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In re A.M.

California Court of Appeals, First District, Fourth Division

October 30, 2013

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

Alameda County Super. Ct. No. SJ11016632-01, Judge Hon. Rhonda Burgess.

Jonathan Soglin L. Richard Braucher under appointment by the Court of Appeal (Attorney for Defendant/Appellant).

Kamala D. Harris Attorney General Dane R. Gillette Chief Assistant Attorney General Gerald A. Engler Senior Assistant Attorney General Eric D. Share Supervising Deputy Attorney General Ronald D. Niver Deputy Attorney General (Attorneys for Plaintiff/Respondent – The People of the State of California).

RIVERA, J.

After being declared a ward of the court as a truant pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 601, [1] A.M. (Minor) was placed on global positioning system (GPS) monitoring as a condition of probation. Minor later objected to being placed on GPS monitoring, and the juvenile court issued an order ruling that it was appropriate for section 601 wards. In her appeal from this order, Minor contends GPS monitoring as a condition of probation for a truant is not authorized by statute and is unconstitutional. We shall affirm the order.

I. BACKGROUND

The Alameda County District Attorney filed a juvenile wardship petition in March 2011, alleging Minor, who was then 14 years old, was a habitual truant under section 601, subdivision (b). Minor admitted the allegations of the petition and was declared a ward of the court. On April 29, 2011, the juvenile court placed her in the custody of the probation department in her mother’s home “under the standard conditions of probation, ” and ordered her to attend school every day, report to and cooperate with her probation officer, maintain a curfew of no later than 6:00 p.m., not stay out overnight without permission, and not own, use, or possess any narcotics or drugs.

A probation officer reported to the court on June 15, 2011, that since Minor’s last court appearance she had missed 13 periods of class, had been tardy once, had been suspended for 12 days due to truancy, and earlier that month had stayed away from home overnight without permission. At a hearing two days later, the juvenile court placed Minor on GPS monitoring.

Minor was taken into custody on June 27, 2011, for a “GPS failure” after she twice was away from home in the evening without her mother’s permission. Two days later, the juvenile court released her again on GPS, and ordered her to stay at home unless she was in school.

In preparation for a November 4, 2011 progress report, Minor’s probation officer reported that since the beginning of the school year, Minor had missed 33 periods of school, had been tardy 29 times, and had been suspended once, after drug paraphernalia was found on the ground where Minor and other students were gathered. An electronic monitoring progress report noted that Minor had failed to call in daily and check in, and that she had violated her GPS contract recently by leaving the county to go to a mall and amusement park, returning at almost midnight. The juvenile court maintained Minor on GPS monitoring. In the following two months, Minor attended school daily but missed a number of class periods, had many unexcused tardies, and was found on another school’s campus during school hours.

Minor was taken into custody on December 28, 2011, for a “GPS violation, ” after she was out of her home from 12:50 a.m. until 3:32 a.m. She had also been out of her home for more than half an hour in the afternoon. Noting it was “familiar with... the activities that go on” in the area Minor visited during the night, the court detained her in juvenile hall. She was released from juvenile hall on January 4, 2012, and remained on GPS monitoring.

Minor continued to accrue absences, missed class periods, and tardies during the first three months of 2012, although she was more or less compliant with her GPS contract and her school attendance improved. However, during the spring of that year, her school attendance declined. Her GPS monitor showed no unauthorized movements.

On June 29, 2012, Minor was out of her home, in a park, from 12:41 to 2:39 a.m., and was detained in juvenile hall for the violation of her probation conditions. She was released to her mother on July 3, 2012, and remained on GPS monitoring. On the same date, Minor filed an objection to being placed on GPS monitoring, arguing it was an invalid condition of probation for a truancy wardship.

On July 20, 2012, the probation department reported that since the July 3 hearing, Minor had complied with her GPS contract. On July 20, 2012, the court vacated the GPS order. Nevertheless, on August 9, 2012, the court heard argument on Minor’s objection to being placed on GPS, and issued an order ruling GPS monitoring ...


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