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People v. Ford

Supreme Court of California

May 28, 2015

THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
WILLIAM J. FORD, Defendant and Appellant

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Superior Court of Sonoma County, No. SCR-530837, Bradford J. DeMeo, Judge. Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division Three, No. A135733.

Law Offices of Andrian & Gallenson and Jane Gaskell for Plaintiff and Appellant.

Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, Dane R. Gillette, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Gerald A. Engler, Assistant Attorney General, Seth K. Schalit, Catherine McBrien, Eric D. Share and Huy T. Luong, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

Opinion by Cuéllar, J., with Cantil-Sakauye, C. J., Werdegar, Chin, Corrigan, Liu, and Kruger, JJ., concurring.

OPINION

[187 Cal.Rptr.3d 921] [349 P.3d 99] CUÉLLAR, J.

Defendant William J. Ford appeals from an order awarding victim restitution. He contends that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to conduct the April 6, 2012, hearing prescribing the amount of restitution he owed because his term of probation--including the condition of restitution--had expired one week earlier. For support, defendant relies on Penal Code section 1203.3, subdivision (b)(5), which provides that " [n]othing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the court from modifying the dollar amount of a restitution order pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 1202.4 at any time during the term of the probation." (Italics added.) The People maintain that the trial court retained jurisdiction to award full restitution in the amount of the victim's loss, even after the term of probation expired. They rely on Penal Code section 1202.4, subdivision (f), which requires the court to " order full restitution unless it finds compelling and extraordinary reasons for not doing so and states them on the record," and on Penal Code section 1202.46, which provides that " when the economic losses of a victim cannot be ascertained at the time of sentencing pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 1202.4, the court shall retain jurisdiction over a person subject to a restitution order for purposes of imposing or modifying restitution until such time as the losses may be determined."

We need not decide whether a trial court retains jurisdiction to modify the amount of restitution once a defendant's term of probation has expired. So long as a court has subject matter jurisdiction--and both parties agree the trial court had it here--then a party seeking or consenting to action beyond

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the court's power may be estopped from complaining that the resulting action exceeds a court's jurisdiction. ( Simmons v. Ghaderi (2008) 44 Cal.4th 570, 584 [80 Cal.Rptr.3d 83, 187 P.3d 934].) By agreeing to a continuance of the restitution hearing [349 P.3d 100] to a date after his probationary term expired, defendant implied his consent to the court's continued exercise of jurisdiction. He is therefore estopped from challenging it. For this reason, we affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

I. Background

In February 2008, defendant severely injured Elaine Jennings in a hit-and-run accident. He was charged with felony hit and run, enhanced for personal infliction of great bodily injury (Veh. Code, § 20001, subd. (a); Pen. Code, § § 667.5, subd. (c)(8), 1192.7, subd. (c)(8), 12022.7, subd. (a)), and driving while his license was suspended or revoked (Veh. Code, § 14601.1, subd. (a)). On August 21, 2008, defendant pleaded no contest in a negotiated disposition to felony hit and run in exchange for dismissal of the other charges, a grant of probation, and the option to have his conviction ...


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