s parole conditions forbade him from residing within half a mile of any private or public K-12 school. As this rendered him homeless, he invited the trial court to, on its own motion, modify his parole conditions to exclude that restriction, and the superior court did so. CDCR appealed, arguing that the court had no jurisdiction to act in the absence of a parole violation or revocation proceeding. Held: Reversed. One reasonable interpretation of Penal Code section 1203.2, subdivision (b)(1) is that it permits a trial court, on its own motion, to modify the terms of parole. But subdivision (b)(1) states “the court . . . may modify, revoke, or terminate the supervision of the supervised person upon the grounds set forth in subdivision (a) if the interests of justice so require,” and subdivision (a) governs revocation proceedings. Thus, subdivision (b)(1) may also be interpreted as supplying jurisdiction only where the supervised person has violated parole or committed other wrongdoing. In light of the ambiguity, the court examined Penal Code sections 1202.2, 1202.3, and 3000.08 and concluded, based on the legislative history and statutory framework, that application of section 1202.2, subdivision (b)(1) is limited to parole violations. Thus, because there was no allegation defendant violated parole, the trial court lacked jurisdiction to modify his parole conditions. The court observed that a nonviolating parolee could use a petition for writ of habeas corpus to challenge a parole restriction, but urged the Legislature to grant courts the authority to modify parole conditions outside of an alleged violation or revocation proceeding, in order to remedy the incongruity in the current system whereby a parolee accused of violating parole may receive a favorable parole modification while a nonviolating parolee may not.