Super. Ct. No. MCYKCRF080000875003
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mauro ,j.
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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.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 Angelia Dodson pleaded guilty to possessing methamphetamine. She contends on appeal that the trial court abused its discretion in ordering, as a condition of probation, that she "not associate with persons known to her to be illegal drug offenders or associate with persons with whom association is prohibited by her probation officer for those reasons." Defendant challenges this probation condition because it currently precludes her from having contact with her registered domestic partner, Audra Merrill, a co-defendant.
The record supports the trial court's conclusion that Merrill is a known drug offender. In addition, the record establishes that the trial court and the probation officer have given defendant and Merrill many opportunities to maintain family unity through reasonable drug testing and communication with the probation officer, but defendant and Merrill have not availed themselves of these opportunities. Under the circumstances, the condition of probation is reasonable and the trial court did not abuse its discretion. We will affirm the judgment.
On October 31, 2008, the Siskiyou County District Attorney filed an information charging defendant with possession of methamphetamine and being under the influence of a controlled substance (Health & Saf. Code, §§ 11377, subd. (a), 11550, subd. (a).) Audra Merrill was charged as a co-defendant on the methamphetamine possession charge. Defendant pleaded guilty to possessing methamphetamine and, in an accompanying case, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury (Pen. Code, § 245, subd. (a).)*fn1
On April 15, 2009, the court sentenced defendant to three years of formal probation under Proposition 36 (§ 1210.1) with various conditions of probation, including that defendant "not associate with persons known to him/her to be illegal drug offenders or associate with persons with whom association is prohibited by his/her supervising probation officer for those reasons."
On November 2, 2009, defendant's probation officer, Susan George, ordered defendant not to have contact with Merrill because she was a known drug offender. The prohibition was based on the fact Merrill was a co-defendant in defendant's drug case and was in the deferred entry of judgment program (§ 1000 et seq.); George had supervised Merrill previously as a drug offender; and Merrill associated with other drug probationers. Defendant admitted to George that Merrill was using drugs and acknowledged it was best if she had no contact. George was not aware that defendant and Merrill were domestic partners. They were not cohabiting; defendant lived in Yreka and Merrill lived in Mount Shasta.
Merrill was under the supervision of Child Protective Services (CPS) due to the drug charges. George received reports from the behavioral health staff that defendant and Merrill were seeing each other and that Merrill had been staying with defendant. George talked to defendant about it but defendant denied Merrill was staying with her. George did not believe her because defendant "would repeat back to me what I said to Merrill word for word." Defendant stated she would like to have contact with Merrill, and George replied that she would allow contact if Merrill participated in drug testing and attended 12-step meetings. Thereafter, George met with Merrill and asked her to attend three 12-step meetings and return in one week with proof of attendance. Merrill never returned.
On three occasions, George tried to contact defendant at her residence to no avail, even though George thought defendant was home. She tried again on April 14, 2010, and no one responded to her knock on the door for about eight minutes. Defendant's roommate eventually opened the door but he would not permit George to enter until he telephoned defendant, who was not present. George searched the residence and found Merrill and her daughter hiding in the back bedroom. George stated, "Oh, so that's why you guys didn't want me to come in."
On April 20, 2010, the probation department filed an order to show cause why defendant's probation should not be revoked based on her contact with Merrill.
At the hearing on June 30, 2010, defendant admitted having in-person contact with Merrill on at least three occasions in contravention of her probation condition. According to defendant, Merrill was no longer using drugs, defendant wanted to have contact with her, and defendant informed George that Merrill would be willing to submit to drug testing. Defendant testified that (1) Merrill failed to meet with George because she was caring for her ill father in Mount Shasta; (2) Merrill successfully completed the CPS requirements and her daughter ...