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Name: People v. Zamudio
Case #: B271406
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 05/15/2017
Summary

A petition to revoke parole filed by the district attorney need not include a report detailing why intermediate sanctions are inappropriate, as is required of the supervising parole agency. Zamudio was convicted of making a criminal threat (Pen. Code, § 422) and sentenced to state prison. In April 2014, he was released on parole. The district attorney sought to revoke his parole (Pen. Code, § 1203.2) after he assaulted a woman. Zamudio demurred to the petition because it failed to include a written report as to why intermediate sanctions without court intervention were inappropriate, as is required in petitions filed by the Department of Corrections supervising parole agency (Pen. Code, § 3000.08, subd. (f), Cal. Rules of Court, rule 4.541(e)). His demurrer was overruled, his parole revoked, and he was ordered to serve 150 days in jail. He appealed. Held: Affirmed. In 2011 the Realignment Act enacted and amended statutes concerning parole eligibility, enforcement of parole supervision conditions, and procedures to revoke parole. The supervising parole agency may petition to revoke parole only after it finds that intermediate sanctions are inappropriate (Pen. Code, § 3000.08, subd. (f)), and provides a report containing the reasons for its determination. Penal Code section 1203.2, authorizes the district attorney to petition to revoke parole, but does not require the filing of a report or explanation why intermediate sanctions are inappropriate. However, the trial court must refer the district attorney petition to the prole officer for a written report that the court must consider. (Pen. Code, § 1203.2, subd. (b)(1).) Because the petition to revoke Zamudio’s parole was filed by the district attorney, it did not have to include a report regarding intermediate sanctions.

The statutory scheme under which the district attorney’s revocation petition was filed does not violate a parolee’s right to equal protection of the law. Zamudio argued he was denied equal protection because parole revocation petitions filed by the district attorney (Pen. Code, § 1203.2) are not required to contain a report regarding considerations of intermediate sanctions, as is required in petitions filed by the supervising parole agency. A party claiming an equal protection violation must first establish that the state has adopted a classification that affects two or more similarly situated groups in an unequal manner. If such a classification of similarly situated individuals does exist and does not affect a fundamental right or suspect class, it must next be determined whether the classification is rationally related to a legitimate government interest. Here, it is likely that revocation petitions filed by the district attorney will involve parolees who have committed a new crime, whereas those filed by the supervising parole agency will concern more minor violations. As such, the two groups of parolees are not similarly situated. Even if they were, it is rational for the Legislature to have concluded that parole violation procedures should be different depending upon which entity files the revocation petition. There is also no significant difference between the two groups of parolees because the court must order a report from the parole officer. As a result, there is no equal protection violation.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/B271406.PDF