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The People v. M.A

December 29, 2010

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
M.A., DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



Santa Clara County Super. Ct. No. JV34306

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

In re M.A. 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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED IN OFFICIAL REPORTS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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

In re M.A., a Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law.

M.A. appeals an order that he pay restitution in the amount of $10,192.56 to the mother of his victim for time she needed to take off work to care for her son. The amount ordered represents 168 of vacation hours that were donated to the victim's mother, because she exhausted her existing sick leave caring for her son. M.A. asserts the order of restitution was improper, because the vacation hours were donated, and therefore, the victim's mother suffered no actual economic loss.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE*fn1

In July 2008, M.A. admitted the following charges in a juvenile delinquency petition: assault with a deadly weapon or by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury (Pen. Code, §§ 245, subd. (a)(1), 1203, subd. (e)(3)), possession of marijuana for sale (Health & Saf. Code, § 11359), misdemeanor interference with a business (Pen. Code, § 602.1), misdemeanor battery (Pen. Code, § 243, subd. (a)), resisting an executive peace officer (Pen. Code, § 69).

As a result of the admissions, M.A. was made a ward of the court, and was placed on probation outside the home with a maximum period of confinement of nine years two months. The court also ordered that M.A. pay restitution in the amount of $85,192.56. Of this amount, $10,192.56 represented 168 hours of vacation time that was donated to the victim's mother, Aster Worku, for time she needed to take off of work to care for her son who was severely injured as a result of M.A.'s criminal conduct.

In the juvenile court, the parties agreed that $10,192.56 represented the amount of Ms. Worku's 168 hours of time off work to care for her son; however, they disputed whether this restitution should be ordered, because the hours had been donated by co-workers.

DISCUSSION

M.A. asserts on appeal that the juvenile court erred when it ordered him to pay restitution in the amount of $10,192.56 for Ms. Worku's use of 168 vacation hours that were donated by her co-workers.

Restitution in juvenile delinquency matters is governed by Welfare and Institutions Code, section 730.6, subdivision (a)(1),*fn2 which states, "It is the intent of the Legislature that a victim of conduct for which a minor is found to be the 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. Accordingly, section 730.6 subdivision (h) provides, in relevant part, that a restitution order "shall identify each victim . . . and 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 . . . ." (Italics added.)

The juvenile court is vested with discretion to order restitution in a manner that will further the legislative objectives of making the victim whole, rehabilitating the minor, and deterring future delinquent behavior. (In re Brittany L. (2009) 99 Cal.App.4th1381 (Brittany L.).) The court may use any rational method in setting restitution, "provided it is reasonably calculated to make the victim whole, and provided it is consistent with the purpose of rehabilitation." (Brittany L., supra, 99 Cal.App.4th at pp. 1391-1392, fn. omitted.) These purposes are "three-fold, to rehabilitate the defendant, deter future delinquent behavior, and make the victim whole by compensating him [or her] for his [or her] economic losses." (In re Anthony M. (2007) 156 Cal.App.4th 1010, 1017.) " '[W]hile the amount of restitution cannot be arbitrary or capricious, "there is no requirement the restitution order be limited to the exact amount of the ...


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