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People v. Patton

California Court of Appeals, Fourth District, First Division

November 6, 2019

The PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
Kayvon PATTON, Defendant and Appellant.

         Opinion, 250 Cal.Rptr.3d 552, vacated.

          APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of San Diego County, Polly H. Shamoon, Judge. Affirmed. (Super. Ct. No. SCD275677)

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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         COUNSEL

         Leslie Ann Rose, San Diego, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.

         Xavier Becerra, Attorney General, Gerald A. Engler, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Julie L. Garland, Assistant Attorney General, Eric A. Swenson, Kristine A. Gutierrez and Yvette M. Martinez, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

         OPINION

         DATO, J.

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          Defendant Kayvon Patton pleaded guilty to grand theft of personal property (Pen. Code, � 487, subd. (a))[1] after he joined friends and stole cell phones and other electronic devices from an electronics store. Among the conditions of his probation was a condition subjecting his electronic devices to warrantless search. Patton challenges this condition as unreasonable under People v. Lent (1975) 15 Cal.3d 481, 124 Cal.Rptr. 905, 541 P.2d 545 (Lent ) and constitutionally overbroad.

         In our initial opinion, we rejected the People’s argument that Patton’s appeal should be dismissed for failure to obtain a certificate of probable cause. We then concluded the electronics search condition was valid under Lent and not overbroad. After our decision, the California Supreme

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Court issued In re Ricardo P. (2019) 7 Cal.5th 1113, 251 Cal.Rptr.3d 104, 446 P.3d 747 (Ricardo P. ), clarifying when an electronics search condition is reasonably related to the probationer’s future criminality under Lent. We granted Patton’s petition for rehearing and allowed both parties to file supplemental briefs concerning the effect of Ricardo P. [2]

         Upon rehearing we conclude, as before, that Patton did not need a certificate of probable cause to challenge the electronics search condition on appeal. Despite a boilerplate waiver of appellate rights in his plea agreement, he did not waive his right to challenge a later-imposed condition of probation that was not referenced in that agreement. Accordingly, his appeal is based on "[g]rounds that arose after entry of the plea and do not affect the plea’s validity" and required no certificate. ( [ 4] Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.304(b)(4).)[3]

         Turning to the merits of Patton’s appeal, Ricardo P. "does not categorically invalidate electronic search conditions. In certain cases, the probationer’s offense or personal history may provide the ... court with a sufficient factual basis from which it can determine that an electronics search condition is a proportional means of deterring the probationer from future criminality." (Ricardo P., supra, 7 Cal.5th at pp. 1128-1129, 251 Cal.Rptr.3d 104, 446 P.3d 747.) For example, the Supreme Court approved of In re Malik J. (2015) 240 Cal.App.4th 896, 193 Cal.Rptr.3d 370 (Malik J. ), in which a tailored electronics search condition was reasonably imposed on a probationer given his history of robbing people of their cell phones. (Ricardo P., at p. 1129, 251 Cal.Rptr.3d 104, 446 P.3d 747.)

         As we explain, the electronics search condition was validly imposed under Lent’s first prong because it relates to his underlying crime. Ricardo P. does not alter this analysis. Moreover, because the nature of Patton’s offense means that some electronics search condition could constitutionally be imposed consistent with Malik J., the condition is not facially overbroad. Any challenge to the closeness of fit between the condition and facts related to Patton’s crime or history is an as-applied constitutional claim, forfeited by Patton’s failure to object on that basis before the trial court. Accordingly, we affirm.

          FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

          On January 19, 2018 around 4:30 p.m., officers with the San Diego Police Department responded to a reported theft at Hit Mobile Store. Store employee Miguel O. had been helping a female customer at the front counter when two men entered the store, followed by two more men. At some point he heard a

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loud crack and saw the four men pulling electronic devices off security cords attached to the wall. They ran out of the store with three iPhones, two Apple Watches, an iPad Pro, a Samsung S7, and Samsung gear VR.

         When officers arrived, they discovered a smudged fingerprint on a Samsung phone that was dropped by one of the men on his way out of the store.[4] A lab report identified the fingerprint as belonging to defendant Kayvon Patton. Video from the store’s surveillance camera confirmed Patton as one of the four men.

         The San Diego County District Attorney charged Patton with felony grand theft of personal property (� 487, subd. (a)). Patton pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement whereby he would receive formal probation and pay restitution of $4,620. As part of the plea deal he agreed to "give up my right to appeal ... any sentence stipulated herein." Another part of the form agreement stated, "As conditions of probation I may be given up to a year in jail custody, plus the fine, and any other conditions deemed reasonable by the Court."

         In a subsequent conversation with a probation officer prior to sentencing, Patton stated he sold one of the stolen phones to a pawn shop for $550 and used the money to purchase "Norcos." Patton has a history of substance abuse; he began to drink alcohol at age 13, smoke marijuana at age 15, and take Norco pills at age 15. Up until his arrest, Patton took Norco pills daily.

          At the sentencing hearing in July 2018, the judge imposed three years of formal probation under various conditions with a stay of 240 days in local custody pending successful completion of probation. The probation conditions included limitations on drug and alcohol possession and an order to stay away from the other unidentified perpetrators. Another condition required that Patton "submit person, vehicle, residence, property, personal effects, computers, and recordable media including electronic devices to search at any time with or without a warrant, and with or without reasonable cause, when required by [a ...


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