People v. Jung

Filed 12/15/20; Modified and Certified for Publication 1/11/21 (order attached) IN THE COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA FOURTH APPELLATE DISTRICT DIVISION THREE THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, G057958, G057959 v. (Super. Ct. Nos. 14NF4348, 15NF0802) EUN SUNG JUNG, OPINION Defendant and Appellant. Appeal from an order of the Superior Court of Orange County, Elizabeth G. Macias, Judge. Reversed and remanded with directions. Law Offices of Lori B. Schoenberg and Lori B. Schoenberg for Defendant and Appellant. Xavier Becerra, Attorney General, Julie L. Garland, Assistant Attorney General, Melissa Mandel and Adrian R. Contreras, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent. * * * INTRODUCTION Eun Sung Jung appeals from an order denying her two motions to vacate plea and conviction pursuant to Penal Code section 1473.7 (section 1473.7). 1 She argues the trial court erred by denying the motions because she had met her burden of proving prejudicial error that damaged her ability to meaningfully understand the adverse immigration consequences of her guilty pleas. Jung is entitled to relief under section 1473.7. We follow People v. Mejia (2019) 36 Cal.App.5th 859 (Mejia) and conclude a person’s own error in not understanding or knowingly accepting that a guilty plea will have certain and adverse immigration consequences may constitute prejudicial error entitling the person to relief under section 1473.7. Mejia was issued several months after the trial court denied Jung’s motions and therefore the court did not have the benefit of that opinion when concluding such prejudicial error must have been committed by a third party. In support of the section 1473.7 motions, Jung met her burden of proof by submitting her own declaration and a declaration from her then trial counsel showing that, at the time of the pleas, she did not meaningfully understand the adverse immigration consequences of pleading guilty and would not have pleaded guilty if she did. Jung’s earlier petitions for writ of habeas corpus, which alleged ineffective assistance of counsel, did not bar Jung from seeking relief under section 1473.7 once she was no longer in criminal custody. The order and findings denying Jung’s habeas corpus petitions have, we shall assume, collateral estoppel or issue preclusion effect as to any identical issue that was actually litigated and necessarily decided. But the issues whether 1 Section 1473.7, subdivision (a)(1) reads: “A person who is no longer in criminal custody may file a motion to vacate a conviction or sentence for either of the following reasons: [¶] (1) The conviction or sentence is legally invalid due to prejudicial error damaging the moving party’s ability to meaningfully understand, defend against, or knowingly accept the actual or potential adverse immigration consequences of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere. A finding of legal invalidity may, but need not, include a finding of ineffective assistance of counsel.” 2 Jung meaningfully understood or knowingly accepted the adverse immigration consequences of her plea and convictions, and whether she suffered prejudice, were not actually or necessarily determined in the habeas corpus proceedings: The ...

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Source: All recent Immigration Decisions In All the U.S. Courts of Appeals