Assembly Bill 600 Permits Court-Initiated Recall and Resentencing at Any Time; New Information and Resources Available
Effective January 1, 2024, Assembly Bill 600 amends Penal Code 1172.1 to authorize court-initiated recall and resentencing at any time if the applicable sentencing laws at the time of original sentencing are subsequently changed by new statutory authority or case law.
In the past, only four entities could initiate recall of the sentence if more than 120 days had passed since sentencing: the CDCR Secretary, county correctional administrator, district attorney, and attorney general. With AB 600, a trial court now has the authority to recall a sentence “on its own motion … at any time if the applicable sentencing laws at the time of original sentencing are subsequently changed by new statutory authority or case law.” (Amended § 1172.1 (a)(1).)
For a brief discussion of the law, see the PowerPoint slides of FDAP’s December 6, 2023, New Legislation Webinar (the webinar itself will be available soon). For a thorough treatment of AB 600, see “Recall of Sentence Penal Code, § 1172.1” by Retired Placer County Superior Court Judge J. Richard Couzens.
For many persons, the laws have changed since sentencing, rendering them eligible for review under AB 600. While the law does not entitle a defendant to file a petition for relief, a defendant should be permitted to “invite” the court to recall and resentence on its own motion under section 1172.1. Note, however, that if a request is made, the court is not required to respond. (Amended § 1172.1, subd. (c).)
In pending appeals, panel attorneys should consider whether clients might benefit from recall of their sentences and contact FDAP prior to pursuing any action. It will be necessary to discuss whether the case warrants action, who (appellate counsel or trial counsel) is best positioned to pursue relief, and the extent to which such work is compensable under a Court of Appeal appointment. In addition, we may receive inquiries from prior clients about AB 600, which will also warrant discussions with FDAP. In considering how to proceed, attorneys might also consult this fact sheet and/or use an unofficial AB 600 form, both prepared by an informal group of post-conviction attorneys. We anticipate that some county defender offices may develop resources for these type of recalls, and law school clinics may become available to assist clients as well. We will provide updates on developments in future panel alerts.