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California Court of Appeal Finds that Conviction for Spousal Battery is Grounds for Denial of a Real Estate License
On December 2, 2009, the California Court of Appeal filed its decision in the case of Donley v. Davi, Case No. C058975.
The Department of Real Estate (DRE) denied Donley’s application for a real estate salesperson’s license because he had been convicted of spousal battery in violation of Penal Code section 273.5, a misdemeanor. The DRE did, however, issue Donley a restricted real estate salesperson’s license after finding partial rehabilitation.
Donley appealed the denial of an unrestricted license on the grounds that his conviction for spousal battery is not substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a real estate salesperson as required by Business and Professions Code section 480, that he was not convicted of a crime of moral turpitude, and that he established rehabilitation. (NOTE: that the DRE no longer needs to prove that a crime involves moral turpitude because of revisions to Sections 480 and 490 of the Business and Professions Code.)
The Court of Appeal upheld the Real Estate Commissioner’s decision ruling that Penal Code section 273.5 is a crime of moral turpitude and that, under the facts of Donley's case, it is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a real estate salesperson.
A copy of the opinion is attached below.