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People v. DeLeon

Filed 7/24/17 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA THE PEOPLE, ) ) Plaintiff and Respondent, ) ) S230906 v. ) ) Ct.App. 1/3 A140050 ALLEN DIMEN DELEON, ) ) Solano County Defendant and Appellant. ) Super. Ct. No. FCR302185 ____________________________________) Under Morrissey v. Brewer (1972) 408 U.S. 471 (Morrissey), parolees facing revocation are constitutionally entitled to certain due process protections. These include the right to a prompt preliminary hearing after arrest to determine whether there is probable cause to believe a parole violation has occurred. (Id. at pp. 485–487.) The Criminal Justice Realignment Act of 2011 (the Realignment Act) transferred jurisdiction over most parole revocation hearings from the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) to the superior courts. The question here is whether this enactment makes a preliminary hearing unnecessary. The Court of Appeal held that it did. We reject this conclusion, and hold that the Morrissey preliminary hearing requirement applies to parole revocation proceedings conducted in superior court. I. BACKGROUND Defendant Allen Dimen DeLeon was paroled in January 2012 after serving a prison sentence for committing a lewd act on a minor and failing to register as a 1 sex offender. On August 23, 2013, he was arrested for possessing pornographic material in violation of a condition of his parole. On August 26, 2013, a supervising parole agent with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation found probable cause to revoke DeLeon‘s parole and gave him written notice of the alleged parole violation. A petition to revoke was filed in the superior court on September 4, 2013. On September 6, a judicial officer conducted an ex parte review, found probable cause, and summarily revoked DeLeon‘s parole. A hearing was set for September 11, 19 days after DeLeon‘s arrest. On the scheduled hearing date, DeLeon appeared with counsel and moved to dismiss the petition because he had not received a preliminary hearing within 15 days of his arrest, as specified in Penal Code1 section 3044. Over his objection, the court continued the motion and set a briefing schedule. On September 25, 2013, the court denied the motion to dismiss. It found that the ex parte determination of probable cause, made 14 days after DeLeon‘s arrest, satisfied due process. On October 3, 2013, 41 days after DeLeon‘s arrest, the court held a revocation hearing, found him in violation, sentenced him to serve 180 days in custody, and reinstated parole. II. DISCUSSION A. Mootness ― ‗[W]hen, pending an appeal from the judgment of a lower court, and without any fault of the [opposing party], an event occurs which renders it impossible for this court, if it should decide the case in favor of [defendant], to 1 Further undesignated statutory references are to the Penal Code. 2 grant him any effectual relief whatever, the court will not proceed to a formal judgment, but will dismiss the appeal‘ ‖ as moot. (Paul v. Milk Depots, Inc. (1964) 62 Cal.2d 129, 132, quoting Consol. etc. Corp. v. United A. etc. Workers (1946) 27 Cal.2d 859, 863.) DeLeon …
Original document
Source: California Supreme Court