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In re K. F.

April 29, 2009

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



(Santa Clara County Super. Ct. No. JV28816) Trial Judge: The Honorable Patrick Tondreau.

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

CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION

Appellant K.F. was directed to pay restitution after being adjudged a person described in section 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. On appeal he contends that the restitution order was erroneous in several respects. We sustain some of his objections and reject others. We will therefore affirm the order with modifications.

BACKGROUND

The juvenile court sustained a petition under Welfare and Institutions Code section 602 alleging that appellant committed assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and producing great bodily injury (Pen. Code, §§ 240, 245, subd. (a)(1), 12022.7, subd. (a)) and battery with serious bodily injury (Pen. Code, §§ 242, 243, subd. (d)). In a previous appeal, we affirmed that order with modifications. (In re K[.] F. (Aug. 13, 2008, H032410) [nonpub. opn.].)*fn1 The facts surrounding the assault are adequately set forth in that opinion, and not pertinent here. The essential fact for present purposes is that in the course of the assault, the victim, Gregory Rangel, suffered a broken finger.

After the court sustained the petition, and while the appeal was pending, the probation officer submitted a report recommending that the court order restitution to Mr. Rangel in the amount of $22,088.66. The report was accompanied by a letter from the victim, to which were attached certain documents concerning medical services valued at about $18,000, lost time from work, and other claimed costs.

On March 28, 2008, the court conducted a restitution hearing. Among those present were the minor, his attorney, and his mother. Early in the hearing the prosecutor asked the court to amend the request by deducting $280 from the total requested for Mr. Rangel and directing payment of that sum to the Victims' Restitution Fund instead. Defense counsel then addressed the request on the merits, opening with the observation that he was "new to this case . . . ." He expressed "our belief and a lay belief but I think a reasonable reading that the medical procedure used in this particular instance was clearly an over[-]treatment for a broken finger. [¶] Such things occur and are commonplace daily on school grounds and in sports arenas, and are generally a fairly simple procedure of adding a splint. [¶] This seemed to be well in excess of anything that's reasonable. So we would simply make that objection, and again in our reading and realizing that we are not bringing experts in at this point to contest it, simply alerting to the Court of our concerns in this particular matter. [¶] And we would submit it on the medical records as are in the Court file." Counsel went on, however, to express the desire to "subpoena some further medical records, particularly specifically x-rays that were not provided for or obtained in the trial," and asked the court to set a "compliance date . . . a few weeks out" in order to accommodate that request. He added, "Whether or not the appellate attorney is entitled to those or they have to jump through some other hoop to get them, that we deal with that or cross that bridge when we get there, but that we simply have a date that the medical facility can respond to our subpoena."

The court then told appellant's mother that she would be responsible for any restitution ordered, and after acknowledging that she was "having trouble talking," gave her an opportunity to "address the Court if you can." She replied, "I would just like to say that 21,000 is a lot of money to be paying out, and in regards to how the trial went and the outcome of the trial and the information that should have been submitted, that wasn't-and I have requested it, I think that it needs to have more of an evaluation. [¶] I worked in the medical field. I worked in orthopedics, and I think we need to go through the appeals part of it before, I'm asking you to if you could wait until the appeal is over before this account is set up. [¶] I'm on a fixed income and disabled. I'm on a fixed income and disabled, so I'm asking for time to have this case really evaluated, which it was just-it didn't go through that process. [¶] And I requested of the lawyer several times and it was just like my voice was fallen on deaf ears, and maybe we wouldn't be here at this point. [¶] And like I said, I worked with orthopedic doctors, and even though the medical records was written forms was submitted also, the film should have been part of the evidence also, and should have been read, and that wasn't. [¶] Because what you see on films and what's on the paper is two different things. [¶] If my son is going to be charged-has been charged and convicted with this offense, and it's all I'm asking for you to sustain and wait till the appeals process."

The court viewed these comments as a request for a stay of restitution proceedings pending appeal, which it denied. It then proceeded to "set restitution in the amount of 21,808 dollars and 66 cents for Gregory Rangel, R-A-N-G-E-L, and 280 dollars to the Victim Compensation Fund."*fn2 It declined to set a delayed "compliance date," stating that if appellate counsel wished some relief in this regard, he or she "is going to have to approach the Court . . . ." It scheduled a restitution review for September 19, 2008.

This timely appeal followed.

DISCUSSION

I. Governing Statute

Appellant asserts that several elements of the restitution order were "not supported by any evidence" showing them to be compensable under the restitution statute. The order was made under Welfare and Institutions Code section 730.6 (ยง 730.6), the declared purpose of which is to ensure "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 ...


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