District Attorneys Can Deputize City Attorneys to Prosecute Misdemeanors
Appeals Court Decision Good for California Cities and Counties
In a victory for cities and counties, a California appellate court confirmed that city attorneys can be deputized by the District Attorney to prosecute misdemeanors, even when the alleged crimes occur outside of the city attorney’s city.
In People v. Wolf, decided last month, the appellants argued that the San Diego County District Attorney had no authority to deputize City of San Diego deputy city attorneys to prosecute misdemeanors that occurred in the City of Poway, but were filed at the downtown San Diego courthouse. Appellants also argued that the City of San Diego had no authority to prosecute misdemeanor offenses that occur outside the boundaries of the City of San Diego.
The San Diego Superior Court Appellate Division rejected these arguments, affirming that the District Attorney, who is authorized by Government Code sections 24101 and 24102 to approve and authorize deputies, lawfully authorized the City of San Diego deputy city attorneys to prosecute the misdemeanor cases, even though the misdemeanors occurred outside of the City of San Diego.
The court held that the appellants were unable to cite any cases or statutory law that supported their position, and had failed to show a miscarriage of justice.
If you have any questions about this decision or how it may impact your agency, please contact the author of this Legal Alert listed to the right in the firm’s Municipal Law practice group, or your BB&K attorney.
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