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Name: In re Duong (2024) 99 Cal.App.5th 273
Case #: B325525
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 01/29/2024

Defendant whose death sentence was reduced to LWOP during habeas proceedings was not entitled to appeal the order denying part of his habeas petition under Proposition 66. A jury convicted Duong of multiple murders and the trial court imposed a death sentence. His conviction and sentence were affirmed on direct appeal. During habeas proceedings in the trial court, Duong and the district attorney stipulated to granting in part and denying in part his habeas petition. The trial court accepted the stipulation, vacated Duong’s death sentence, and resentenced him to LWOP. Duong appealed the order to the Court of Appeal based…

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Name: People v. Escobedo (2023) 95 Cal.App.5th 440 (and People v. Chavira)
Case #: B322608; B323765
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 09/12/2023

Trial court orders denying inmates’ petitions to strike their prior prison term enhancements pursuant to Penal Code section 1172.75 were nonappealable. The defendants, each currently serving consecutive terms for in-prison offenses, filed separate postjudgment requests to strike prior prison term enhancements. The petitions were denied and they appealed. Held: Appeals dismissed. After imposition of the prior prison term enhancements on these defendants, former Penal Code section 667.5(b) was amended (SB 136) to limit its application to prison terms served for sexually violent offenses. Later, SB 483 made SB 136 retroactive by creating a mechanism and timetable to strike such enhancements…

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Name: People v. Superior Court (Mitchell) (2023) 94 Cal.App.5th 595
Case #: B326653
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 08/16/2023

A superior court’s order reducing a felony “wobbler” to a misdemeanor is unauthorized under Penal Code section 17(b) when made after the preliminary hearing and before trial. The first count in a felony information charged defendant with a wobbler as a felony—resisting an officer in violation of Penal Code section 69(a). On the day that trial was to begin, the superior court reduced the felony wobbler to a misdemeanor over the People’s objection. The People petitioned for a writ of mandate directing the superior court to vacate its order. Held: Petition granted. Section 17(b) permits the trial court to reduce a…

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Name: People v. Newell (2023) 93 Cal.App.5th 265
Case #: B320195
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 07/06/2023

Appeal from the denial of a pro per petition based on Senate Bill No. 483 dismissed because Penal Code section 1172.75 did not authorize the inmate's petition. Newell was convicted of felony offenses in 2012. His sentence included a one-year consecutive term for a prison prior (Pen. Code, § 667.5(b)). Years later Newell filed a pro per petition for resentencing with the sentencing court, citing SB 483, which added section 1171.1 effective 1/1/2022 (now renumbered to § 1172.75). Newell should be resentenced pursuant to section 1172.75. The trial court denied the petition, finding Newell must wait for CDCR to file…

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Name: People v. Hodges (2023) 92 Cal.App.5th 186
Case #: B323199
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 06/02/2023

Because the trial court had no jurisdiction to grant defendant’s motion to vacate his sentence, the order denying relief was not appealable. In 2001, defendant was sentenced to 230 years to life as a three strikes offender. The conviction was affirmed on direct appeal. In 2022, he filed a motion to vacate his sentence on the ground that it was unauthorized, asserting that he should only be sentenced as a second strike offender. The trial court denied relief. Hodges appealed. After appellate counsel filed a brief raising no issues and requesting review under Wende and Delgadillo, Hodges filed two supplemental briefs pro per, raising…

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Name: People v. Montellano
Case #: B292044
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 08/26/2019

Trial court's determination that petitioner was eligible for resentencing under Penal Code section 1170.126 (Prop. 36) was not an order appealable by the People. In 1997, Montellano was sentenced to a life term under the Three Strikes law. In 2014, he filed a petition under section 1170.126 to have his sentence recalled on the grounds that his third-strike felony conviction for evading a police officer was not a violent or serious felony. After extensive briefing and a hearing, the trial court concluded Montellano's "super strike" convictions in 1998 for murder and attempted murder were not disqualifying "prior convictions"…

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Name: People v. Hernandez
Case #: B287551
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 04/15/2019

Because Senate Bill No. 620 (granting courts discretion to dismiss firearm use enhancements) is not retroactive to cases whose judgments were final on its effective date, defendant's appeal must be dismissed as from a nonappealable order. In 2016, Hernandez pleaded guilty to two felonies and admitted that he personally used a firearm in committing both offenses (Pen. Code, § 12022.5, subds. (a) & (d).) He appealed and the Court of Appeal affirmed. After his judgment was final, Hernandez moved to strike the firearm enhancements on various grounds in December 2017 without mentioning SB 620, which granted trial courts discretion to…

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Name: People v. Caldwell
Case #: A148828
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 11/15/2018

The denial of a motion for a finding of factual innocence (Pen. Code, § 1485.55) is an appealable order. In 1990, Caldwell was convicted of second degree murder and attempted murder based on a drug deal gone bad. In 2009, he filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus which in part challenged his conviction based on ineffective assistance of trial counsel. The trial court granted the petition. Because a prosecution witness had died since the initial trial and the trial court would not permit her recorded testimony to be introduced at a retrial, the prosecution dismissed the case. In…

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Name: People v. Littlefield
Case #: B280646
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 06/28/2018

Trial court did not have jurisdiction to vacate a valid restitution order where restitution had not been collected for many years and the defendant had completed his sentence. In 2000, Littlefield was ordered to pay victim restitution following his guilty plea to one count of forgery. In 2016, he moved in pro per to vacate the restitution order under the doctrine of laches after he received a debt collection letter from the Franchise Tax Board. He asserted the collection of the debt now, after the failure to make any efforts to collect the debt before, would be a significant…

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Name: People v. Jordan
Case #: C084592
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/15/2018
Subsequent History: Opn. mod. 4/12/2018

Appellant's failure to challenge penalty assessments on drug fees in his first appeal waived that claim for the purposes of future appeals. In 2016 Jordan pleaded no contest to several drug offenses. In his first appeal he challenged the denial of a motion to suppress evidence. After the opening brief was filed, Jordan sent a request to the superior court under Penal Code section 1237.2 to strike penalty assessments that had been applied to a criminal laboratory analysis fee (Health & Saf. Code, § 11372.5; People v. Watts (2016) 2 Cal.App.5th 223). The trial court denied his request. While the…

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