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People v. Kellogg

California Court of Appeal
119 Cal. App. 4th 593, 14 Cal. Rptr. 3d 507 (2004)


On January 10, 2002, a police officer arrested Thomas Kellogg (defendant) for public intoxication after finding him sitting on a highway embankment gesturing and talking to himself. Kellogg, who was homeless, suffered from chronic alcoholism as well as physical- and mental-health conditions. Doctors found that Kellogg’s mental impairment and alcoholism prevented him from maintaining housing. After being arrested two more times, Kellogg was charged with three counts of public intoxication under California Penal Code section 647(f). Kellogg filed a motion to dismiss, claiming that the charges violated his right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution and a similar provision in the California Constitution. Kellogg argued that his alcoholism and homelessness made avoiding public intoxication impossible. The trial court denied Kellogg’s motion to dismiss and found Kellogg guilty of public intoxication based on his January 10 conduct. Kellogg appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Haller, J.)

Dissent (McDonald, J.)

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