18 Cal.App.5th Supp. 1, 30-2016-00848579, People v. Fitzgerald

Docket Nº:30-2016-00848579
Citation:18 Cal.App.5th Supp. 1, 226 Cal.Rptr.3d 310
Opinion Judge:HOFFER, P. J.
Party Name:The PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. William D. FITZGERALD, Defendant and Appellant.
Attorney:Counsel for Appellant: Appellant William D. Fitzgerald, in pro per Counsel for Respondent: David O’Barr, Anaheim City Attorney
Judge Panel:We concur: CASSIDY, J., GOODING, J.
Case Date:October 12, 2017
Court:Superior Court of California
 
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18 Cal.App.5th Supp. 1

226 Cal.Rptr.3d 310

The PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,

v.

William D. FITZGERALD, Defendant and Appellant.

No. 30-2016-00848579

Superior Court of California, Appellate Division, Orange

October 12, 2017

Certified for Partial Publication.[*]

[226 Cal.Rptr.3d 311] Trial Court Judge: Beatriz M. Gordon, Judge, Trial Court Case #: 15NM00197, Appellate Court Case #: 30-2016-00848579 (Super. Ct. No. 15NM00197)

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COUNSEL

Counsel for Appellant: Appellant William D. Fitzgerald, in pro per

Counsel for Respondent: David O’Barr, Anaheim City Attorney

OPINION

HOFFER, P. J.

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Defendant William D. Fitzgerald appeals the trial court’s order denying his petition to seal and destroy his arrest records, contending the trial court improperly denied his petition without holding an evidentiary hearing. He also argues that there was no evidence he had committed the crimes with which he was charged and the trial court was biased against him. In the published portion of this opinion, we find that a petition for record sealing after trial and acquittal under Penal Code section 851, subdivision (e) does not require an evidentiary hearing and that any error by the trial court for failing to hold a hearing was harmless. In the unpublished portion of this opinion, we find defendant failed to support his assertion that there was no evidence against him at trial; we also find the record does not show the trial court was biased against defendant. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court’s denial of defendant’s petition to seal and destroy his arrest records.

BACKGROUND

On January 15, 2015, the People filed a complaint against defendant for fighting in a public place and battery. The matter was tried and the jury found defendant not guilty on both counts.

On March 4, 2016, defendant filed a petition to seal and destroy his arrest records. The trial court heard the petition on March 24, 2016 and denied it.

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DISCUSSION

I.-II.[**]

III. Penal Code Section 851.8, Subdivision (e) Does Not Require an Evidentiary Hearing.

Defendant contends the trial court erred by failing to hold an evidentiary hearing on his petition. Although there is no case law setting forth a standard of review for this specific claim, issues having to do with petitions for record sealing are reviewed de novo. (People v. Adair (2003) 29 Cal.4th 895, 908, 129 Cal.Rptr.2d 799, 62 P.3d 45.)

Penal Code section 851.8— the section controlling sealing and destruction of arrest records— is not a model of clarity, but each subdivision has a different purpose. Subdivision (a) deals with sealing records when a person has been arrested and no accusatory pleading has been filed. Subdivision (b) deals with the procedure for holding a hearing and the relief available from the court. Subdivision (c) deals with [226 Cal.Rptr.3d 312] sealing records when an accusatory pleading has been filed and the case is dismissed. Subdivision (d) deals with sealing records when both parties stipulate to the sealing. And subdivision (e) deals with sealing records when defendant has been tried and acquitted.

Defendants claim that he was entitled to an evidentiary hearing fails because subdivision (e), the Penal Code section controlling petitions for record sealing after trial and acquittal, does not require an evidentiary hearing. Although defendant brought his petition based on subdivision (c) of section 851.8, it is clearly subdivision (e) that applies. We therefore analyze the petition as if it had been...

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