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In re M.W.

December 12, 2008

IN RE M.W., A PERSON COMING UNDER THE JUVENILE COURT LAW.
THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
M.W., DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Fresno County. Martin Suits, Commissioner. (Super. Ct. No. 05CEJ600356-1).

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Wiseman, Acting P.J.

CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION

OPINION

In this opinion, we hold that the cost of mental health services directly incurred by the victim of a crime that is committed by a juvenile is authorized as restitution pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 730.6, subdivision (h).*fn1

PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL SUMMARIES

In 2005, the minor M.W. was adjudicated a ward of the juvenile court pursuant to section 602 after he admitted having committed a lewd act on a younger cousin. The minor was placed in the custody of a probation officer, pursuant to standard terms of probation, and was confined to an appropriate group home. He was enrolled in a sexual offender treatment program and received other necessary services. Ultimately, the minor was furloughed to his parents in 2007. In September 2007, the prosecution sought and the court ordered restitution to the victim for the cost of mental health services in the amount of $4,320. The minor challenges this order on appeal.

DISCUSSION

The minor contends that the restitution was unauthorized by the statute. He argues that, although the costs of mental health services are specifically authorized as a restitution award under the adult restitution statute, Penal Code section 1202.4, it is not expressly authorized under section 730.6, subdivision (h). His argument rests on the principle that, where the Legislature uses materially different language in addressing related subjects, the courts generally will infer the difference is intentional and compels different understandings. (See People v. Trevino (2001) 26 Cal.4th 237, 242.) Since the minor's argument rests on the interpretation of statutory language, we review the issue de novo. (In re R.D. (2008) 163 Cal.App.4th 679, 686 [proper interpretation of juvenile law statute is question of law appellate court reviews de novo].)

Section 730.6 governs restitution in cases where a minor is adjudicated a ward of the court pursuant to section 602. (In re Johnny M. (2002) 100 Cal.App.4th 1128, 1131.) Section 730.6 parallels Penal Code section 1202.4, which governs adult restitution. (In re Johnny M., supra, at p. 1131.) Like Penal Code section 1202.4, section 730.6 is an implementing statute, implementing the will of the electorate expressed when Article 1, section 28, subdivision (b) (Article 1, section 28), was added to the California Constitution, that all victims of crime who suffer direct economic loss be compensated. (People v. Broussard (1993) 5 Cal.4th 1067, 1071-1072.) Section 730.6 provides:

"(a)(1) It is the intent of the Legislature that a victim of conduct for which a minor is found to be a person described in Section 602 who incurs any economic loss as a result of the minor's conduct shall receive restitution directly from that minor. [¶] (2) [T]he court shall order the minor to pay, in addition to any other penalty provided or imposed under the law, both of the following: [¶] . [¶] (B) Restitution to the victim or victims, if any, in accordance with subdivision (h)."

Subdivision (h) of section 730.6 provides in part:

"A restitution order pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), to the extent possible, shall identify . the amount of each victim's loss to which it pertains, and shall be of a dollar amount sufficient to fully reimburse the victim or victims for all determined economic losses incurred as the result of the minor's conduct for which the minor was found to be a person described in Section 602, including all of the following: [¶]

(1) Full or partial payment of the value of stolen or damaged property.

The value of stolen or damaged property shall be the replacement cost of like property, or the actual cost of repairing the property when repair is possible. [¶] (2) Medical expenses. [¶] (3) Wages or profits lost due to injury incurred by the victim .. [¶] (4) Wages or profits lost by the ...


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