People v. Monk, 030618 SUPAD, JAD18-01

Docket Nº:JAD18-01
Opinion Judge:Ricciardulli, J.
Party Name:THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. PAMELA MONK, Defendant and Appellant.
Attorney:Pamela Monk, in pro. per., for Defendant and Appellant. Michael N. Feuer, City Attorney, Debbie Lew, Assistant City Attorney, and Kent J. Bullard, Deputy City Attorney, for Plaintiff and Respondent.
Judge Panel:We concur: Kumar, Acting P. J. Richardson, J.
Case Date:March 06, 2018
Court:Superior Court of California
 
FREE EXCERPT

THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,

v.

PAMELA MONK, Defendant and Appellant.

JAD18-01

Superior Court of California, Appellate Division, Los Angeles

March 6, 2018

Appeal from a Judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Metropolitan Trial Court, Shannon Knight, Judge. Reversed.

Pamela Monk, in pro. per., for Defendant and Appellant.

Michael N. Feuer, City Attorney, Debbie Lew, Assistant City Attorney, and Kent J. Bullard, Deputy City Attorney, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

OPINION

Ricciardulli, J.

INTRODUCTION

Defendant Pamela Monk was found guilty of starting to cross a roadway after the “DON'T WALK” sign began flashing (former Veh. Code, § 21456, subd. (b)). She appeals the judgment, and as discussed below, we reverse.

After she was convicted, and while her case was on appeal, the statute was amended to allow a person to start to cross an intersection after a “DON'T WALK” sign is flashing when a sign's accompanying “countdown” signal timer has not expired. In the absence of any contrary indications, we infer the Legislature intended its ameliorative change to the jaywalking law to apply to cases not yet final on appeal. (See In re Estrada (1965) 63 Cal.2d 740, 745 (Estrada); accord, People v. Rossi (1976) 18 Cal.3d 295, 301 (Rossi).)

BACKGROUND

Defendant was cited for violating former Vehicle Code section 21456, subdivision (b), on April 13, 2017. She pled not guilty and the case proceeded to trial.

On July 6, 2017, Los Angeles Police Department Officer Kelly testified at trial that on April 13, 2017, he checked that all the pedestrian control signals at the intersection of First and Hill Streets were synchronized and working properly. Kelly saw defendant enter the intersection when the control signal “DON'T WALK” sign was flashing and the signal timer was at number 7 of 15. Kelly admitted that, because he observed defendant approaching the location where he was stationed, he only saw the control signal he was facing and not the one faced by defendant.

Defendant testified she, along with several other pedestrians, began crossing the street before the “DON'T WALK” sign started flashing. Defendant further testified that, when she asked Kelly at the scene why he cited only her, Kelly responded “he couldn't ticket everybody.”

The court determined defendant was not credible and found her guilty. Defendant was ordered to pay a fine of $25 plus penalty assessments.

DISCUSSION

Defendant in her opening brief contended the judgment should be reversed because Kelly's testimony was insufficient to prove the sign she faced was flashing “DON'T WALK” at the time she started to cross the street, and the court was biased against her. The circumstantial evidence supported the judgment, because the trial court could find the “DON'T WALK” signals facing defendant and Kelly's directions were synchronized, and if the signal facing Kelly was flashing “DON'T WALK” when defendant entered the intersection, the same was true for the signal facing defendant. (See People v. Jones (2013) 57 Cal.4th 899, 961 [circumstantial evidence can be sufficient to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt].) It was the exclusive province of the trier of fact to determine the credibility of witnesses (see People v. Maury (2003) 30 Cal.4th 342...

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