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Miller v. Superior Court

California Court of Appeal
8 Cal.Rptr.3d 872 (2004)


While at the beach, Jose Higareda hung his pants on a hook in a public restroom stall so that he could change into swimming trunks. Higareda’s pants contained a cell phone, keys, and Velcro wallet containing over $200 in cash. Higareda exited the stall, leaving his pants on the stall’s hook. After walking out of the restroom, Higareda realized his mistake, walked back inside, and discovered that his pants were missing. Higareda heard Velcro being opened in an adjacent stall by Matthew Miller (defendant). Higareda waited 15 to 20 minutes for Miller to exit the stall. Eventually, Higareda’s friend entered the restroom to check on Higareda and demanded that Miller return Higareda’s property. Miller reluctantly exited the stall and attempted to force his way past Higareda and his friend. Miller was detained and later arrested with Higareda’s cash. Miller was charged with robbery. Miller filed a pretrial motion to dismiss the robbery charge, arguing that he did not take the cash in the presence or from the person of Higareda by force or fear of immediate bodily injury. The trial court denied Miller’s motion. Miller petitioned for a writ of prohibition against the trial court’s order.

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