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Ruelas v. Superior Court (The People)

California Court of Appeals, Sixth District

March 20, 2015

ISAAC RUELAS, Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
THE SUPERIOR COURT OF MONTEREY COUNTY, Defendant and Respondent THE PEOPLE, Real Party in Interest and Respondent.

Monterey County Superior Court Nos. M122167, J29777 Hon. Robert A. Burlison Judge

Page 375

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COUNSEL

Innocence Legal Team and William P. Daley for Plaintiff and Appellant.

No appearance for Defendant and Respondent.

Kamala D. Harris Attorney General, Dane R. Gillette Chief Assistant Attorney General, Gerald A. Engler, Assistant Attorney General, Ronald E. Niver, Huy The Luong, Elizabeth Hereford and Luke Fadem Deputy Attorneys General, for Real Party in Interest and Respondent.

Page 378

OPINION

PREMO, J.

Appellant Isaac Ruelas appeals from the denial of his request for relief from mandatory sex offender registration on equal protection grounds. He contends that mandatory sex offender registration for a juvenile who is adjudicated of violating Penal Code section 647.6[1] and committed to the Division of Juvenile Facilities only after committing another offense, but not for a juvenile who is adjudicated of violating section 647.6 and never committed to the Division of Juvenile Facilities, violates the equal protection clauses of the federal and state Constitutions.

We previously issued an opinion reversing the judgment. However, we granted rehearing when the People brought to the court’s attention a change in the law. We ordered the parties to file letter briefs addressing the effect of the change in the law on Ruelas’s equal protection challenge. We now affirm.

I. Factual and Procedural Background

In 1994, at age 14, Ruelas admitted committing felony assault with a deadly weapon (§ 245) and misdemeanor annoying or molesting a child (§ 647.6). Three years later, while Ruelas was still a minor, the juvenile court found true allegations that he had committed three felonies: robbery (§ 211), assault with a deadly weapon (§ 245), and vehicle theft (Veh. Code, § 10851). At that time, the juvenile court committed Ruelas to the California Youth Authority, [2] for a maximum term of eight years two months. That term included four months imposed as a result of Ruelas’s prior admission of annoying or ...


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