Does a Valid Judgment Once Pronounced Deprive Other Judges of Jurisdiction to Make Further Orders In the Matter ?

In People v. Batchelor (1976) 56 Cal.App.3d 278, the defendant was placed on probation in 1972 by Judge Peetris of the Los Angeles Superior Court. A year later, a probation officer submitted a report to Judge Peetris stating that the defendant had deserted from probation supervision. Judge Peetris revoked probation and issued a bench warrant. The defendant had committed a new crime, which was assigned to Judge Rittenband, who was sitting in a different courthouse. in August 1974, a prosecutor requested the probation violation matter (found by Judge Peetris) be transferred to Judge Rittenband where the new case was pending. Another judge so transferred the matter. The matter was set for hearing on Judge Rittenband's calendar for October 3, 1974, and later continued to February 20, 1975. In December 1974, Judge Peetris learned of the transfer and ordered it vacated and the matter returned to his courtroom. This order, however, was never communicated to Judge Rittenband, who presided over the new case and the probation violation matter on February 20, and revoked probation and sentenced the defendant to a year in jail, with that sentence to be concurrent to any other sentence. (Id. at pp. 282-283.) Three months later, in April 1975, Judge Peetris sentenced the defendant to prison for the same violation of probation, with that sentence to be served consecutively to any other sentence. Judge Peetris then transferred the probation violation file to Judge Rittenband for the limited purpose of "'clarifying the state of the record.'" ( Batchelor, supra, 56 Cal.App.3d at p. 283.) Judge Rittenband responded by ordering the reporter's transcript amended nunc pro tunc to delete all reference to the probation violation matter. (Ibid.) On appeal, the court concluded that Judge Rittenband's judgment of February 20, 1975, was a valid judgment and that once pronounced, it deprived both Judge Rittenband and Judge Peetris of jurisdiction to make further orders in the matter. Thus, the judgment that Judge Peetris purported to render in April 1975 was void for lack of jurisdiction. Likewise, Judge Rittenband had no jurisdiction to void his own February 20 sentence. ( Batchelor, supra, 56 Cal.App.3d at p. 283.)