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

May 19, 2011

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



(Super. Ct. No. JD09586)

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

In re R.C. 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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published,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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Based on testimony that R.C., a minor, kicked in the door of the apartment where a 13-year-old female friend was staying and both ran into the night, the trial court sustained the allegations of a petition that R.C. came within the juvenile court jurisdiction under Welfare and Institutions Code section 602 because he committed misdemeanor vandalism, contributed to the delinquency of a minor, and violated the local curfew ordinance.

In this appeal, R.C. contends, and the People concede, that the trial court violated Penal Code section 654 (hereafter section 654) when it attributed a separate punishment to him for the offense of contributing to the delinquency of a minor in computing the maximum term of confinement pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 726.

We agree that such an action would violate section 654 but, because we cannot determine from this record whether the court actually attributed a separate punishment to the minor for the offense of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, we shall remand for clarification.

BACKGROUND

At the time of these offenses, R.C. had already been adjudicated a ward of the court and ordered to remain in his mother's custody.

At the jurisdictional hearing on the instant petition, Ester B. testified that, when these events occurred, she shared an apartment with her granddaughter, N.T., then 13 years old. Around 10:00 p.m., N.T. was talking on the phone with R.C., and he was "wanting her to come out." Ester B. said no, and N.T. was arguing.

A few minutes later, Ester B. heard "a loud pop," the apartment door flew open, and she saw R.C. outside the apartment. Ester B. saw R.C. crouch and run. Ester B. and her husband tried to keep N.T. in the house, but she broke away and ran after R.C. N.T. did not return to the apartment for a few days.

The doorframe of Ester B.'s apartment was splintered as a result of having been kicked in.

The trial court found the allegations of the petition sustained beyond a reasonable doubt as to all three offenses alleged in the petition: misdemeanor vandalism, violation of curfew, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Explaining its ruling on the charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, the court said, "[T]he elements of the crime of contributing to the delinquency of a minor[.] [F]irst, there has to be an act or a failure to perform a duty. In this case, there was an act and that was the kicking in of the door. The Court has already found that [R.C.] was responsible for that act beyond a reasonable doubt.

"And the second part of that is that, in doing that act, did that somehow encourage or contribute to [N.T.] to committing a delinquency act, and the Court finds that it did, because, once the door was kicked open, it enabled, or, at least, encouraged [N.T.] to run out the door, and then she was a runaway and she was missing."

Thereafter, the court held a consolidated dispositional hearing on the then-existing sustained petitions (including the instant case), combined with a jurisdictional hearing on a new petition, Yolo Superior Court case No. JD10-227. It sustained allegations in case No. JD10-227 that R.C. committed misdemeanor resisting arrest and another curfew violation, and continued R.C. as a ...


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