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Name: Williams v. Superior Court (Orange County)
Case #: G050280
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 10/14/2014
Summary

Following Realignment, parolees are entitled to arraignment within 10 days of an arrest for a parole violation, a probable cause hearing within 15 days of arrest, and a final hearing within 45 days of arrest. Williams, who was on parole, was arrested in Orange County and placed in custody for failure to report to her parole agent. Nine days after her arrest, a petition was filed to revoke her parole and her arraignment was scheduled to occur 16 days after her arrest. Williams filed a motion to dismiss the revocation petition for lack of due process because a probable cause hearing was not held within 15 days of arrest, and requested to present evidence on probable cause. The court denied the motion and purported to find probable cause based solely on the petition for revocation without giving Williams an opportunity to present evidence. The court set a revocation hearing for 37 days after the arrest. Williams petitioned for a writ of mandate, arguing that the parole violation and revocation procedures in Orange County violated the due process rights of parolees. Held: Petition granted in part. In 2012, as part of the Realignment system, the Legislature amended Penal Code section 1203.2 to establish a uniform process for revocation of parole, probation, and postrelease supervision. The Legislature expressly declared its intention that amendments incorporate the procedural due process protections set forth in Morrissey v. Brewer (1972) 408 U.S. 472 and its progeny. After analyzing the Realignment legislation, Morrissey, and other cases addressing constitutional challenges to California’s prior parole system, the court concluded that the due process rights of parolees are being systematically violated in Orange County. In parole revocation proceedings, parolees are entitled to (1) arraignment, (2) a Morrissey-compliant probable cause hearing (where the parolee is allowed to present a defense), and (3) a final revocation hearing within the time limits set forth above.