California v. SordenAnnotate this Case
Appellant Mark Sorden appealed his conviction for contempt of court for violating a Criminal Protective Order— Domestic Violence (CPO) issued in a prior action. The Court of Appeal determined Appellant did not meet his burden of establishing reversible error, finding: (1) Appellant could not collaterally attack the CPO in this action; (2) the trial court properly instructed the jury as to the meaning of “disturbing the peace” for purposes of the contempt conviction; (3) the trial court did not deny Appellant due process of law when it allowed the jury to consider evidence of cellphone tracking that was not presented at the preliminary hearing; (4) the trial court properly instructed the jury as to the meaning of “act of violence” for purposes of the conduct enhancement; (5) the trial court was not required to give a unanimity instruction for the conduct enhancement; and (6) without individual instances of trial court error, there could be no prejudice from “cumulative error.” The Court further concluded that, as Appellant and the Attorney General agreed, because Senate Bill No. 136 (2019-2020 Reg. Sess.; Stats. 2019, ch. 590, sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2020) applied retroactively, the two one-year sentence enhancements based on prior prison terms should be stricken from the judgment. Accordingly, the Court modified the judgment to strike the two one-year sentence enhancements and otherwise affirmed the judgment.