California Court of Appeals, Second District, Sixth Division
In re A.N., a Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
A.N., Defendant and Appellant.
Court County No. 2015040294 of Ventura William R. Redmond,
Stephen P. Lipson, Public Defender, Michael C. McMahon, Chief
Deputy Public Defender, William Quest, Senior Deputy Public
Defender, for Defendant and Appellant.
California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc., Franchesca S.
Verdin, Monica De La Hoya and Cynthia L. Rice, as Amicus
Curiae on behalf of Defendant and Appellant.
D. Harris and Xavier Becerra, Attorneys General, Gerald A.
Engler, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Lance E. Winters,
Senior Assistant Attorney General, Scott A. Taryle,
Supervising Deputy Attorney General, Tannaz Kouhpainezhad,
Deputy Attorney General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.
refused to go to school. She demonstrated her unwavering
commitment to avoiding an education when she earned more than
25 unexcused absences during the first half of the academic
year. As required, school officials made a
“conscientious effort” to meet with A.N. and her
parents to address her absenteeism. (Ed. Code, §
48262.) They then referred her case to the
School Attendance Review Board (SARB). (§ 48263.) But
A.N.'s behavior never changed. School officials thus
turned to the juvenile court in their continuing effort to
compel A.N.'s attendance. She objects, contending that
the juvenile court lacks jurisdiction because school
officials failed to sequence their disciplinary and
counseling resources in conformity with law. We disagree.
officials did everything they could and should do to
educate-not abandon-A.N., and they did so in conformity with
the law. The juvenile court properly determined that
“available public and private services [were]
insufficient or inappropriate to correct [A.N.'s]
habitual truancy... or to correct [her] persistent or
habitual refusal to obey the reasonable and proper orders or
directions of school authorities.” (Welf. & Inst.
Code, § 601, subd. (b).) We affirm.
high school principal sent her parents a notice of truancy
after she accumulated four unexcused absences during the
first month of the school year. One week later, the principal
sent a second notice that documents five more unexcused
absences. Her principal later sent a third truancy notice.
This notice states that A.N. accrued 10 more absences and
would be classified as a habitual truant. It also states that
a referral may be made to the SARB. The SARB meeting was held
the following month. A.N. accumulated six more unexcused
absences before the SARB meeting, and another after it.
weeks before the SARB meeting, the district attorney filed a
petition in juvenile court to have A.N. declared a habitual
truant under section 48262. The court held a hearing on the
petition four months later. The court sustained the petition,
deemed A.N. a habitual truant, and ordered her to pay a $50
contends that the juvenile court lacked jurisdiction to hear
the petition because school officials and the district
attorney did not adhere to the requirements set forth in
section 48264.5. We disagree.
student who accrues three or more unexcused absences during
the school year shall be reported truant to the school's
attendance supervisor. (§ 48260, subd. (a).) The school
shall also notify the student's parents of the truancy.
(§ 48260.5.) If the student earns another unexcused
absence, he or she shall again be reported truant to the
attendance supervisor. (§ 48261.) A student reported
truant a third time will be deemed a habitual truant and may
be referred to, and required to meet with, the SARB.
(§§ 48262, 48263, 48264.5, subd. (c).) If the
student subsequently fails to comply with the SARB's
directives, or is truant a fourth time (i.e., accrues six or
more unexcused absences), he or she falls within the juvenile
court's jurisdiction. (§ 48264.5, subd. (d); Welf.
& Inst. Code, § 601, subd. (b).)
juvenile court properly exercised jurisdiction here. The
first notice of truancy lists four of A.N.'s unexcused
absences-one more than required under section 48260. The
second notice lists an additional five-four more than
required under section 48261. The third lists an additional
10-nine more than required under section 48262. A.N.
accumulated seven more unexcused absences after that.
Twenty-six unexcused absences during the first half of the
school year exceeds the four-truancy ...