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K.R. v. Super. Ct.

Filed 6/29/17 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA K.R., ) ) Petitioner, ) ) S231709 v. ) ) Ct.App. 3 C079548 THE SUPERIOR COURT OF ) SACRAMENTO COUNTY, ) ) Sacramento County Respondent; ) Super. Ct. No. JV134953 ) THE PEOPLE, ) ) Real Party in Interest. ) ____________________________________) In 1978, this court established a basic background rule applicable to plea negotiations in criminal cases, holding that ―[a]s a general principle . . . whenever a judge accepts a plea bargain and retains sentencing discretion under the agreement, an implied term of the bargain is that sentence will be imposed by that judge.‖ (People v. Arbuckle (1978) 22 Cal.3d 749, 756–757 (Arbuckle).) We later found the same rule applied to pleas in juvenile court. (In re Mark L. (1983) 34 Cal.3d 171, 177 (Mark L.).) In the ensuing years, some intermediate appellate courts have perceived some leeway in the Arbuckle rule, and declined to recognize a right to the same judge at sentencing unless the record contained sufficient evidence that the defendant subjectively intended, as a condition of his or her plea, that the judge who accepted the plea would also pronounce sentence. (See, e.g., People v. Horn (1989) 213 Cal.App.3d 701, 707–708.) The Court of Appeal 1 SEE DISSENTING OPINION below joined in this view, denying petitioner K.R.‘s petition for a writ of mandate because he ―failed to show that he entered into the plea agreement in expectation of and reliance upon‖ having the same judge who took his plea also preside at sentencing. As we explain, neither Arbuckle nor its progeny support the notion that a defendant‘s ability to enforce the same-judge guarantee, a term implied in every plea agreement, is dependent on a defendant (or juvenile) first making a factual showing that he or she subjectively intended the judge taking the plea would also pronounce sentence. Because the Court of Appeal held otherwise, we reverse. I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND1 In March 2013, when petitioner K.R. was 13 years old, the People filed a delinquency petition against him pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 602 alleging he had committed the crimes of robbery and making criminal threats, both felonies (Pen. Code, §§ 211, 422), as well as brandishing a knife, a misdemeanor (id., § 417, subd. (a)(1)). In August 2013, Judge James P. Arguelles presided over a jurisdictional hearing on the petition in department 97 of the Sacramento County Superior Court, sitting as a juvenile court, and found the allegations true. In September 2013, Judge Arguelles presided at a disposition hearing and adjudged K.R. a ward of the juvenile court, committed him to the custody of his mother, and placed him on probation subject to a number of conditions, including 150 days in juvenile hall (less 76 days‘ custody credit). 1 Our factual summary is principally drawn from the record provided by K.R. with his petition for writ of mandate in the Court of Appeal, as supplemented with additional factual information contained in the juvenile court‘s …
Original document
Source: California Supreme Court