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People v. Lucero

California Court of Appeals, Third District, Shasta

October 25, 2019

THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
DOLORES MARIA LUCERO, Defendant and Appellant.

         CERTIFIED FOR PARTIAL PUBLICATION[*]

          APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court No. 12F2037 of Shasta County, Cara Beatty, Judge. Affirmed.

          Scott Concklin, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.

          Kamala D. Harris and Xavier Becerra, Attorneys General, Gerald A. Engler, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Michael P. Farrell, Assistant Attorney General, Carlos A. Martinez, Supervising Deputy Attorney General, and Marcia A. Fay, Deputy Attorney General, for Respondent.

          MURRAY, J.

         This case of first impression involves the application of Penal Code section 134, [1] preparing false evidence. At issue are declarations containing false information collected by defendant, Dolores Maria Lucero, to be used in court to support of her request for injunctive relief to halt a petition drive to recall her from her position as a city council member for the City of Shasta Lake (Shasta Lake). Defendant also submitted the declarations to law enforcement, and an investigation against a person involved in the recall effort was initiated as a result. Defendant duped several people who had signed the recall petition into signing these declarations. A jury convicted defendant of violating section 134 for this conduct. She was thereafter placed on probation for three years with various terms and conditions including that she serve 30 days in jail. Two years into her probation, defendant petitioned for early termination of probation and the court granted it.

         On appeal, defendant contends that: (1) section 134 was inapplicable to the circumstances of this case and that section 118, perjury, is a more specific statute that covers her conduct; (2) there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction; (3) the trial court committed prejudicial instructional error related to the instructions on the charged offense; (4) the testimony of one of the declarants, Charles Lukens, was coerced and that the trial court erred in excluding evidence offered to show that Lukens had a motive to conform his testimony to the prosecution's theory of the case; and (5) certain probation conditions must be struck because they are unreasonable.

         We affirm.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Prosecution's Evidence

         Circulation of the Recall Petition

         Kay Kobe was one of the leaders of the recall effort and served as treasurer of the recall committee. Pamelyn Morgan, a Shasta Lake city council person and mayor of the city, testified that she was also involved with the petition to recall defendant. Morgan knew Kobe as a friend and worked with Kobe on the recall effort. Morgan circulated petitions for the recall effort. On some occasions, Kobe would be with her.

         Defendant Reports Alleged Elections Code Violations to Law Enforcement

         Defendant reported alleged Elections Code violations to Tom Bosenko, Sheriff of Shasta County, claiming that a petition was being solicited illegally by Kobe who did not live in Shasta Lake. Although defendant was with an attorney, defendant did “close to... 95 percent” of the talking. Sergeant Eric Magrini was assigned to investigate and defendant gave him five signed declarations. Magrini did not ask who prepared the typed declarations. Copies of the five declarations were introduced into evidence as People's exhibits 2-A through 2-E. Defendant told Magrini that she had filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction to prevent the recall from appearing on the ballot and had obtained the declarations to invalidate some of the signatures.[2]

         Defendant repeated to Magrini that Kobe had circulated the recall petitions and had gathered signatures for the recall. Magrini could not recall whether defendant told him that Kobe had been circulating the petitions while alone, but this allegation appeared in each of the declarations. Magrini testified at the preliminary hearing that defendant asserted during this first interview that Kobe “was participating in collecting the signatures which, according to the Elections Code, ... she is not allowed to because it only allows residents of... Shasta Lake who are registered voters to collect the signatures that go on the recall petitions....”

         Magrini ran Kobe's DMV record and determined that she did not live in Shasta Lake. Based on Magrini's understanding of Elections Code section 11045 at that time, he believed that Kobe was not allowed to circulate recall petitions in Shasta Lake. As we discuss post, after further investigation, he arrived at a different conclusion.

         Declarant Charles Lukens

         Charles Lukens, a resident of Shasta Lake, testified that, in late November 2011, two or possibly three people came to his residence circulating a petition to recall defendant. Lukens did not know any of the people circulating the petition, although he may have recognized the name Kay Kobe. When shown a photograph of Kobe, Lukens testified that she was one of the people. Lukens did not know the others. Lukens signed the petition.

         Sometime after Lukens signed the recall petition, defendant came to Lukens's house. Defendant told Lukens that Kobe was not a resident of Shasta Lake, and that she was not permitted to have people sign the recall petition. Defendant did not take a statement from Lukens, and he did not give her information about what he knew about the recall. Thereafter, defendant came to Lukens's house a second time. Lukens believed that, on this second occasion, defendant came to his residence “about... signing some paper or something.” Defendant spent approximately 15 to 20 minutes talking to Lukens before she presented him with a prepared declaration. The document was pre-typed with some blank lines for information to be filled in. Lukens testified that defendant explained the declaration was about Kobe not being a resident and that it was illegal for her to pass out the petition. Defendant told him he needed to sign the document and write in his address and how long he had been a Shasta Lake resident.

         Lukens identified the signature on the declaration marked as People's exhibit 2-A and other handwritten entries as his. He believed that exhibit 2-A was the document that he filled out when defendant came to his residence on this last occasion. He told the jury that all the handwriting was his except the word “November.” Defendant told him to fill in his address and she would fill in the date.

         People's exhibit 2-A read in pertinent part: “1. I am a resident and registered voter of the City of Shasta Lake, California (‘Shasta Lake'). I have been a resident of Shasta Lake since 32 years.[3] [¶] 2. I am over the age of eighteen (18) and I have personal knowledge of each and every fact stated herein and, if called to testify as a witness, I could and would testify competently thereto under oath. [¶] 3. This Declaration is submitted with full knowledge that it will be used in support of Shasta Lake Citizens for Justice and Dolores Lucero's Application for a Temporary Restraining Order and Order to Show Cause for a Preliminary Injunction, which seeks to stop the currently schedule [sic] April 10, 2012 recall election of Councilmember Dolores Lucero (‘Councilmember Lucero'). [¶] 4. I am familiar with the facts and circumstances surrounding the movement to institute a recall election for City Councilmember Lucero, but I am personally politically neutral on the issue. [¶] 5. I am familiar with the individual known as Kay Kobe, who is a resident of Redding, California, and a member of the Gateway School Board. [¶] 6. On November, 2011, at approximately 3 p.m., Kay Kobe approached me at my private residence....[4] She was circulating a petition for the recall of Councilmember Lucero. There were no other persons with her circulating the petition. She asked by [sic] if I would sign such petition. I declined.” (Italics added.)

         Lukens testified that a number of statements in the declaration were true. However, the statement that he was familiar with Kobe was not true. Lukens testified, “I'm not really familiar with her, and that whole point what she was saying was that it was -- that she wasn't a resident, so that's untrue right there.” Lukens also testified that he only knew Kobe was a Redding resident because defendant told him as much. Additionally, the statement that Lukens knew Kobe was a member of the Gateway School Board was false.

         Lukens further testified that the statement in the declaration that there was no one else with Kobe when she was circulating the recall petition was false. He testified that a woman who was with Kobe presented him with the petition, explained the petition or where to sign it, and he signed it. Lukens testified that he told defendant “that there was other people there with Ms. Kobe....”[5]

         Additionally, the statement in the declaration that Lukens declined to sign the recall petition was false. Lukens told defendant that he signed it.

         Lukens testified that he did not read the entire declaration before signing it. He explained that he had been tired, “a little hazy, ” from working a double shift. When asked on direct examination if he read it before signing, Lukens responded, “No, I didn't. I - it was just explained the document, and it wasn't the smartest thing I did. It was just I just went off of her word, what she told me.” When asked on cross-examination if, since the document was a declaration, he thought it was important to read it before he signed, Lukens responded, “To be honest, I should have read it. Uhm, what was explained to me and what's on the paper was two different things. So, I went off of - I made the mistake of going off of just what somebody said instead of reading it.” Lukens acknowledged that defendant did not tell him not to read the declaration, and he did not tell defendant he was not reading the declaration.

         Declarant Cheri Ala

         Cheri Ala testified that, in November 2011, two people came to her house about a petition to recall defendant. Ala subsequently learned that Kobe was one of the two. The other was an older male named John with two prosthetic legs, who had been wearing shorts. Both talked to Ala, and she did not remember which of the two asked her to sign the petition, but she signed it.

         Not too long after Ala signed the recall petition, Ala spoke to defendant after a city council meeting. Ala told defendant that she had seen Kobe on the news saying that she did not circulate the petition, and Ala told defendant that was not true because Kobe came to her house. Ala told defendant she wanted to have her name removed from the petition. Defendant asked Ala if there had been anyone with Kobe, and Ala stated that there had been a man with Kobe who had two prosthetic legs. Defendant asked if the man had been wearing shorts.

         Defendant furnished Ala with a pre-typed document. Ala signed it. Presented with People's exhibit 2-B at trial, Ala identified her signature and handwritten entries, and testified that it appeared to be the document that she filled out and signed with defendant at the city council meeting. Ala testified defendant told her “where to fill in what.” Regarding the time she signed the petition, defendant told Ala to put down the approximate time.

         People's exhibit 2-B, read in pertinent part: “2. I have personal knowledge of each and every fact stated herein.... 3. This Declaration is submitted with full knowledge that it will be used in support of Shasta Lake Citizens for Justice and Dolores Lucero's Application for a Temporary Restraining Order and Order to Show Cause for a Preliminary Injunction, which seeks to stop the currently schedule [sic] April 10, 2012 recall election of Councilmember Dolores Lucero (‘Councilmember Lucero'). [¶] 4. I am familiar with the facts and circumstances surrounding the movement to institute a recall election for City Councilmember Lucero, but am politically neutral on the issue. [¶] 5. I am personally familiar with the individual known as Kay Kobe. [¶] 6. On approx [illegible], 2011, at approximately 4 p.m., Kay Kobe approached me at my private residence.... She was circulating a petition. There were no other persons with her circulating the petition. She asked by [sic] if I would sign the petition. [¶] 7. I signed the petition based on the representation by Kay Kobe that this was not for the recall of Dolores Lucero. [¶] 8. I do not want my name to be counted as a voter in support of such petition and request to be removed from such petition.” (Italics added.) Ala testified that the statement in the declaration stating that she had personal knowledge of all of the facts therein was false because she did not read the document. Additionally, the statement in the declaration concerning her knowledge of the purpose for the declaration was also false. Ala testified, “I didn't read it. I thought... [defendant] told me the declaration was about something totally different.” Initially, Ala testified that defendant told her that the document was to stop the recall because the person circulating the petition did not live in Shasta Lake. Defendant told Ala it was to prove Kobe circulated the petition. Later, on cross-examination, Ala testified defendant told her the declaration was to have Ala's name removed from the petition. Ala testified that, “I thought at the time Kay Kobe was lying about circulating the petition.” Ala thought by signing the declaration, she “was doing the right thing....”

         Ala testified that she had only met Kobe once, on the day she came to Ala's house, and the statement that she was personally familiar with Kobe was false.

         Ala told the jury that the statement indicating that there were no other people with Kobe circulating the petition was false because “[t]here were two people there and [defendant] knew it.” Asked how defendant would know this, Ala testified, “[w]e discussed it before I signed the document.”

         The statement in the declaration, “I signed the petition based on the representation by Kay Kobe that this was not for the recall of Dolores Lucero, ” was also a false statement because the petition Ala signed was for the recall, and Ala testified that she was not misled about that. Nor did she tell defendant that Kobe misled her when she signed the recall petition.

         Ala described the atmosphere at the council meeting where she signed the declaration as “crazy, ” like no other council meeting she had seen before. She felt hurried because the environment was hostile, a reporter was trying to talk to her because she had told the city council Kobe had lied on television about not circulating the petition, and members of the audience were also angry at her. According to Ala, the process of filling in the blanks on the declaration “went really fast” and “[i]t was all in a hurry.” Ala testified, “I just did what she asked.” Ala told the jury defendant “tricked me into signing something I didn't read and told me it was for something else.”

         Declarant Betty Kirk

         Betty Kirk testified that, in November 2011, Kobe and another person came to her home concerning a petition to recall defendant. Kirk knew Kobe, but not the other person. Kirk signed the petition.

         Later the same day, defendant and her friend came to Kirk's home. They were at Kirk's house for approximately an hour talking about why people were trying to get her removed from office. Defendant presented Kirk with a pre-typed document to sign, and Kirk filled in the blanks and signed it. When asked if someone explained what to do concerning the blanks, Kirk testified defendant told her “to sign here and put that date, sign here.” Kirk did not read the entire document. When asked why she signed the document without reading it, Kirk said she did so because she and defendant had gone over it and defendant had read it to her. Kirk testified that she trusted defendant and felt bad for her.

         When shown People's exhibit 2-D, Kirk testified that it looked like the document she reviewed and signed with defendant. People's exhibit 2-D read in pertinent part: “5. I am personally familiar with the individual known as Kay Kobe. [¶] 6. On Nov, 2011, at approximately 5:30 p.m., Kay Kobe approached me at my private residence.... She was circulating a petition. There were no other persons with her circulating the petition. She asked by [sic] if I would sign the petition. [¶] 7. I signed the petition based on the representation by Kay Kobe that this was not for the recall of Dolores Lucero. [¶] 8. I do not want my name to be counted as a voter in support of such petition and request to be removed from such petition.” (Italics added.)

         Kirk testified that the statement in the declaration that there were no other persons with Kobe circulating the petition was false. Kirk testified that she told defendant that there was someone else with Kobe when Kobe approached her. In fact, together they tried to figure out who the other woman was. Kirk also testified that it was not Kobe, but rather the person who was with Kobe, who asked her to sign the petition. Kirk testified, “It was the one that was with her was telling what the -- what it was about.” Kirk also testified that, contrary to the statement in the declaration, she knew she was signing the petition to recall defendant. Kirk testified that she never told defendant that she did not know what Kobe gave her to sign, and, in fact, she told defendant that she knew what she signed. Kirk did agree, however, that, when she signed the declaration, she no longer wanted her name counted as a voter in support of the recall petition. She felt she had signed the petition without knowing enough about the issues.

         Kirk testified that she only had the declaration for a brief time and did not read it. She testified that defendant went over the declaration with her. Kirk did not read the entire declaration because she trusted defendant. On cross-examination, Kirk acknowledged that defendant never told her not to read the declaration.

         Declarant Deloris Arnold

         Deloris Arnold testified that, in November 2011, she was at a neighbor's house when two people she did not know came by with a petition to recall defendant. When shown a photograph of Kobe, Arnold testified that Kobe may have been one of the two individuals. The other individual was a male. Arnold signed the recall petition.

         Approximately two weeks later, defendant came to Arnold's house with another person. Arnold had not previously met defendant. She spoke with defendant for approximately 20 minutes. They discussed the recall effort. Defendant told Arnold that “she [defendant] was in the right.”

         A couple of days later, defendant returned to Arnold's house to have Arnold sign a document. Arnold did not read the document before signing it because she did not have her glasses. She asked defendant what the document was and defendant simply said her lawyer wanted her to sign it. Arnold asked, “what for?” Defendant said, “Well, it just needs to be signed.” On this occasion, Arnold did not fill in any information; she only signed after defendant told her where to sign. Arnold explained, “I didn't have my glasses on, but I went ahead and signed it, because I -- I just wanted to find out the truth.” Asked why she signed a document that she did not read, Arnold testified, “I just believed her, ” referring to defendant.

         Arnold testified that defendant returned the following day and had her sign another document. Arnold asked why she needed to sign it since she had “just signed one yesterday.” Defendant said, “My lawyer wants you to go ahead and sign this.” Arnold asked, “But why?” Defendant said, “Well, you just - you need to sign this, ” so Arnold signed. Arnold “took it in good faith that everything was okay.” Again, she did not have her glasses on and she signed the document without reading it. However, Arnold did not tell defendant she could not read without her glasses.

         When shown People's exhibit 2-C, Arnold testified that the handwriting on the document was hers. People's exhibit 2-C states in pertinent part: “2. I have personal knowledge of each and every fact stated herein.... [¶] 3. This Declaration is submitted with full knowledge that it will be used in support of Shasta Lake Citizens for Justice and Dolores Lucero's Application for a Temporary Restraining Order and Order to Show Cause for a Preliminary Injunction, which seeks to stop the currently schedule [sic] April 10, 2012 recall election of Councilmember Dolores Lucero (‘Councilmember Lucero'). [¶]... [¶] 5. I am personally familiar with the individual known as Kay Kobe. [¶] 6. On 11-20, 2011, at approximately [illegible] p.m., Kay Kobe approached me at my private residence.... She was circulating a petition. There were no other persons with her circulating the petition. She asked by [sic] if I would sign the petition. [¶] 7. I signed the petition based on the representation by Kay Kobe that this was not for the recall of Dolores Lucero. [¶] 8. I do not want my name to be counted as a voter in support of such petition and request to be removed from such petition.” (Italics added.)

         Arnold testified that, contrary to the statement in the declaration, she did not have personal knowledge of each and every fact therein. She also did not have full knowledge of the purposes for which the declaration was to be used. Arnold testified that defendant said that she was going to use the document in an effort to keep her position on the board of supervisors.[6] Arnold also testified that the statement in the declaration that she was personally familiar with Kobe was false. Arnold further testified that the statement that Kobe came to her house on a particular date at a particular time circulating a petition was false, because Kobe “never came to [her] house.” Also, the statement that there was no one else with Kobe when she was circulating the petition was also false. Arnold reiterated that two people approached her at her neighbor's house, asking her to sign the petition. Arnold knew what she was signing and she never told defendant that, when she signed the recall petition, she did not know what it was. Arnold also never said that she wanted her name off of the recall petition.

         On cross-examination, Arnold acknowledged that when she testified at the preliminary hearing, she testified that she asked the people circulating the petition what it was about and they did not explain it to her. She explained they “didn't go into detail.” Arnold also acknowledged that defendant did not tell her not to read the declaration.

         Declarant John Nelson

         John Nelson did not testify, but Karen Marks, his caretaker, did. Marks testified that, in November 2011, Nelson was blind, and he was “beginning to descend into dementia.” He would change the thread of a conversation in midstream and could not follow a conversation to its conclusion.

         Marks recalled an occasion in November 2011, when two people came to Nelson's house with a petition to recall defendant. Marks testified that she “helped [Nelson] sign their petition.”

         Morgan testified that on one of the occasions Kobe accompanied her, they went to the home of a blind man whom she later learned was John Nelson. There was a caretaker present. Morgan testified that Kobe “may have done most of the talking.” However, it was Morgan who circulated the petition.

         Within two weeks, defendant came to Nelson's house. Marks testified she did not know whether Nelson signed anything for defendant. However, Marks was certain that the signature on People's exhibit 2-E was Nelson's signature, which she recognized based on her experience in helping him sign documents. Marks was working in another part of the house and did not know whether defendant read the declaration to Nelson.

         Marks did not believe that she read the document, but testified that she did read the text surrounding the blanks to Nelson so he would know what to fill in. Then she filled in the blanks with the information Nelson orally provided.

         People's exhibit 2-E read, in pertinent part: “5. I am personally familiar with the individual known as Kay Kobe, who is a resident of Redding California, and a member of the Gateway School Board. In addition to the meeting described below, I have met Kay Kobe on ___ number of occasions, making her easily recognizable to me. [¶] 6. On 11/29, 2011, at approximately 3 p.m., Kay Kobe approached me at my private residence.... She was circulating a petition for the recall of Councilmember Lucero. There were no other persons with her circulating the petition. She asked by [sic] if I would sign such petition. I declined.” (Italics added.)

         Defendant's Declaration

         A declaration signed by defendant on February 29, 2012, was introduced by the prosecution and stated, in part: “5. I am familiar with the facts and circumstances surrounding the movement to institute a recall election against me. [¶] 6. I am personally familiar with the individual known as Kay Kobe, who is a resident of Redding California, and a member of the Gateway School Board. In addition to the meeting described below, I have met Kay Kobe on 1 [sic] number of occasions, making her easily recognizable to me. [¶] 7. On Nov 29, 2011, at approximately 3-4:00 p.m., I observed Kay Kobe approach a private residence....[7] I was located in my vehicle located directly across the street at the location of Main Street. [¶] 8. I had a clear line of sight to observe Kobe approach such residence and the interaction she had with the resident of such property. I later discovered the identity of such person as John S. Nelson which I contacted Mr. Nelson at the above private residence in February 2012 regarding Kobe approaching him. [¶] 9. On the date Kobe approached Mr. Nelson, [she] appeared to be holding a document in her hand. During this time there were no other persons with her circulating the petition. [¶] 10. Based on my observation of Kobe approaching others in... Shasta Lake, and my knowledge that Kobe was directly involved in the committee supporting the recall efforts against me, I believed that Kobe was circulating a petition to put a recall against me on the ballot. [¶] 11. I observed Kobe approach Mr. Nelson, produce a piece of paper believed to be the recall petition, some discussion between Kobe and Nelson, and Kobe assisting Nelson in signing the document. [] 12. I then observed Kobe leave the vicinity of Nelson's residence and proceed walking South bound on Main Street. [¶] 13. On or about January 23, 2012, I approached Mr. Nelson at his residence and inquired as to whether he recalled Kobe approaching him for his signature to a petition. He recalled such occurrence. He recalled that he signed a petition circulated by Kobe. He also advised that he was aware that Kobe was alone at such time. [¶] 14. Attached as Exhibit A to this declaration is a printout of voter registration data which I purchased from Shasta County. Such data shows in relevant part that... the residence address utilized by Kay Kobe for purposes of voter registration is... Redding, California.” (Italics added.)

         Sgt. Magrini's Investigation and His Follow-up Interview with Defendant

         Magrini met with each of the five declarants. He also met with Kobe. On March 16, 2012, Magrini interviewed defendant at her home. The interview was audio-recorded and the recording was played for the jury.

         In the interview, Magrini told defendant that he went over each declaration with the declarants line by line. Magrini stated that each of the declarants told him that Kobe had someone else with her. Magrini also stated that each declarant told him that the statement in their declaration that Kobe told them the petition was not for the recall of defendant was false, and that they knew they were signing the recall petition.

         Magrini also told defendant that he had interviewed Kobe and that Elections Code section 11045 did not prohibit Kobe from “going door to door, from being part of the campaign for the recall.” It only prohibited someone who is not a registered voter in the electoral jurisdiction from “acting alone, going and collecting signatures” unaccompanied by someone from the jurisdiction. Magrini told defendant, “So use a hypothetical. [My partner] and I are... circulating these recall petitions. He lives in City of Shasta Lake, I live in City of Redding. We can go together door to door. I can say whatever I want as long as he's there to witness the signature as a resident of the City of Shasta Lake. I cannot go by myself and collect signatures by myself as a resident of the City of Redding. So, there's no doubt Miss Kobe went out and helped petition and helped seek people to gather signatures. But every time she went she was with somebody by the statements provided by the five people....”

         Magrini told defendant that Kobe and the five declarants all said that, when Kobe went out collecting signatures, Kobe had someone else with her and it was the people she was with who gathered the signatures. He also told defendant that Kirk and Nelson reported that they knew what they were signing when they signed the recall petition.

         Magrini specifically told defendant that, after he read Nelson the declaration, Nelson indicated that its contents were “not his understanding and that he was not familiar with that document. Partially because he couldn't see it, but the way it was explained to him by yourself that he didn't have all the information... when he signed the document” and that “you didn't fully explain it to him.” Defendant said Nelson's caretaker read “the whole thing” to Nelson “and explained to him what it was.”

         Defendant claimed that she went through Arnold's declaration line by line with Arnold to verify each point. Magrini told defendant that Arnold said she did not have her glasses and essentially told him that defendant had deceived her or misrepresented when she signed the declaration.

         Magrini told defendant that Lukens said the declaration was wrong and defendant did not explain the declaration to him when she asked him to sign. Magrini explained that Lukens told him, “I'm furious with Miss Lucero right now. I feel like I was misled.”

         Magrini told defendant that he believed that “where this investigation is leading... I believe that there was some manipulation.” He told defendant, “I think there's some games being played here and some manipulation on how documents were presented.” Magrini explained that he was continuing to investigate Kobe's alleged Elections Code violations, which he had found no evidence to support. However, he further explained, “I do have evidence to support is [sic] you coming into our office and making a false police report.” Magrini stated that he would submit his report to the district attorney's office.

         Defendant stated she had obtained a private investigator because, “I actually don't feel this is gonna come out fair. [T]his is bogus. This is bunch of bologna that these people are becoming cowards to, from what I see, they're not coming to be straight and saying the truth.” Defendant stated that she knew “there was gonna be a turnaround and say something like that.”

         Defendant went on to say it seemed like the declarants were backing out because they were afraid. She asserted, “I'm telling the truth and I'm not gonna be taking people's lies and how these turning out because... this whole thing started with these people.” She insisted, “I always tell people you need to read the document to make sure... you understand what you're signing.”

         Magrini emphasized that every declarant stated that Kobe had been with someone else, and that defendant specifically asked about that when she talked to them. The following exchange ensued:

         “[MAGRINI]: Can we answer that question first? Did you specifically ask that and verify it? Cause that's the, the filing the criminal report that you made, the direct violation is her acting alone. Without anybody, a representative of the res, [sic] of the city, within the City of Shasta Lake with them, with her. Um, and it's very specific on each of these declarations. Line 18, there were no other persons with her circulating the petition. Period. That's very specific. It's been on every single document. And they signed these. And that's not true. And I think we knew that was the case but it was tried, we tried to slip it in.

         “[DEFENDANT]: Well I mean, “[MAGRINI]: That's my belief.

         “[DEFENDANT]: You're, so the way I think, “[MAGRINI]: Am I fair, am I fair in that?

         “[DEFENDANT]: I understand that part. But it's, I mean I'm, “[MAGRINI]: Can we answer that part? Am I fair in saying that?

         “[DEFENDANT]: You're fair.”

         Defendant went on to say, “what I'm understanding too is that when you go door to door, like when me and her go door to door she goes to one, one side and I go to the other side. [¶]... [¶] So basically she might have been with somebody but doesn't mean they were together door to door.” Defendant said what Magrini had described sounded like a “loophole.”

         Magrini repeated that none of the declarants were saying Kobe was by herself when they signed the petition. Defendant's response was to ask “what about” Arnold and Kirk?

         Magrini explained that his investigation was “pretty much complete” and he would be turning it in. Defendant replied, “You're saying now you're gonna turn it around and basically make me to be the one who filed the wrong... information.” Magrini confirmed that and defendant said, “that's what I kinda figured. That's why I called a... private investigator.” Referring to Kobe, defendant told Magrini, “So in other words she is part of the same old good old boys.” When Magrini said it was not appropriate to mislead people to sign documents to help support her cause, defendant responded, “I do not do that. And I wouldn't do it. [¶]... [¶] that's not the way it happened.”

         Defense Evidence

         Judy Harlson testified that, in November 2011, two people came to her house registering people to vote. Harlson signed a form. The two people were a husband and wife who lived down the road from her. The person who had Harlson sign the form did not mention defendant and did not mention a recall election. Defense counsel showed Harlson defense exhibit D, which was a petition to recall defendant. Harlson identified her signature on the petition. Pamelyn Morgan was named as the petition circulator. Harlson testified that she signed the form in order to register to vote, and for no other purpose. On cross-examination, Harlson testified that she did not believe that she reviewed the document before signing it.

         The defense called Kobe, who testified that, at least for the last 20 years, she had not been a resident of Shasta Lake, although she had a chiropractic practice there. Kobe testified that she was the treasurer of the committee seeking the recall of defendant.

         Kobe testified that she went door-to-door with another person, helping to collect signatures for the recall, and that sometimes she did so with Morgan. She also acknowledged that she would sometimes hold the clipboard, she would sometimes be the person to ask for a signature, and she would sometimes explain the petition. Kobe also acknowledged that sometimes she would do most of the talking when she went out with Morgan.

         On cross-examination by the prosecutor, Kobe testified that, when she went door-to-door collecting signatures, she always went with another person. Kobe testified that she always went with someone else because the law required that a registered voter be circulator of the petition, and she was not a registered voter in Shasta Lake.

         Cathy Darling Allen was the Shasta County Clerk and Registrar of Voters. Allen acknowledged that the Elections Code did not give a definition of “circulator.” It only references the qualification to be circulator, namely that the person has to be a resident and registered voter of the electoral jurisdiction. Allen testified that the handbook of the Secretary of State, discussing the procedures for recalling state and local officials, stated in parenthesis after the word circulator, “the person soliciting the signatures.” Allen further testified that the local handbook contained a similar description of a circulator.

         When asked on direct examination, whether she was aware of “any law... that says the person soliciting the signatures is no longer the circulator if they go around with a resident of the jurisdiction, ” Allen responded, “I don't believe there's any code that directly addresses that situation, that I'm aware of.” When asked on cross-examination whether there was anything prohibiting a person from Shasta Lake from being accompanied by a nonresident going door-to-door trying to get people to sign a recall petition for a Shasta Lake councilmember, Allen testified, “Not that I'm aware of.” When asked if “the nonresident speaks to the person at the door that they're trying to get to sign the petition, ” “[i]s there anything prohibiting that?” Allen responded, “I don't think there's anything that I'm aware of in the code that addresses any of this.” Nor was Allen aware of anything in the code addressing how much the nonresident could speak. However, Allen said the person soliciting the signatures would be the circulator.

         Allen testified that if someone who signed a recall petition complained to her in writing that only one person came to their door with the petition and that person was a nonresident, they would have the right to have their name withdrawn before the petition was filed. If this information came to light after the petition was filed, the only recourse would be in court.

         Motions, Verdict, and Sentencing

         Defense counsel moved pursuant to section 1118.1 for judgment of acquittal. The trial court denied the motion, finding that there was sufficient evidence for the matter to proceed to the jury. The jury found defendant guilty of preparing false documentary evidence (§ 134).

         Defendant moved for a new trial, asserting that the verdict was contrary to the law and evidence because there was no evidence of anything false being prepared so as to support a conviction under section 134, and that the jury was misinstructed in several respects. The trial court denied defendant's motion.

         The trial court placed defendant on formal probation for three years with terms and conditions discussed in the unpublished part of this opinion, post.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Prosecution for a Violation of Section 134

         A. Defendant's Contentions

         Defendant asserts that a declaration containing a false statement is not a “false or ante-dated book, paper, record, instrument in writing, or other matter or thing” within the meaning of section 134. Defendant supports this contention with three arguments. First, according to defendant, section 134 applies only to “real evidence, not evidence (like a declaration signed under penalty of perjury) that is testimonial in nature.” Second, a document containing untruthful witness testimony does not qualify as “false” within the meaning of section 134 because the term “false” as used in that section “means not genuine or inauthentic rather than untruthful in content.” In this regard, defendant asserts that a “document containing written testimony would be considered false only if the document itself has been forged or altered so that it fails to accurately reflect the testimony or the witness.” Third, the Legislature has expressed its intent that a perjurious declaration should be prosecuted as perjury, not as a violation of section 134. Because, according to defendant, a false statement in a declaration is governed by a specific statute, section 118, which defines perjury, prosecution under a more general statute, such as section 134, is prohibited.

         We disagree with all three arguments.

         B. Principles of Statutory Construction and Section 134

         “ ‘Under settled canons of statutory construction, in construing a statute we ascertain the Legislature's intent in order to effectuate the law's purpose. [Citation.] We must look to the statute's words and give them their usual and ordinary meaning. [Citation.] The statute's plain meaning controls the court's interpretation unless its words are ambiguous.' [Citations.] If the words in the statute do not, by themselves, provide a reliable indicator of legislative intent, ‘[s]tatutory ambiguities often may be resolved by examining the context in which the language appears and adopting the construction which best serves to harmonize the statute internally and with related statutes. [Citation.]' [Citation.] ‘ “Literal construction should not prevail if it is contrary to the legislative intent apparent in the statute...; and if a statute is amenable to two alternative interpretations, the one that leads to the more reasonable result will be followed [citation].” [Citations.]' [Citation.] If the statute is ambiguous, we may consider a variety of extrinsic aids, including legislative history, the statute's purpose, and public policy.” (People v. Arias (2008) 45 Cal.4th 169, 177 (Arias).)

         “ ‘In California, there is no rule of strict construction of penal statutes. Such statutes are to be construed “... according to the fair import of their terms, with a view to effect [their] objects and to promote justice.” [Citations.] A statute is to be given a reasonable and common sense construction in accordance with its apparent purpose and the intent of the Legislature-one that is practical rather than technical and that will lead to a wise policy rather than to mischief or an absurdity [citation]. The legislative intent should be gathered from the whole statute rather than from isolated parts or words. All of the parts should be construed together if possible without doing violence to the language or spirit of the statute.' ” (People v. Bamberg (2009) 175 Cal.App.4th 618, 627 (Bamberg), quoting People v. Fields (1980) 105 Cal.App.3d 341, 343-344 (Fields).)

         Section 134 provides: “Every person guilty of preparing any false or antedated book, paper, record, instrument in writing, or other matter or thing, with intent to produce it, or allow it to be produced for any fraudulent or deceitful purpose, as genuine or true, upon any trial, proceeding, or inquiry whatever, authorized by law, is guilty of felony.”[8]

         C. Analysis

         1. “Book, Paper, Record, Instrument in Writing, or Other Matter or Thing”

         Defendant offers a number of definitions of “instrument” and “instrument in writing, ” and argues that an instrument in writing within the meaning of section 134, as intended by the drafters of that section, “referred to formal documents that gave rise to ‘contract, obligation or liability,' but not mere letters or memoranda.” However, we need not decide the meaning of “instrument in writing” in this case. We are satisfied that a declaration can constitute a “paper, ” as well as any “other matter or thing.”

         Defendant asserts that “paper” does not refer to the physical material on which something is written or printed, and further asserts that a “ ‘paper' upon which something is written cannot be ‘false.' ” Additionally, defendant asserts that paper as that term is used in section 134 necessarily means “ ‘valuable paper,' such as negotiable paper, commercial paper or chattel paper.” However, other than relying on two doctrines of construction, discussed post, defendant cites no support for her proffered definition of “paper, ” and we can find none. Indeed, neither the chapter in which section 134 appears[9] nor the Penal Code as a whole sets forth a definition of the term “paper” limiting it in the manner advocated by defendant. However, the plain meaning of the term “paper” includes: “any piece of paper containing writing or print (as a letter or memorandum).” (Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dict. <http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/unabridged/paper> [as of Sept. 26, 2019], archived at: https://perma.cc/4UJ5-7GRS.) A dictionary source defendant relies upon for another term includes among its definitions of paper: “a written or printed document or the like.” (Dictionary.com <https://www.dictionary.com/browse/paper> [as of Sept. 26, 2019], archived at: https://perma.cc/T5AT-MR75 >.) The first definition of “paper” in Black's Law Dictionary, another source upon which defendant relies for the definition of another term, includes: “Any written or printed document or instrument.” (Black's Law Dict. (10th ed. 2014) p. 1285, col. 1.) By these definitions, a “paper” under section 134 would include the declarations at issue here.

         Furthermore, the catch-all phrase in section 134, “or other matter or thing” encompasses a greater range of materials than those terms preceding it. (Italics added.) We conclude that the catch-all, too, would include the declarations at issue here. Defendant asserts that a written declaration contains testimony, testimony is “information, ” and false testimony is a “concept” rather than a “false thing.” We discuss whether the declarations can be deemed false, post. Here, we have no difficulty determining that these declarations qualify as “other matter or thing[s].” Not only is a declaration clearly a “thing, ” but statements contained therein constitute “other matter.” The plain meaning of the word “matter” includes: “something that is to be proved (as in a court of law), ” “a reason or the grounds for something, ” “something written or printed or to be printed, ” “a subject (as a fact, an event or course of events, or a circumstance, situation, or question) of interest or relevance, ” and “something that is a subject of disagreement... or litigation.” (Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dict. <http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/unabridged/matter> [as of Sept. 26, 2019], archived at: < https://perma.cc/Z9NU-93BE >.) A dictionary source defendant cites for other definitions includes among its definitions of matter: “a situation, ” “something of consequence, ” “ground, reason, or cause, ” “things put down in words, especially printed, ” and, in law, “statement or allegation.” (Dictionary.com <https://www.dictionary.com/browse/matter > [as of Sept. 26, 2019], archived at: https://perma.cc/8CWL-AA7H.) Black's Law Dictionary defines “matter” as “[a] subject under consideration, esp. involving a dispute or litigation, ” “[s]omething that is to be tried or proved; an allegation forming the basis of a claim or defense” and “[a]ny physical or tangible expression of a thought.” (Black's Law Dict. (10th ed. 2014) p. 1126, col. 1.) The content of the declarations at issue here describes a situation, namely the circumstances under which the declarants signed the recall petition; consisted of statements and allegations; and the events described therein were something of consequence to be considered as purported grounds or reasons supporting defendant's attempt to halt the recall through litigation. Thus, the declarations fit any one of these definitions of “matter.”

         Defendant has not attempted to define “matter.” In our view, the definition of matter in section 134 is consistent with the use of that term in the perjury statute, section 118, which focuses on “material matter” the witness or declarant knows to be false.[10] That language was in the perjury statute when it was enacted in 1872, the same year as the Legislature enacted section 134. (Ann. Pen. Code (1st ed. 1872, Haymond & Burch, comrs.-annotators) § 118, p. 58.) California's hearsay statute also uses the term matter. “ ‘Hearsay evidence' is evidence of a statement that was made other than by a witness while testifying at the hearing and that is offered to prove the truth of the matter stated.” (Evid. Code, § 1200, italics added.) Clearly, the definition of “matter” includes information or allegations in statements such as those in the subject declarations. (See People v. Hill (1980) 103 Cal.App.3d 525, 533, fn. 4 [“It is a generally accepted tenet of statutory construction that the same words used in different statutes that are in pari materia are to be given the same meaning”].)

         Defendant relies primarily on two canons of statutory construction, ejusdem generis and noscitur a sociis. Ejusdem generis means ‘ “ ‘of the same kind' ”' (Arias, supra, 45 Cal.4th at p. 180), and provides that, “when a particular class of things modifies general words, those general words are construed as applying only to things of the same nature or class as those enumerated. [Citation.] This canon of statutory construction... ‘ “applies whether the specific words follow general words in a statute or vice versa. In either event, the general term or category is ‘restricted to those things that are similar to those which are enumerated specifically.' ”' ” (Ibid.)

         Noscitur a sociis means “ ‘a word takes meaning from the company it keeps.' ” (People v. Hernandez (2017) 10 Cal.App.5th 192, 200.) Under this rule, “ ‘ “[a] word of uncertain meaning may be known from its associates and its meaning ‘enlarged or restrained by reference to the object of the whole clause in which it is used.' [Citation.]” [Citation.]' [Citation.] ‘ “ ‘In accordance with this principle of construction, a court will adopt a restrictive meaning of a listed item if acceptance of a more expansive meaning would make other items in the list unnecessary or redundant, or would otherwise make the item markedly dissimilar to the other items in the list.' ”' ” (Ibid.)

         Defendant asserts that these rules of construction limit the meaning of “other matter or thing” to things that are akin to books, papers, records, and instruments in writing. Defendant's reliance on these rules here is misplaced because these rules do not apply to restrict the plain meaning of words and are to be employed only when there is ambiguity.

         In Fields, supra, 105 Cal.App.3d 341, the Court of Appeal addressed language in section 135, an evidence concealment statute, which contains the same language as section 134. At the relevant time, section 135 provided: “Every person who, knowing that any book, paper, record, instrument in writing, or other matter or thing, is about to be produced in evidence upon any trial, inquiry, or investigation whatever, authorized by law, willfully destroys or conceals the same, with intent thereby to prevent it from being produced, is guilty of a misdemeanor.” (Former § 135, italics added.) “The precise question” raised in Fields was “whether [section 135] applies to the destruction of contraband (marijuana) by a jail inmate for the purpose of preventing the contraband from being used as evidence in a future criminal proceeding.” (Fields, at p. 343.) The Fields court held that section 135 applied. (Fields, at p. 343.) In so doing, the Fields court was called upon to construe the italicized language from section 135, which is mirrored in section 134. The defendant asserted that section 135 contemplated only writings, and, in support of his argument, advanced the doctrines of ejusdem generis and noscitur a sociis as does defendant here. (Fields, at p. 344.)

         The Fields court stated: “While these maxims indeed support appellant's interpretation, they are merely extrinsic aids to interpretation and are to be used only when the clear meaning of the words used in the statute is doubtful; such aids may not be used to create doubts or offset the plain meaning of the statutes [citation]. In the present case, application of the maxims would unduly restrict the phrase ‘other matter or thing' to less than its fair import and commonly understood meaning.” (Fields, supra, 105 Cal.App.3d at p. 344; see People v. Dyer (2002) 95 Cal.App.4th 448, 455, italics added [principle of ejusdem generis “aids in the construction of a statute if there is ambiguity”; the principle has no application where the statutory language “is unambiguous and the catchall provision is expressly intended to be broader than the categories enumerated above it”].) The Fields court, construing the same language we are called upon to interpret here, stated: “We... construe the phrase, ‘other matter or thing' to encompass an unending variety of physical objects such as the green leafy material and handrolled cigarettes in the case at bench.” (Fields, at p. 345, italics added.)

         Defendant asserts that the Fields court improperly restricted these statutory construction doctrines, and, with regard to ejusdem generis, notes that, in reference to criminal statutes, the doctrine is to be applied with stringency. Defendant asserts that our high court's declaration that the maxim of ejusdem generis is to be applied with stringency “means that the rule is strictly applied in criminal cases.” According to defendant, to “the extent Fields suggests otherwise, it conflicts with California Supreme Court authority and cannot be followed.” Our high court has indeed stated that, “ ‘[i]n construing criminal statutes the ejusdem generis rule of construction is applied with stringency.' ” (Arias, supra, 45 Cal.4th at p. 181, quoting People v. Thomas (1945) 25 Cal.2d 880, 899.) But this does not mean we are to ignore the plain meaning of such terms as “or other matter or thing.”

         Even assuming that we agreed with defendant's position, we do not violate ejusdem generis by including the declarations within the scope of the catch-all phrase that follows the other specified items. The declarations come within the scope of the catch-all phrase as evidentiary documents such as the preceding listed items. Because, in this sense, the catch-all phrase would be construed as “applying... to things of the same nature or class as those enumerated” (Arias, supra, 45 Cal.4th at p. 180), our interpretation would not violate the canon of ejusdem generis. Nevertheless, section 134 has been applied to cover items other than written documents. As we discuss in more detail in connection with defendant's falsity argument, courts have found section 134 applicable to photographs (Bamberg, supra, 175 Cal.App.4th 618) and a urine sample (People v. Morrison (2011) 191 Cal.App.4th 1551 (Morrison).)

         Defendant also asserts that “any false or ante-dated book, paper, record, instrument in writing, or other matter or thing” in section 134 only refers to “real evidence” which she distinguishes from evidence that is testimonial in nature. Thus, according to defendant, because the preceding, listed items in the statute are all “real evidence, ” so too must be those items encompassed in the catch-all phrase.[11]

         Section 134 is unambiguous and there is no language therein expressly limiting section 134 in the manner advocated by defendant. The statute simply does not differentiate between real and testimonial evidence. Moreover, in our research, we have not discovered any case stating that section 134 applies only to “real evidence” or that it does not apply to evidence in the form of statements in a declaration. By its terms, section 134 criminalizes preparing false evidence. The declarations here provided false evidence.

         Defendant asserts that, if the Legislature intended section 134 to include “any writing” as coming within the ambit of section 134, it knew how to do so. Defendant relies on subdivision (a)(5) of section 550, which contains language criminalizing insurance fraud carried out in “any writing.” In this regard, defendant relies on the “ ‘settled rule of statutory construction that where a statute, with reference to one subject contains a given provision, the omission of such provision from a similar statute concerning a related subject is significant to show that a different legislative intent existed with reference to the different statutes.' ” (In re Jennings (2004) 34 Cal.4th 254, 273, quoting People v. Norwood (1972) 26 Cal.App.3d 148, 156, italics added.) The insurance fraud provisions do not involve a related subject. Those provisions prohibit false information presented to insurance companies and health care providers to fraudulently obtain insurance payments for loss, injury, and damage, and health care benefits. Moreover, the insurance fraud provisions on which defendant relies as establishing that the Legislature in 1872 knew how to specify “any writing” if it intended to do so were enacted decades after the enactment of section 134. (See § 550, added by Stats. 1992, ch. 675, § 8; former Ins. Code, § 556, enacted 1935.) Furthermore, it seems clear that there was no reason to specify “any writing” in section 134 when the Legislature instead included a broader term - “other matter or thing” - which in turn could include, among other things, any writings.

         Section 134 “must... be construed to effectuate the purpose of the law.” (People v. Clark (1977) 72 Cal.App.3d 80, 84.) As the court in Bamberg noted, “[t]he objective of section 134 is ‘to prevent the fraudulent introduction of material in a proceeding under the authority of law.' [Citation.] Considered in its entirety, the statute serves to prohibit attempts to perpetrate fraud in a legal proceeding by preparing evidence with the intent to mislead or deceive the trier of fact. Interpreting section 134 to cover [defendant's] conduct serves the purpose of the statute.” (Bamberg, supra, 175 Cal.App.4th at p. 629.) Likewise, here, we conclude that our interpretation of section 134 as including the declarations at issue effectuates the purpose of the law.

         2. “False” Within the Meaning of Section 134

         Defendant asserts that, even if the declarations could be deemed to come within section 134, “an untruthful statement contained within a declaration does not make the document false, within the meaning of” section 134. According to defendant, “[a] document containing written testimony would be considered false only if the document itself has been forged or altered so that it fails to accurately reflect the testimony or the witness.” Defendant asserts that, to be false under section 134, the document must be “fake, forged, or counterfeit, ” and the documents at issue here are true and genuine because they were “genuine declarations that each declarant signed, and the writing truly reflected the written testimony of each declarant.” Responding to the People's assertion that the declarations were false because they were made to deceive, defendant asserts that there was no deceit “or deception as to the nature of each document. Each written declaration was exactly what it purported to be, i.e., the declaration of the declarant who signed it. Whether or not the testimony contained in the declaration was false does not effect [sic] the genuineness of the document itself. If the written declaration produced in court is the actual document that the witness signed, the declaration itself is true and genuine, regardless of the truth or falsity of the testimony that is represented therein.” In addressing this contention, we find guidance in several cases where evidence was deemed “false” within the meaning of section 134.

         In Bamberg, which was discussed extensively by the parties in the trial court, the defendant appeared in traffic court contesting a traffic citation he received for failure to stop at a stop sign. (Bamberg, supra, 175 Cal.App.4th at p. 621.) The defendant offered in evidence photographs to support his claim that there was no stop sign at the intersection, but several of the photographs actually depicted a different intersection. (Ibid.) A jury subsequently found the defendant guilty of, among other things, a violation of section 134 for submitting the photographs to the traffic court. (Bamberg, at p. 621.) On appeal, the defendant's sole contention was that the photographs were not “false” within the meaning of section 134 because “they accurately depict[ed] the location where they were taken.” (Bamberg, at p. 626.) The defendant asserted that it was his testimony that the photographs depicted the intersection where he was stopped that was false, not the photographs themselves. (Ibid.) The Court of Appeal rejected that argument and affirmed. (Id. at pp. 621, 630.)

         The Bamberg court observed that the “question of whether under section 134 a matter or thing must itself be false-i.e., must be false on its face, without regard to what anyone may say about it-appears to be an issue of first impression.” (Bamberg, supra, 175 Cal.App.4th at p. 626.) The court noted that the language of section 134 did not require that the matter or thing “be altered or false ‘on its face,' ” as argued by the defendant. (Bamberg, at p. 627.) The court stated that whether “evidence is ‘false' under section 134 depends upon what it is intended to depict or represent as ‘genuine or true.' In other words, falsity is not an absolute quality. It can turn upon what the evidence is offered to prove.” (Bamberg, at p. 627.) The court reasoned that the photographs were “ ‘false' because they were offered as ‘genuine and true' depictions of something other than what they actually represent.” (Id. at p. 628.) Thus, the court held that “the photographs offered by [the defendant] were false in that they depicted something other than what [the defendant] claimed they showed.” (Id. at p. 621.) Likewise, here, the declarations were false because they claimed something that happened other than what actually happened.[12]

         In Morrison, supra, 191 Cal.App.4th 1551, the court held that section 134 was violated “by a probationer who prepares a false urine sample with intent to produce it to his probation officer during court-ordered drug testing.” (Morrison, at p. 1553.) The defendant in Morrison “concede[d] that he prepared a false thing with a deceitful purpose.” (Id. at p. 1555.) The urine sample was “false” within the meaning of section 134 because the defendant utilized a “urine substitution apparatus” defendant purchased at a “head shop” when he provided the urine sample during a routine visit to his probation office. (Morrison, at p. 1554.) Similar to the court in Bamberg, the Morrison court concluded that the application of section 134 to the false evidence defendant created was consistent with the statute's purpose of preventing fraudulent introduction of material in a proceeding under authority of law. (Morrison, at p. 1556.)

         In People v. Bhasin (2009) 176 Cal.App.4th 461 (Bhasin), the defendant went to DMV and provided false information regarding the registered owner of a vehicle involved in a transaction underlying a pending prosecution against him for identity theft and a fraudulent loan transaction. (Id. at p. 463.) Based on the information furnished by the defendant, the DMV generated a “report of deposit of fees (RDF) that listed John Ferguson (the person whose identity [the] defendant was charged with stealing and in whose name he allegedly obtained a fraudulent loan) as the registered owner of the” vehicle. (Id. at pp. 463-464.) The defendant provided the RDF to his attorney, and, at trial, defense counsel cross-examined Ferguson with the document after Ferguson denied that he was the registered owner of the vehicle. (Id. at p. 464.) It came to light at trial that the defendant had procured the document containing the false information. (Ibid.) The defendant was subsequently charged with and convicted of, inter alia, a violation of section 134, and the Court of Appeal affirmed. (Bhasin, at p. 464.) At issue in Bhasin was whether the defendant “prepared” the RDF within the meaning of section 134, despite the fact that the report was actually generated by the DMV. (Bhasin, at p. 469.) The court concluded that he did. (Id. at p. 470.) Although the document was a DMV RDF, it was deemed false; “[t]he bottom line in this case is that the RDF contained false information that was provided by [the] defendant. Defendant went to the DMV and obtained this document clearly by providing some sort of false information.” (Ibid., italics added.)

         In People v. Laws (1981) 120 Cal.App.3d 1022 (Laws), defendant submitted to the court a false receipt showing he had made full restitution to a crime victim and thereby complied with his conditions of probation. (Id. at pp. 1027-1028.) Defendant had not actually paid the full amount of restitution and had duped the victim into signing the receipt. (Id. at pp. 1026-1027.) Defendant was prosecuted for a violation of section 134 for submitting the receipt containing false information. (Laws, at p. 1026.) In arguing on appeal that the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction for section 134, defendant asserted that the receipt was “regular on its face” and therefore did not constitute a false paper within the meaning of section 134. The Laws court rejected that contention and concluded the evidence established that the defendant “knew that the receipt was literally false and that he intended to use it in the prior proceedings to mislead the court into finding that he had complied with his conditions of probation.” (Laws, at pp. 1029-1030.)

         Defendant has not, and based on our research cannot, point to a case stating that, for prosecution under section 134, a document must be a forgery or must be altered. Furthermore, contrary to defendant's contention, the declarations here were not the genuine declaration of each declarant; they each contained false information furnished for them by defendant (or with defendant's assistance). As the People assert, the declarations were deceitful. While the documents may have been what they purported to be in one sense-they were declarations signed by the declarants-they were not what they purported to be in another sense; they contained false representations provided by defendant that were not the declarants' true statements. Similar to the ...


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