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2020 California Rules of Court

Standard 4.15. Vacatur relief under Penal Code section 236.14

(a) Request to consolidate hearings for arrests and convictions that occurred in the same county

(1)  The court should allow the filing of a single petition requesting vacatur relief under Penal Code section 236.14(a) for multiple arrests and convictions that occurred in the same county.

(2)  The court should favor consolidating hearings for multiple arrests and convictions that occurred in the same county.

(3)  The court may require the following documentation before granting a request to consolidate hearings:

(A)  An agreement between the petitioner and all of the involved state or local prosecutorial agencies, as defined in Penal Code section 236.14(c), to consolidate the hearings;

(B)  Documentation that states whether any of the involved state or local prosecutorial agencies, as defined in Penal Code section 236.14(c), intend to file an opposition to the petition; and

(C)  Proof of service of the request to consolidate hearings on all of the involved state or local prosecutorial agencies, as defined in Penal Code section 236.14(c).

(4)  The court should consider the following nonexclusive list of factors when deciding whether to consolidate hearings:

(A)  The common questions of fact or law, if any;

(B)  The convenience of parties, witnesses, and counsel;

(C)  The efficient utilization of judicial facilities and staff resources;

(D)  The calendar of the court; and

(E)  The disadvantages of duplicative and inconsistent orders.

(b) Confidentiality

(1)  The court should designate the petition and related filings and court records as confidential.

(2)  At the hearing or any other proceeding accessible to the public, the court should consider implementing procedures consistent with Penal Code section 236.14(q), such as ordering the identity of the petitioner to be either "Jane Doe" or "John Doe."

(c) Initial court review and orders

(1)  After 45 days from the filing of the petition, the court should conduct an initial review of the case. Concurrent with granting or denying a request to consolidate hearings, the court should:

(A)  Grant relief without a hearing when the prosecuting agency files no opposition within 45 days from the date of service and the court finds that the petitioner meets the requirements for relief;

(B)  Set a hearing date if an opposition is filed or a hearing is otherwise warranted; or

(C)  Deny the petition without prejudice if the petitioner fails to provide the information required by Penal Code section 236.14(b).

(d) Notification

(1)  The court should timely notify the petitioner and prosecuting agency of its decisions under subdivision (c)(1).

(2)  The court should timely notify the relevant probation department of any decision to terminate probation.

(e) Additional relief

When granting the petition for vacatur relief under Penal Code section 236.14(a), the court should consider ordering the following additional relief, including, but not limited to:

(1)  Sealing or destruction of probation or other postconviction supervision agency records related to the conviction;

(2)  Expungement of DNA profiles and destruction of DNA samples, if they qualify under Penal Code section 299;

(3)  Recall or return of court fines and fees, if paid;

(4)  Sealing of the court file, if warranted under the factors in rule 2.550(d); and

(5)   Additional relief that will carry out the purposes of Penal Code section 236.14.

Standard 4.15 adopted effective January 1, 2020.

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