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In re Elijah C.

California Court of Appeals, Second District, First Division

June 30, 2016

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

          Order Filed 7/27/16

         APPEAL from an order of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. No. VJ43366, Fumiko Hachiya Wasserman, Judge.

          Esther R. Sorkin, 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, Margaret E. Maxwell, and William H. Shin, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

         ORDER MODIFYING THE OPINION AND DENYING PETITION FOR REHEARING

         THE COURT:

         It is ordered that the opinion filed in the above-entitled matter on June 30, 2016, be modified in the following manner:

         On page 8, line 3, the following sentence is deleted: Although Elijah did not yet have the right to counsel under the Sixth Amendment because no petition had yet been filed, he faced what was in effect a critical stage of the prosecution.

         This modification does not constitute a change in the judgment.

         The petition for rehearing is denied.

          ROTHSCHILD, P.J.

         In this case, we consider whether a minor’s purported waiver of the statute of limitations for an offense is valid, when that waiver was made without consultation with counsel and before a petition against the minor was filed. We conclude that the answer is no.

         Appellant Elijah C. signed a document waiving the one-year statute of limitations for petty theft as a condition of entering a diversion program for first-time offenders. More than a year later, the district attorney’s office found that Elijah had not complied with all the requirements of the program, terminated his involvement in it, and filed a petition alleging he committed petty theft. The juvenile court overruled Elijah’s demurrer, sustained the petition, and adjudged him a ward of the court. We reverse.

         FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS BELOW

         On March 7, 2012, Elijah, who was then 14 years old, visited a friend’s house. Valerie Hernandez, the friend’s mother, saw Elijah playing with Hernandez’s iPod Touch. After Elijah left, Hernandez noticed that the iPod was missing. When police officers confronted ...


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