A curious case on Prop. 36 out of the California Third District Court of Appeal today: People v. Hartley , C053925. The appellants in this case were on Prop. 36 probation in Yolo County, on their way to successful completion of the program. Then their probation officers petitioned for them to  terminate their probation pursuant to Penal Code section 1210.1(d)(1) as it was then written, which stated “At any time after completion of a defendant may petition the sentencing court for dismissal of the charges.”

Apparently the Yolo County district attorney decided to oppose the termination of probation on the grounds that only the defendant could initiate this process, not the probation department.  The trial court agreed, but the Third District panel says “We think the trial court took too literal a view of section 1210.1(d)(1).”

I can’t really fathom the motivation for the DA to interpret this statute in this way to start with, but obviously not all the facts are apparent from reading the appellate opinion.