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IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF NAPA


APPELLATE DIVISION

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA,


Plaintiff/Appellant
Date: December 14,2010
VS.
Time: 4:00 PM
RIK WAYNE MUNSON Dept: C

RESPONDENT'S BRIEF
Napa County Superior Court
Appellate Division
Gary Lieberstein
District Attorney,
SBN 928 12
Kathryn Susemihl
Deputy District Attorney,
SBN 242909

93 1 Parkway Mall
Napa, CA 94559

Phone: (707)253-4211
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. STATEMENT OF THE CASE 1
11. STATEMENT OF FACTS 1
111. ISSUES ON APPEAL 1
V. ARGUMENT 2
I. JUDGE I(R0YER DID NOT ERR BY NOT
ASKING APPELLANT IF HE WANTED TO
TESTIFY IN HIS OWN DEFENSE 2
11. WHETHER THE HONORABLE MONI UE
LANGHORNE-JOHNSON COMMITE %
ERROR WITH REGARDS TO APPELLANT'S
MOTION TO UASH IS NOT A PROPER
8.
SUBJECT OF HIS APPEAL 5
111. A MOTION TO SUPPRESS WAS HEARD
BY THE HONORABLE STEPHEN T.
KROYER AT THE COURT TRIAL AND
RULED W O N EVEN THOUGH THE MOTION
WAS UNTIMELY 5
IV. APPELLANT'S CITATION FOR DRIVING
WITHOUT A LICENSE IN ADDITION TO
- TWO VEHICLE CODE ~ R A C T I O N SWAS
PROPER AND HIS DETENTION WAS ~ O T
VIOLATIVE OF THE FOURTH AMENDMENT 6
V. SERGEANT HUNTER FOLLOWED PROPER
STATUTORY PROCEDURES AND APPELLANT
WAS PROPEKY BEFORE THE TRIAL
COURT 9
VI. CONCLUSION 10
TABLE OF AUTHORITIES

UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT CASES


Farefta v. California (1975) 422 US, 806
Atwater v. City ofLago Vista (2001) 532 U S . 318

CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT CASES


5
People v. Hernandez 2008) 45 Ca1.4 295
People v. Hoyos (200 ) 41 Cal.4th 872
People v. Su erior Court (Simon) (1972) 7 Cal.3d 186
People v. d ~ (2002)
a 27 ~Cal.4th 601

CALIFORNIA APPELLATE COURTS


4
People v. Logsdon (2008 164 Cal.App.4th 741
People v. Castellon (199 ) 76 Cal.App.4th 1369
People v. Gomez (2004) 117 Cal.App.4th 53 1

CALIFORNIA STATUTES
California Penal Code Section 19.7
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
On March 8, 2010 a Court Trial was conducted in which
Appellant, Rik Wayne Munson, was found guilty of violating
California Vehicle Code Sections 12500, driving without a license,
and 16028(a), failure to provide evidence of financial
responsibility.
On April 2,2010 a Notice of Appeal was filed and on August
23, 2010 a copy of Appellant's Opening Brief was delivered to The
People of the State of California, the Respondent.
Appellant's Appeal is baseless and without merit and should be
denied for the reasons set forth below.

STATEMENT OF FACTS
Respondent respectfully requests that the Court refer to the
Reporters Transcript of Proceedings for the full account of the
Court Trial.

ISSUES ON APPEAL
1. Was it error for the learned trial judge not to sua sponte ask
the pro per defendant if he wanted to testify in his own
defense?
2. Did the Honorable Monique Langhome-Johnson commit
error by not considering sua sponte appellant's motion to
quash as either a common law suppression motion or a
motion in arrest of judgment?
3. Did the Honorable Stephen T. Kroyer err in not sua sponte
treating appellant's motion to quash as either a common law
suppression motion or a motion in arrest of judgment?
4. Are vehicle code infractions subject to the general criminal
law under penal code section 19.7?
5. Assuming that vehicle code infractions are not subject to
the penal code, was the defendant's detention violative of
the fourth amendment as an arrest without a warrant?
6. Did the prosecution prove that Sergeant Hunter as a deputy
sheriff had the authority to enforce traffic laws in American
Canyon?

ARGUMENT

I. .JUDGE KROYER DID NOT ERR BY NOT ASKING


APPELLANT IF HE WANTED TO TESTIFY IN HIS
OWN DEFENSE

Appellant does not cite any legal authority which states a judge
is required to ask the pro per defendant if he wants to testify in his
own defense. Appellant concludes that this is a structural enor and
therefore reversible per se, even though he gives no authority for
that other than analogizing it to other stsuctural errors. He,
however, fails to establish that he was not given an opportunity to
testify in his own defense.
At the trial on March 8,2010, during cross examination of
Sergeant Hunter, Appellant disagreed with an answer that was
given and was informed, by the Court, that his chance to testify
would come. (R.T. 44:4-8). The Court also told Appellant that at
this point in the trial he was just, "creating evidence, so to speak."
(R.T. 53:20-24).
Once the People rested, the Appellant was given the opportunity
to make an opening statement, which he waived. (R.T. 55:24-26).
He was then asked if he would like to present any additional
evidence today, at which point he produced a document and offered
it into evidence. It was discussed at length and eventually admitted
into evidence. (R.T. 55:27 - 589). The Court then again asked the
Appellant, "are there any other items of evidence you want to
present?'to which he responded, "no, I think that's going to do it."
(R.T. 58:9-11) At which point, the case went to closing arguments.
At no time did Appellant call himself as a witness or indicate that
he wished to do so.
It is well settled that a pro per defendant who chooses to
exercise his right to self-representation will be held to the same
standard as other attorneys in the case and they will not be given
special treatment by the coud. Faretta v. California (1975) 422
U S . 806, held that a defendant has a constitutional right to proceed
without counsel, although it might not always be a wise choice.
Appellant in this case was provided and signed a Record of
Faretta Warnings, on December 7,2009, which indicated that he
would not receive special treatment from the court and would be
required to comply with all the rules of criminal procedure and
evidence, as if he was an attorney.
During the course of the trial, Appellant made legal objections
which were sustained by the Court. He demonstrated to the Court
his knowledge of the legal system and the rules of procedure and
evidence. He was told by the Court that his chance to testify would
come later and when asked if he had any other evidence to present
he indicated that he did not. He did not call himself as witness. He
cannot now blame the trial court for not asking him, using specific
words, if he wished to testify in his own defense.
Appellant was not denied the right to testify. The only reason
the trial court did not hear testimony from Appellant is because he
did not offer any testimony to the trial court.
This Court does not need to address the issue of whether this is
a trial error subject to the harmless error rule or structural error
requiring reversal because there was never a denial of the right to
testify.
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11. WHETHER THE HONORABLE MONIQUE
LANGHORNE-JOHNSON COMMITTED ERROR WITH
REGARDS TO APPELLANT'S MOTION TO QUASH IS
NOT A PROPER SUBJECT 0 P THIS APPEAL

On December 22,2009, the Honorable Monique


Langhorne-Johnson, Commissioner, made a ruling on
Appellant's Motion to Quash. Appellant did not file an appeal
or writ of that decision within the statutory timeframe. It is not
proper to address that hearing in this appeal which pertains to
the trial conducted on March 8,20 10.
Furthermore, the issue is moot as the Honorable Stephen
T. Kroyer made a ruling on an untimely Motion to Suppress
made by Appellant at the trial on March 8,2010.

111. A MOTION TO SUPPRESS WAS HEARD BY THE


HONORABLE STEPHEN T. KROYER AT THE COURT
TRIAL AND RULED UPON EVEN THOUGH THE
MOTION WAS UNTIMELY

Appellant's third issue on appeal is moot. In his Opening Brief


on page 8, Appellant refers to a portion of the reposters transcript
regarding the motion to suppress. However, he fails to include the
remaining portion of the transcript covering the denial of the
motion to suppress. The People respectfully direct the Court's
attention to pages 88-91 of the Reporters Transcript of Proceedings
at the Time of Court Trial which took place on March 8,2010.
Judge Kroyer denied Appellant's motion to suppress on two
grounds. The first of which was that it was untimely. (R.T. 89:12-
13). The second ground for denial was Judge Kroyer's finding that
Sergeant Hunter was justified in stopping and detaining Appellant
temporarily to investigate a violation of the California Vehicle
Code, and during this investigation discovered that he was driving
without a license and proof of insurance. (R.T. 88: 19 - 9 1:11).

IV. APPELLANT'S CITATION FOR DRIVING WITHOUT


A LICENSE, IN ADDITION TO TWO VEHICLE
CODE INFFUCTIONS, WAS PROPER AND HIS
DETENTION WAS NOT VIOLATIVE OF THE
FOURTH AMENDMENT

Appellant's fourth issue on appeal with regards to vehicle code

infractions and Penal Code section 19.7, is moot, as he was cited for

a misdemeanor crime as well. Appellant's argument that Sergeant

Hunter, "was only entitled to write the ticket for which appellant

was stopped," is ludicrous. Everyday police officers stop vehicles

for expired registration, broken tail lights or other vehicle code

infractions only to discover and arrest the person for driving under

the influence, on a suspended license or without a license. Case law

further supports the notion that an officer can detain and arrest a

person for a simple violation of the vehicle code.


"Ordinary traffic stops are treated as investigatory detentions

for which the officer must be able to articulate specific facts

justifying the suspicion that a crime is being committed." (People

v. Hernandez (2008) 45 Cal.4th 295,299.) The issue is not whether

the traffic law was actually violated, but whether an "objective

manifestation" that the person may have committed such an error

was present. (People v. Logsdon (2008) 164 Cal.App.4th 741,

746.)

Thus, an officer with reasonable suspicion that a motorist has

violated the California Vehicle Code may stop the vehicle involved

for investigation. (People v. Hoyos (2007) 41 Cal.4th 872, 892

[rear license plate light burned out]; People v. Castellon (1999) 76

Cal.App.4th 1369, 1373 [expired registration].)

Note that frequently the officer's observations not only support

reasonable cause to make a traffic stop, but also probable cause to

arrest (or issue a citation). The temporary detention of a driver to

investigate a suspected Vehicle Code violation "will not ordinarily

be deemed an arrest." (People v. Superior Court (Simon) (1972) 7

Cal.3d 186,200.) But once the officer has probable cause to

conclude that a traffic violation has occurred, that violation does


constitute a "public offense" for which a warrantless arrest may be

made without violating the Fourth Amendment. (Atwater v. City of

Lago Vista (2001) 532 U.S. 3 18,354;People v. McKay (2002) 27

Cal.4th 601, 607; People v. Gomez (2004) 117 Cal.App.4th 531,

538-539.)

In this case, just as Judge Ksoyer indicated, the detention and

citation of the Appellant were proper. Sergeant Hunter had a

reasonable suspicion that the vehicle code was being violated based

on the expired registration, so he initiated a traffic stop. (R.T. 30:4-

18). He contacted the driver of the vehicle, the Appellant, and asked

him for his license, registration and proof of insurance. The

Appellant did not provide him with those documents and told him

that he no longer had a driver's license. (R.T. 3 1:27 - 34:13).

At this point, Sergeant Hunter had probable cause to believe

that the vehicle code had been vioIated and he therefore issued a

citation for the violations he observed: no license, expired

registration and no insurance. The Court should deny Appellant's

appeal on this ground.


V. SERGEANT HUNTER FOLLOWED PROPER
STATUTORY PROCEDURES AND APPELLANT WAS
PROPERLY BEFORE THE TRIAL COURT

Appellant cites absolutely no legal authority for his proposition

that a county sheriff does not have legal authority to enforce traffic

laws in municipal areas. Further, the Government Code section

upon which he relies does not apply to Napa County, as the county

population is not in excess of 3,000,000.

Sergeant Hunter testified that he is employed as a Deputy

Sheriff with the County of Napa and that on the date in question he

was assigned as a Patrol Sergeant in the contract city of American

Canyon within the County of Napa. (R.T. 29:20 - 30:3).


-

In delivering his verdict, Judge ICroyer found that Sergeant

Hunter followed the required statutory procedures and that

Appellant was properly before the Court and subject to its

jurisdiction. (R.T. 92: 10-13).

There is nothing in the record or Appellant's motion to support

this issue. Accordingly, the Court should deny the motion.


CONCLUSION
For the reasons stated above the People respectfully request that
the Court deny Appellant's appeal.

DATED: September 21,2010 Respectful1 Submitted,


GARY LIE~ERSTEAIN
District Attorne

~ a t & nF. Susemihl


Deputy District Attorney
PROOF OF SERVICE

I declare that I am employed in the County of Napa, State of California; that


: am over the age of eighteen years; that I am not a party to this action; and that
ny business address is'931 Parkway Mall, Napa, California 94559.

On September 22, 2010, Iserved a copy of the attached Respondent's Brief in


;he attached case, on defense counsel:

ION LAUGHRIDGE
IEFENSE COUNSEL

is follows:

FAX NUMBER - I served the above-described document in the above-


numbered action by sending a true and correct copy by a facsimile machine tl
the name and telephone number indicated above, and that said transmission
was reported a s complete and without error;

PERSONAL DELIVERY - I personally served the above-described document


in the above-numbered action by leaving it with the receptionist for the
attorney's office named above;

U.S. MAIL - I served the above-described document in the above-numbered


action by placing a true and correct copy thereof enclosed in a sealed envelop
with postage thereon fully prepaid, in the U.S. Mail, addressed a s indicated
above;

SUBSTITUTION SERVICE - I served the above-described document in the


above-numbered action by placing a true and correct copy thereof in the
District Attorney pickup basketlfolder and/or the Court file for interoffice
pickup.

I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California
hat the foregoing is true and correct.

7 M a . m
Pamla J. ant