California v. ScarbroughAnnotate this Case
Defendant Christy Ann Scarbrough was granted probation after she pled no contest to possession of hydromorphone and heroin and admitted an on-bail enhancement. She subsequently violated her probation and pled no contest to felony child endangerment. She was sentenced to state prison, and appealed. Appointed defense counsel asked the Court of Appeal to review the record independently to determine whether there were any arguable issues on appeal. Finding no arguable error that would result in a disposition more favorable to defendant, the Court affirmed the judgment. The Court chose to publish this decision to address an issue the Court felt was likely to recur. In 2014, California voters approved Proposition 47, which added section 1170.18 to the Penal Code, permitting persons convicted of certain offenses to seek recall and resentencing from the trial court. While this appeal was pending, defendant sought and obtained an order from the trial court pursuant to section 1170.18 ostensibly recalling her sentence on two of the felony convictions that the Court reviewed in this appeal, designating those convictions as misdemeanors, and resentencing her. In light of defendant’s no contest plea, the Court's review was limited to reviewing the propriety of defendant’s sentencing. If the trial court’s resentencing of defendant while her appeal is pending was valid, the Court's review of her sentence for the subsequently recalled convictions would be rendered futile. Therefore, the Court addressed whether section 1170.18 granted the trial court concurrent jurisdiction permitting it to resentence defendant while this appeal was pending before the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal concluded the trial court lacked jurisdiction to resentence defendant and, therefore, its order ostensibly recalling defendant’s sentence and resentencing her was void.