California Court of Appeals, Fourth District, First Division
from an order of the Superior Court of San Diego County No.
SCS281872, Garry G. Haehnle, Judge. Affirmed.
Pauline E. Villanueva, under appointment by the Court of
Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.
D. Harris, Attorney General, Gerald A. Engler, Chief
Assistant Attorney General, Julie L. Garland, Assistant
Attorney General, Theodore M. Cropley and Daniel J. Hilton,
Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.
HUFFMAN, Acting P. J.
Malago appeals certain mandatory supervision conditions
related to alcohol consumption, alcohol testing, alcohol
treatment, and substance abuse treatment. To this end, Malago
contends the superior court abused its discretion when it did
not rule on his objections to these conditions, but instead,
deferred any rulings to the mandatory supervision judge. He
also argues that the conditions are unreasonable and invalid
because they are unrelated to Malago's current offense or
agree that the superior court erred in failing to rule on
Malago's objections to the mandatory supervision
conditions. However, we conclude that Malago suffered no
prejudice as the conditions are reasonable and valid. Thus,
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
January 5, 2016, Malago pled guilty to one count of importing
a controlled substance (Health & Saf. Code, § 11352,
subd. (a)). On February 18, 2016, the superior court
sentenced Malago to a five-year split sentence composed of 30
months in county jail and 30 months of mandatory supervision.
As part of the terms of mandatory supervision, the court
ordered Malago: Not to knowingly use or possess alcohol if
directed by the probation officer (condition 5b); to attend
self-help meetings if directed by the probation officer
(condition 5c); to submit to any chemical test of blood,
breath, or urine to determine blood alcohol content
(condition 5f); to surrender his driver's license to the
court for forwarding to the DMV (condition 5g); not to drive
a motor vehicle unless licensed and insured (condition 5i);
to participate in, comply with, and bear all costs associated
with a continuous alcohol monitoring device if directed by
probation (condition 5j); and to complete a program of
residential drug treatment and aftercare if directed by
probation officer (condition 6a).
counsel objected to all the alcohol related conditions
(referring to them as "Condition 5"), and condition
6a, contending there was no nexus between the conditions and
the crime. The court noted the objections but did not rule on
them, deferring any ruling on the objections to the
"mandatory supervision judge." The challenged
conditions were imposed in the order granting mandatory
threshold matter, the People insist that Malago has forfeited
his challenge to the mandatory supervision conditions in the
instant matter. Although they acknowledge that Malago
objected to these conditions below, the People claim that
Malago forfeited the issue because he did not secure a ruling
from the superior court on the objections. (See People v.
Rowland (1992) 4 Cal.4th 238, 259 ["In other words,
when, as here, the defendant does not secure a ruling, he
does not preserve the point. That is the rule."].)
Although we do not view the People's forfeiture argument
as particularly persuasive on the record before us, we
decline to address that contention and instead exercise our
discretion to address the issues raised here on the merits.
(People v. Williams (1998) 17 Cal.4th 148, 161-162,
Malago's sentencing hearing, Malago's counsel
objected to several of the proposed conditions for
Malago's mandatory supervision. Specifically, arguing no
nexus between the condition and the crime, counsel objected
to conditions 5b, 5c, 5f, 5g, 5i, 5j, and 6a. The court
responded that it was its "policy" not to rule on
the objections, but instead, to note the objections and allow
the mandatory supervision judge to rule on the objections at
some point in the future. The court explained that it had
"no idea what the goals are going to be" to keep
Malago "in line" during his mandatory supervision.
Despite not ruling on Malago's objections, the
court's order granting mandatory supervision imposed
conditions 5b, 5c, 5f, 5g, 5i, 5j, and 6a.
review a superior court's ruling regarding mandatory
supervision and its terms and conditions under an abuse of
discretion standard. (People v. Martinez (2014) 226
Cal.App.4th 759, 764 (Martinez).) Here, Malago
argues the superior court abused its discretion by failing to
rule on the objections. Alternatively stated, Malago asserts
the court failed to exercise the discretion vested in it by
law. (People v. Penoli (1996) 46 Cal.App.4th 298,
302.) In response, the People claim the court did not
delegate its responsibilities, but merely left "these
important decisions for a future judge who ...