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In re Christian H.

California Court of Appeals, First District, Third Division

June 29, 2015

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

City & County of San Francisco Super. Ct. No. JW14-6068, Honorable Suzanne Bolanos Trial Judge.

Page 1086

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1087

COUNSEL

L. Richard Braucher, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.

Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, Gerald A. Engler, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Eric D. Share and Joan Killeen, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, Frank B. Kennamer, Nitin Jindal, Zachary S. Hill, Phillip Wiese, and Megan Lin for Youth Law Center and Public Counsel Law Center as amicus curiae on behalf of plaintiff and respondent.

OPINION

Pollak, J.

Christian H. appeals a dispositional order placing him on probation and ordering him to reside with his mother in Honduras. We agree with Christian that the court abused its discretion in finding that returning to Honduras was not in his best interests for the purpose of petitioning for relief from deportation under 8 United States Code section 1101 as a special immigrant juvenile (SIJ), but that returning to Honduras was in his best interests for the purpose of selecting a disposition. Accordingly, we will reverse the dispositional order.

Factual and Procedural Background

On March 13, 2014, Christian was arrested for selling cocaine base. The following day, a wardship petition (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 602, subd. (a)) was filed alleging that Christian, aged 16, sold cocaine base (Health & Saf. Code, § 11352, subd. (a)). The probation department requested his detention pending a hearing based on the charges, the need to protect the minor, and concerns that the minor was likely to flee in order to avoid the court’s jurisdiction. The probation officer stated that immigration officials had been notified of Christian’s custody status. On March 17, 2014, the juvenile court ordered that Christian be detained pending pretrial.

On March 19, 2014, an “Immigration Detainer – Notice of Action” was faxed to the juvenile hall from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) stating that Christian had a prior felony conviction or had been charged with a felony offense, that he had illegally re-entered the country after a previous removal, and that the immigration officer had obtained an order of deportation or removal. The detainer requested that juvenile hall maintain custody of the minor for a period not to exceed 48 hours beyond the time when he would otherwise be ...


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