California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) (2017)
1832. Extortion of SignatureDownload PDF
1832.Extortion of Signature (Pen. Code, § 522)
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with obtaining a signature
by extortion [in violation of Penal Code section 522].
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
<Alternative 1A—threatened to injure or used force>
[1. The defendant (threatened to unlawfully injure/ [or] used force
against) (another person or someone else/ [or] the property of
another person or someone else);]
<Alternative 1B—threatened to accuse of crime>
[1. The defendant threatened to accuse another person[, or that
person’s relative or family member,] of a crime;]
<Alternative 1C—threatened to expose secret>
[1. The defendant threatened to expose a secret about another
person[, or that person’s relative or family member,] [or to
expose or connect (him/her/any of them) with a (disgrace[,]/ [or]
crime[,]/ [or] deformity)];]
2. When (making the threat/ [or] using force), the defendant
intended to use that (fear/ [or] force) to obtain the other person’s
signature on (a/an) (document/check/ <specify other
paper or instrument>) that, if voluntarily signed, would transfer
property or create a (debt/demand/charge/right of legal action);
3. As a result of the (threat/ [or] use of force), the other person
signed the (document/check/ <specify other paper or
[Threatening to do something that a person has a legal right to do is not
a threat to commit an unlawful injury.]
[The fear caused by the threat must be the controlling reason that the
other person signed the document. If the person signed the document
because of some other controlling reason, the defendant is not guilty of
[A secret is a fact that:
1. Is unknown to the general public or to someone who might be
interested in knowing the fact;
2. Harms the threatened person’s reputation or other interest so
greatly that he or she would be likely to sign (a/an) (document/
check/ <specify other paper or instrument>) to
prevent the fact from being revealed.]
New January 2006
The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction deﬁning the elements of
Depending on the evidence, in element 1, give the appropriate alternative A–C
describing the threat. (See Pen. Code, § 519.)
• Elements. Pen. Code, § 522.
• Coerced Consent. People v. Goodman (1958) 159 Cal.App.2d 54, 61 [323 P.2d
536]; People v. Peck (1919) 43 Cal.App. 638, 645 [185 P. 881] [extortion under
Pen. Code, §§ 518, 519].
• Crime Complete When Document Signed. People v. Massengale (1970) 10
Cal.App.3d 689, 692 [89 Cal.Rptr. 237].
• Fear Must Be Controlling Cause. People v. Goodman (1958) 159 Cal.App.2d
54, 61 [323 P.2d 536] [extortion under Pen. Code, §§ 518, 519].
• Secret Deﬁned. People v. Lavine (1931) 115 Cal.App. 289, 295 [1 P.2d 496]
[extortion under Pen. Code, §§ 518, 519].
• Unlawful Injury Deﬁned. People v. Schmitz (1908) 7 Cal.App. 330, 369–370
[94 P. 407] [extortion under Pen. Code, §§ 518, 519].
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000) Crimes Against
Property, § 110.
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 143,
Crimes Against Property, § 143.02 (Matthew Bender).
LESSER INCLUDED OFFENSES
• Attempted Extortion. Pen. Code, § 524.
• Threat to Accuse of Crime Includes Threat to Continue Pursuit of Criminal
Charge. People v. Umana (2006) 138 Cal.App.4th 625, 640–641 [41
1833–1849. Reserved for Future Use
CALCRIM No. 1832 THEFT AND EXTORTION