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In re K.C.

California Court of Appeals, Third District, (Shasta)

October 10, 2013

In re K.C., a Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
K.C., Defendant and Appellant.

APPEAL from an order of the Superior Court of Shasta County, No. SC RD JDSQ102842001 Daniel E. Flynn, Judge. Affirmed.

Candice L. Christensen, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.

Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, Dane R. Gillette, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Michael P. Farrell, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Charles A. French, Supervising Deputy Attorney General, and Doris A. Calandra, Deputy Attorney General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

BLEASE, Acting P. J.

K.C. (the minor) appeals the order of the juvenile court converting the balance of his victim restitution order into a civil judgment. The minor contends that, because he was granted a program of informal supervision under Welfare and Institutions Code section 654.2, [1] he was never adjudicated a ward of the court under section 602. As such, the minor continues, the court erred in converting his restitution order to a civil judgment under section 730.6, as that section applies only to adjudicated juveniles. We find the minor agreed to the applicability of section 730.6 as a condition of his informal supervision. Accordingly, he is estopped from raising this claim on appeal.

BACKGROUND[2]

In November 2009 the 16-year-old minor and another minor threw full water bottles and frozen yogurts out of a school bus window at oncoming traffic. One of the items shattered a driver’s windshield. The driver of the car suffered injuries that required medical attention. The accident also caused damage to his car. On April 2, 2010, the People filed a petition seeking to have the minor adjudicated under section 602.

The prosecution and minor’s counsel agreed that, except for the issue of restitution, it was appropriate to handle the case under section 654.2. The court found the minor eligible for informal supervision and set a suitability hearing for July 7, 2010. Probation recommended granting the minor section 654.2 informal supervision. The probation report also indicated the victim had submitted receipts for restitution totaling $4, 248.14.

The juvenile court granted the minor section 654.2 informal supervision. As part of that grant, the minor agreed to various terms and conditions of supervision, including: school attendance, adherence to a curfew, participating in counseling, reporting to probation, completing 20 hours of community service, and writing an apology letter to the victim. The minor also agreed that: “The orders of victim restitution, the state restitution fine and/or any other court ordered fines or fees are to remain in effect until paid in full pursuant to [sections] 730.6/730.7 and are not discharged upon termination of probation or deferred entry of judgment. Payments are to be distributed in accordance with [Penal Code section] 1203.1D.” The issue of the amount of victim restitution was reserved.

Subsequently, minor’s counsel agreed that the $4, 248.14 amount requested by probation was an accurate amount. The juvenile court indicated “that will be an agreed upon amount and that condition of probation or that condition will be added to the informal probation.” Accordingly, the juvenile court ordered the minor to pay the victim $4, 248.14 in restitution, jointly and severally with his parents and the coparticipant minor and his parents.

In December 2010 the probation department recommended the minor be terminated from section 654.2 supervision and the petition dismissed, as the minor had completed his assigned sanctions and paid $124.07 toward restitution. His coparticipant had paid $50 toward restitution. The juvenile court terminated the supervisory terms and conditions of the informal supervision on December 29, 2010, but extended the program to allow restitution to be paid.

By the hearing on April 6, 2011, the minor had made an additional payment of $224.07 toward restitution. The court believed, although the minor had been granted informal supervision under section 654.2, it could utilize section 730.6 to convert the restitution order to a civil judgment. The People agreed, but minor’s counsel did not. The court requested briefing from the parties and the matter was continued.

Following argument and briefing on the issue of the applicability of section 730.6, the court ruled: “Essentially the victim’s right of restitution is one that is guaranteed by the California Constitution in contrast to that of the grant of informal probation pursuant to [section] 654.2, which is not a guaranteed right of the minor, but is one of privilege. [¶] When suitable for such supervision, the minor is given the benefit of not having to admit the petition and, if successful on the grant, the dismissal of his or her case. And there is no language that suggests that, for those unable to pay restitution within the timeframe enumerated in [section] 654.2, between six and twelve months for completion, that they receive the added benefit of ignoring a valid order or not paying for damages caused by the minor’s conduct. [¶] The obvious rehabilitative effort of paying for damage caused by their conduct being obvious I think to every party, but understanding or placing themselves in the place of a victim. Victim sensitivity is a rehabilitative function. The minor’s privilege to be placed on a [section] 654.2 grant does not carry greater weight to this Court than the victim’s right to restitution under the California Constitution.” The juvenile court noted a minor placed on section 654 informal supervision could be ordered to pay restitution. The juvenile court continued, “It does not follow to me, in fact leads to an absurd result, to think that while the Court can order restitution, that the order need not lead to the payment of restitution. [¶] The only result that allows for an order of restitution that results in nothing being paid and relieves minor of the obligation to make the victim whole is contrary to the rehabilitative intent and in effect I think would fly in the face of it and be contrary to it, recognizing that the Court would be -- would not be empowered to hold them to the obligations that they had promised in order to receive a grant of informal probation. [¶] I find that the absence of an adjudication under Section 602 does not prohibit an order imposing the term to pay victim restitution, even though it is not specifically mentioned in the statute involving restitution based on the holding in Charles S.[3] and logical extensions that I think can be made from that case. [¶] That is consistent with the underlying statutory purpose of rehabilitating juveniles by impressing upon the minor here the gravity of harm caused and providing an opportunity to make amends as well as the purpose of compensating victims. [¶] Further, just as the Court can make the order of victim restitution in the absence of an adjudication under [section] 602, I think the Court can convert such an order consistent with Section 730.6 or 730.7, and to order otherwise is inconsistent with the rehabilitative effect of the order. [¶] Further, to hold to the contrary leads to an absurd result, that being the issuing of an empty order that terminates when all other conditions are met and teaches the minor a contrary message than that of rehabilitation and the one intended by the order of victim restitution in the first place. [¶] And finally, the constitution nor the ...


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