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Name: Sabatasso v. Superior Court of Orange County
Case #: G039906
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 10/20/2008

Under Penal Code section 2713.1, a paroled prisoner who is transferred to another law enforcement agency for proceedings under Penal Code section 6600 (SVP) is entitled to the $200 release money authorized by section 2713.1. Upon his parole, Sabatasso was released to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office pending evaluation as a sexually violent predator and commitment under the SVPA. His request for the $200 release fund, authorized pursuant to Penal Code section 2713.1, was denied on the grounds that he remained in custody as opposed to being paroled to the community, and, therefore, was not entitled to the money pursuant to Title 15, section 3075.2, subdivision (d)(2), as promulgated by the Department of Corrections. Under the rules of statutory construction, the court found that the clear language of section 2713.1, stating that the allowance is to be paid to an inmate “on release” does not mean release on parole, and cannot be changed by Title 15. It is up to the Legislature to consider the provisions of a statute and not the Department of Corrections through its administrative enactments. Sabatasso’s petition for writ of mandate directing payment of the $200 was granted.