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In Re J.C., A Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. v. J.C

December 13, 2010

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



(Santa Clara County Super. Ct. No. JV34669)

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

In re J.C.

CA6

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED IN OFFICIAL REPORTS

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Minor J.C. appeals from the "denial of [the] defense 'Motion to Set Aside Petition and Findings Due to Lack of Competency Pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 782.' " We appointed counsel to represent defendant in this court. Appointed counsel filed an opening brief pursuant to People v. Wende (1979) 25 Cal.3d 436 (Wende) which raises no issues and states that the appeal is from juvenile court orders finding the minor incompetent to stand trial and housing him at a facility for the purpose of attempting to restore his competency. We notified the minor at his last known address of his right to submit written argument in his own behalf within 30 days. The notice was returned as undeliverable.

After reviewing the entire record on appeal, this court sent counsel the following request for further briefing. "Minor J.C. appeals from the 'denial of [the] defense "Motion to Set Aside Petition and Findings Due to Lack of Competency Pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 782." ' . . . This motion was denied without prejudice by the court's 'Order After Competency Hearing,' . . . in which the court found that the minor was (1) incompetent to stand trial on the probation violation alleged in a petition filed February 4, 2009 . . . and (2) competent to stand trial on August 19, 2008 and November 25, 2008, when he admitted the felony offenses alleged in two Welfare and Institutions Code section 602 petitions.

"Minor's appellate counsel has filed a brief pursuant to . . . Wende[, supra,] 25 Cal.3d 436, stating that the minor's appeal is from the court's determination that appellant was incompetent. The court requests briefing on the following questions:

1. Did the trial court err in finding the minor competent to stand trial on the first two petitions?

2. Did the court err, or did prior counsel render ineffective assistance of counsel, by failing to inquire whether the 11-year-old, ADHD and bipolar minor was too developmentally immature to be competent to stand trial, prior to the minor's admission of the first petition? (People v. Ary (2004) 118 Cal.App.4th 1016; Timothy J. v. Superior Court (2007) 150 Cal.App.4th 847.)

"Appellate counsel is not precluded from addressing either issue by way of habeas corpus or other writ. (People v. Mendoza Tello (1997) 15 Cal.4th 264, 266; Timothy J. v. Superior Court, supra, 150 Cal.App.4th 847.)"

Appellate counsel responded by submitting a letter and an a copy of a superior court minute order informing us that "[t]he issues the court raises appear to have been superseded and rendered moot by litigation that took place in appellant's case after the filing of the notice of appeal. [¶] Defense counsel for appellant re-litigated the question of whether a retroactive finding of incompetence could be made in connection with the July 22, 2008, and September 11, 2008 petitions. On August 12, 2010, the Juvenile Court ruled that appellant had been incompetent when he entered admissions to both petitions, and suspended proceedings in both petitions. (Exhibit, p.3)"

The Attorney General submitted a response acknowledging appellate counsel's letter and electing not to respond on the substantive merits of the court's questions in light of the assertion of mootness.

Pursuant to Wende,we have reviewed the entire record, appellate counsel's letter and attached exhibit, and the Attorney General's response. We conclude that the issues on which this court requested supplemental briefing are moot. As there are no other arguable issues on appeal, the ...


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