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Name: In re D.T.
Case #: F084105
Opinion Date: 12/13/2023
Attorney: Arthur L. Bowie

Appellant entered a plea agreement in 1999 placing him on “probation for life” and committing him under Welfare and Institutions Code section 6500. Appellant further agreed not to object to his annual section 6500 commitment reviews and to waive his presence at all future annual ex parte review hearings. In 2005, the court modified these latter two terms to only require annual review hearings “at [the] Court’s discretion or upon request of counsel.” Appellant later appealed from a 2022 placement order, arguing the lack of a probation report at the review hearing violated the plea agreement.

The Court of Appeal found that if a future allegation is made that appellant violated a rule or regulation that could impact his continuation in a section 6500 facility, yet he either believes or is told he cannot challenge the allegation under the plea agreement, the lack of input from a probation department on the severity of the violation could result in a violation of appellant’s right to due process. It accordingly found appellant did not waive or lose the ability to require the participation of a probation department in his case.

As it was undecided whether the original sentencing county or appellant’s current county of residence should be responsible for appellant’s probation, the court remanded the matter so that a transfer of probation jurisdiction can be pursued under Penal Code section 1203.9. The court further suggested the parties reach an agreement addressing the frequency of reports required by the appropriate probation department.