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In re Stephon L.

February 8, 2010

IN RE STEPHON L., A PERSON COMING UNDER THE JUVENILE COURT LAW.
THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
STEPHON L., MINOR AND APPELLANT.



APPEAL from an order of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, John C. Lawson, II, Commissioner (pursuant to Cal. Const., art VI, § 21.) Affirmed as modified. (Los Angeles County Super. Ct. No. NJ21860).

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

CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION

INTRODUCTION

Minor and appellant Stephon L. (minor) appeals from a juvenile court order finding him in violation of probation in connection with a sustained petition under Welfare and Institutions Code section 602 (section 602). Minor is the subject of two sustained section 602 petitions. Minor contends that the juvenile court erred in failing to award him predisposition credit. We conclude that the appeal is not moot regardless of the expiration of the minor's camp commitment because his maximum period of physical confinement has not expired. Because minor's maximum period of physical confinement for the two section 602 petitions was aggregated, we hold that minor is entitled to credit for all actual time spent in custody in connection with either petition.

BACKGROUND*fn1

Minor was arrested on November 4, 2006. On November 7, 2006, the District Attorney's Office filed a section 602 petition alleging that minor committed second degree robbery (Pen. Code, § 211) and personally used a firearm (Pen. Code, § 12022.53, subd. (b)). On June 6, 2007, the petition was amended to add a count of being a minor in possession of a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person. (Pen. Code, § 12101, subd. (a)(1).) Minor pleaded no contest to the concealed weapon possession offense, and the juvenile court sustained the petition as to that offense. The juvenile court dismissed and struck the robbery offense and personal use of a firearm enhancement, respectively. The juvenile court found the concealed weapon possession offense to be a felony, set the maximum period of physical confinement at three years (Pen. Code, §§ 18; 12101, subd. (c)(1)(C); Welf. & Inst. Code, § 726, subd. (c)), and ordered minor placed in camp for a mid-term placement of six months with 214 days of credit. Minor remained in custody from his arrest on November 4, 2006, until his release on December 21, 2007, a period of 413 days.

On April 24, 2008, minor was arrested again. On April 28, 2008, the District Attorney's Office filed a section 602 petition alleging that minor committed second degree robbery (Pen. Code, § 211), possessed a weapon on school grounds (Pen. Code, § 626.10, subd. (a)), and committed second degree commercial burglary (Pen. Code, § 459). On August 7, 2008, the petition was amended to add a count of grand theft from a person, a felony. (Pen. Code, § 487, subd. (c).) Pursuant to a plea agreement, minor admitted that he committed grand theft from a person. The juvenile court sustained the petition as to that offense and dismissed the remaining counts.

The juvenile court ordered minor placed in a long-term camp commitment for a period of nine months under various terms and conditions, set the maximum period of physical confinement at three years and eight months, and awarded minor 105 days of credit, without aggregating the custody credits in connection with both sustained petitions. Although not expressly stated in the record, the three year, eight month maximum period of physical confinement could only have been an aggregated maximum period computed as follows: three years for the offense sustained in connection with the November 7, 2006, section 602 petition (Pen. Code, §§ 18; 12101, subds. (a)(1) & (c)(1)(C); Welf. & Inst. Code, § 726, subd. (c)), and eight months (one third of the middle term of two years) for the offense sustained in connection with the April 28, 2008, section 602 petition (Pen. Code, §§ 18; 487, subd. (c); 489; Welf. & Inst. Code, § 726, subd. (c)). (See In re Eric J. (1979) 25 Cal.3d 522, 536-537.)

On January 21, 2009, minor's probation officer filed a section 777 notice of violation of probation.*fn2 On March 18, 2009, the juvenile court found minor in violation of his probation. The juvenile court terminated minor's long-term camp commitment and ordered him placed in a mid-term camp commitment for a period of six months. The juvenile court did not address minor's custody credit.

On May 8, 2009, minor's probation officer filed a second section 777 notice of violation of probation. On June 23, 2009, the juvenile court found minor in violation of his probation. The juvenile court terminated minor's mid-term camp commitment and placed him on a new six- month mid-term camp commitment. An October 30, 2009, minute order indicates a release date for minor of December 30, 2009.

We requested supplemental letter briefs from the parties on the issues of whether minor's appeal is moot and whether minor is entitled to custody credit earned in connection with a prior sustained section 602 petition.

DISCUSSION

A. Mootness

"A case becomes moot when a court ruling can have no practical impact or cannot provide the parties with effective relief." (Simi Corp. v. Garamendi (2003) 109 Cal.App.4th 1496, 1503; Ebensteiner Co., Inc. v. Chadmar Group (2006) 143 Cal.App.4th 1174, 1178 ["Generally, courts decide only `actual controversies' which will result in a judgment that offers relief to the parties. [Citations.]"].) "Thus, appellate courts as a rule will not ...


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