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In Re T.M., A Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. v. T.M

May 10, 2011

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



(Super. Ct. No. JV126322)

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

In re T.M.

CA3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

The minor, T.M., appeals from the juvenile court's dispositional order committing him to an out-of-state placement. He contends the court abused its discretion by ignoring evidence that there were in-state facilities or programs "available and adequate" to meet his needs. We shall affirm the juvenile court's order.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

In October 2007, the then 13-year-old minor, was a dependent of the juvenile court pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 300.*fn1 Due to a history of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his mother, the minor had been declared a dependent child of the juvenile court in March 1999, and again in May 2007.

In early October 2007, a section 602, subdivision (a) petition was filed, alleging the minor committed vandalism. On October 29, 2007, the minor was placed on six months of informal supervision under section 654.2*fn2 when the court found true the allegation that he vandalized property at the Sacramento Children's Receiving Home (SCRH) where he was placed after having been removed from foster care. The court ordered that the minor continue as a dependent of the juvenile court (§ 300) and that he remain in the custody of the Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services for appropriate placement.

The minor was first placed at Trinity Group Home in Ukiah, but was terminated from that facility after two weeks due to his "'horrible behavior'" and "'regularly absconding.'" He was returned to the SCRH on November 15, 2007.

In January 2008, the minor was expelled from middle school for "continued misbehavior," which included physical and verbal threats on his teacher.

On February 8, 2008, after reportedly engaging in rude and disruptive behavior and leaving the SCRH without permission for nearly a month, the minor absconded from that facility and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

A notice was filed alleging the minor violated his informal supervision (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 654.2) by remaining away from his court-ordered placement without permission and failing to keep his probation officer informed of his address and telephone number. On March 14, 2008, the minor admitted the vandalism allegation--deemed a misdemeanor--in the October 2007 wardship petition. (Pen. Code, § 594, subd. (b)(1).) The informal supervision violation was dismissed in the interest of justice. The court continued the minor's dependency status and placed him on six months of court probation pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 725, subdivision (a) (hereafter section 725(a)).*fn3 The minor was placed in-state (sometimes referred to as "Level A placement") at Circle C Ranch in Stockton.

On April 17, 2008, after several incidents involving theft, vandalism, and animal cruelty,*fn4 and reports from the group home manager that the minor was being confrontational and threatened to become combative and to assault staff, the minor absconded from Circle C Ranch and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

A second violation of probation notice (ยง 725(a)) was filed alleging the minor violated probation by remaining away from his group home overnight without permission from staff, remaining away from his group home for more than 48 hours without permission from his probation officer, and failing to keep his probation officer informed of his living arrangements. On May 15, 2008, the minor admitted the first allegation, and the remaining allegations were dismissed in the interest of justice. The court continued the minor's dependency status and again placed ...


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