California post conviction blog Criminal Appeal reports on an unreasonable condition of probation being stricken from a drug offender’s conditions of probation.

A California Court of Appeal has stricken the pet-portion of a probation condition requiring a defendant convicted of possession of methamphetamine to “[k]eep the probation officer informed of place of residence, cohabitants and pets, and give written notice to the probation officer twenty four hours prior to any changes.”  (Emphasis Added)

The majority opinion decided that the condition was overbroad and did not relate to the offender’s reason for being on probation in the first place. As in Texas, California courts can add any reasonable condition of probation.

The lone dissenter argued that the rule wouldn’t allow the probation officer to veto the defendant’s decision to get a pet; but I would argue that it does(above and beyond just being a stupid rule). 

My wife got our dog in a park, abandoned as a puppy. If she had been on a Travis County Probation, and subject to this condition, she wouldn’t have been able to give 24 hours notice. Taking the pup home from the park would theoretically subject someone to jail or prison, as a violation of their probation. Folks…can’t we have some common sense, especially when we are talking about drug offenses?