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The People v. Donald Lee Daman

February 25, 2013

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
DONALD LEE DAMAN, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. MCYKCRBF060000280)

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

P. v Daman

CA3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

A jury convicted defendant Donald Lee Daman of perjury by declaration (Pen. Code, § 118a -- count 1) and obtaining aid in an amount over $400 by misrepresentation (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 10980, former subd. (c)(2) -- count 2). Defendant was ordered to serve a "terminal sentence" of 180 days in county jail and pay fines, fees, and restitution.

On appeal, defendant contends both convictions must be reversed because the trial court prevented him from presenting the defense that he lacked the specific intent to defraud, which is an element of each offense. The People agree with defendant. We accept the People's concession and reverse both convictions.

FACTS

Prosecution's Case

On September 19, 2005, defendant signed and submitted an application for aid to the Siskiyou County Human Services Department (HSD). Section 14 of the application for aid required the applicant to state the dollar amount of any trust deed, notes receivable, stocks, or bonds that he or she had. Defendant left this section blank and signed the application for aid under penalty of perjury.

The following day defendant returned to the HSD and Sandra Luetke, an eligibility worker, went over a "SAWS Statement of Facts" (SAWS Statement) with him. A SAWS Statement is an application for food stamps and Medi-Cal benefits, and is based on the information provided by the applicant in the application for aid. In the SAWS Statement defendant represented that he did not own any stocks, bonds, or real estate, or any other assets, except a vehicle with an estimated value of $50 and $3 in cash. Defendant signed the SAWS Statement under penalty of perjury.

It was stipulated that defendant owned an approximate 13 percent undivided interest in 2,358 acres of undeveloped land, designated the Jack Liskey Estate Ranch (Liskey Ranch) "on or about August 16, 2001, and at all times relevant to this complaint." Craig Kay, a Siskiyou County Assistant Assessor, testified the appraised value of the Liskey Ranch as of September 2005 was $272,952, making defendant's interest, which he could sell, around $37,000 to $40,000.

In July 2005 a lawsuit to partition the Liskey Ranch was filed by some of the owners of the Liskey Ranch against other owners, including defendant. The lawsuit did not legally prohibit defendant from selling his share in the Liskey Ranch. Samuel Nelson, a hearing officer with HSD, testified that ownership in property that cannot be sold due to litigation or other reasons would not necessarily preclude eligibility for food stamps.

In November 2004 defendant directed an in-kind transfer of a brokerage account he owned with Smith-Barney to Scottrade. In September 2005 the estimated value of the account was $53,000. Had defendant disclosed the value of the account in September 2005, ...


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