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In re J.W.

California Court of Appeals, Second District, Eighth Division

May 6, 2015

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

APPEAL from an order of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. MJ21052 Nancy S. Pogue, Juvenile Court Referee.

Page 664

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 665

COUNSEL

Jeanine G. Strong, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.

Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, Gerald A. Engler, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Lance E. Winters, Assistant Attorney General, Susan Sullivan Pithey and Robert M. Snider, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

Page 666

OPINION

RUBIN, J.

Appellant J.W. appeals from the decision of the trial court rejecting his request to seal his juvenile records. He contends that the court erred by considering the seriousness of his offenses and abused its discretion by not finding him rehabilitated. Moreover, appellant argues that the application of section 781, subdivision (a) of the Welfare and Institutions Code violated his right to due process, in that the statute is unconstitutionally vague.[1] We conclude that the court did not err in declining to seal the records of the appellant, and therefore affirm.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Appellant was born in October 1995. His juvenile records consisted of at least 14 incidents. We state only the significant facts. When he was 14 years old, appellant was arrested for petty theft in violation of Penal Code section 488. He was counseled and released. When he was 15 years old, he was arrested for disturbing the peace in violation of Penal Code Section 415. He was counseled and released as well. A couple of months later, on October 2, 2011, he committed three counts of attempted robbery in violation of Penal Code sections 664, 211, and one count of battery causing serious bodily injury in violation of Penal Code section 243, subdivision (d). In this incident, appellant and three other individuals took part in an attempted robbery. Appellant and his companions surrounded the victims and demanded that the victims empty their pockets. When one of the victims refused the command, appellant punched him on the left side of his face.[2] For those offenses, he was ordered home on probation for six months. During this time, appellant committed a series of infractions for which he was fined. They are identified as “LSMC” violations, which appear to have been traffic related. On appeal, the Attorney General offers no further explanation of these violations. The total amount of fines exceeded $1, 000.

Appellant’s juvenile probation ended on October 18, 2012. He turned 18 in October 2013. Shortly thereafter, appellant petitioned the court to have his juvenile records sealed pursuant to section 781. subdivision (a). Four days prior to filing the petition, appellant paid $1, 066, an amount he ...


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