Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

The People v. Tony Lee Hart

December 8, 2010


APPEAL from the Superior Court of Riverside County. Harry A. Staley, Judge. (Retired judge of the Kern Super. Ct. assigned by the Chief Justice pursuant to art. VI, § 6 of the Cal. Const.) Affirmed. (Super.Ct.No. RIF152266)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ramirez P. J.

P. v. Hart



California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.


Defendant and appellant Tony Lee Hart pled no contest to receiving a stolen vehicle (Pen. Code, § 496d)*fn1 and admitted two prison priors (§ 667.5, subd. (b)). He was alleged to have two strike priors. (§§ 667, subds. (c) & (e)(2)(A), 1170.12, subd. (c)(2)(A).) Defendant admitted one of the strike allegations, a 1975 conviction for armed robbery (§ 211), and the other strike allegation was dismissed at the request of the People because they no longer believed the underlying offense constituted a strike. At the sentencing hearing, the trial court struck "for purposes of punishment" one of the two prison priors and the remaining strike prior; the reasons were stated on the record and included in the minutes. (§ 1385.) Defendant was sentenced to a total term of three years in state prison: the midterm of two years for his conviction, enhanced by a consecutive one-year term for the remaining prison prior. Defendant received credit for 144 days based on 96 actual days in custody and 48 days for good conduct pursuant to former section 4019. Defendant's sole contention on appeal is that he is entitled to additional conduct credits due to the amendment of section 4019.*fn2 We affirm.


Section 4019 permits defendants to earn credit for complying with rules and performing assigned labor while in presentence local custody. (§ 4019, subds. (b)-(c).) As opposed to actual credits for time spent in custody while pending sentencing, these credits are collectively referred to as conduct credit. (People v. Duff (2010) 50 Cal.4th 787, 793.) Under the version of section 4019 in effect at the time of defendant's sentencing, he had accrued conduct credit of "two days for every four days [he was] in actual presentence custody." (Duff, at p. 793.) During the pendency of this appeal, section 4019 was amended to provide for the accrual of two days of conduct credit for every two days of presentence custody. (§ 4019, subd. (f).) However, the increased rate of accrual does not apply "[i]f the prisoner is required to register as a sex offender . . . was committed for a serious felony . . . or has a prior conviction for a serious felony, as defined in Section 1192.7, or a violent felony, as defined in Section 667.5." (§ 4019, subd. (b)(2).)

Defendant contends that the amendment should be interpreted to be retroactive so as to entitle him to additional conduct credits, and that the lack of retroactivity would violate his right to equal protection.*fn4 The People disagree. We agree with the People.

The amendment of section 4019 occurred in section 50 of Senate Bill No. 18 (2009-2010 3d Ex. Sess.). That bill ended with section 62, which stated that the "act addresses the fiscal emergency declared by the Governor. . . ." (Stats. 2009, ch. 28, § 62.) The bill did not contain a saving clause regarding section 4019, i.e., a clause stating that the amendment shall have prospective application only.

The impact of the amendment of section 4019 has split our sister Courts of Appeal and is pending review in our Supreme Court.*fn5 As that court will have the last word on the subject, we discuss the issue only summarily.

A. Retroactivity

As an amendment to the Penal Code, the amendment of section 4019 " 'is generally presumed to operate prospectively absent an express declaration of retroactivity or a clear and compelling implication that the Legislature intended otherwise. [Citation.]' [Citation.]" (People v. Alford (2007) 42 Cal.4th 749, 753; see also § 3 ["No part of [the Penal Code] is retroactive, unless expressly so declared"]; In re E.J. (2010) 47 Cal.4th 1258, 1272 [" '[S]section 3 reflects the common understanding that legislative provisions are presumed to operate prospectively, and that they should be so interpreted "unless express language or clear and unavoidable implication negatives the presumption." [Citation.]' [Citation.] '[I]n the absence of an express retroactivity provision, a statute will not be applied retroactively unless it is very clear from extrinsic ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.