California Court of Appeals, First District, First Division
In re A.V., a Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
A.V., Defendant and Appellant.
County Superior Court No. J-38094 Hon. Kenneth J. Gnoss
S. Hollar, under appointment by the Court of Appeal under the
First District Appellate Assistant Case System, for Defendant
Kathleen A. Kenealy, Acting Attorney General, Gerald A.
Engler and Jeffrey M. Laurence, Assistant Attorneys General,
Donna M. Provenzano and Christina Vom Saal, Deputy Attorneys
General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.
case presents a question of statutory interpretation:
Whether, under Welfare and Institutions Code section 786,
a ward's compliance with his
or her probation can be satisfactory for dismissal purposes,
and yet unsatisfactory for record-sealing purposes.
We hold it cannot. The court has the discretion under section
786 to find the ward has or has not substantially complied
with his probation so as to be deemed to have satisfactorily
completed it; but if the court finds the ward in substantial
compliance so that he or she has satisfactorily completed
probation, the court must dismiss the petition and
seal the ward's records in accordance with the statute.
We remand this matter to the juvenile court for sealing of
A.V.'s juvenile records, as specified in section 786.
STATEMENT OF THE CASE AND FACTS
September 2014, the Sonoma County District Attorney filed a
section 602 wardship petition charging minor A.V., age 15,
with felony possession of marijuana for sale and misdemeanor
possession of concentrated cannabis. (Health & Saf. Code,
§§ 11359, 11357, subd. (a).) Three juveniles were
caught with hash oil and an electronic vapor cigarette on
their high school campus. One of the juveniles told the
police he bought them from A.V. When questioned by police,
A.V. admitted he sold the items to his classmate. He later
admitted to probation he used marijuana regularly.
admitted the truth of the allegations with the understanding
the court would consider placing him on deferred entry of
judgment (DEJ) probation. At disposition, the court placed
A.V. on DEJ probation on the conditions, among others, that
he complete 150 hours of community service work, write a 1,
000-word essay about the effects of marijuana on the
adolescent brain, refrain from using or possessing alcohol or
drugs, particularly marijuana, and participate in and
complete outpatient substance abuse counseling.
March 2, 2015, probation filed a report indicating that A.V.
was regularly attending school, passing all of his classes,
had zero disciplinary referrals, was actively working towards
completion of his community service hours and was attending
an alcohol and drug offender class. He had tested negative
for intoxicating substances since his review hearing in
on March 4 and 17, probation filed notices of noncompliance,
alleging A.V. violated his DEJ probation by using marijuana
and cocaine. On March 2, he tested positive for THC and
cocaine. He also tested positive for THC on March 18. On
April 1, 2015, probation reported that A.V. admitted he had
smoked some marijuana he had acquired before he was placed on
probation, because he was depressed about a medical diagnosis
he had received. He was unsure why he tested positive for
cocaine, because he did not use cocaine. His mother confirmed
the medical diagnosis and depression. In other respects, A.V.
was in compliance with his probation. He had completed the
drug and alcohol offender class through California Offender
Program Services, had submitted the essay as directed by the
court, and had begun Interactive Journaling.
April 9, 2015, the court vacated deferred entry of judgment,
imposed judgment, declared A.V. a ward of the court, and
placed him on juvenile probation on the same and additional
conditions of probation, including fines and DNA testing. The
court, Judge Hardcastle presiding, stated: “[Y]ou still
have an opportunity to successfully complete probation. If
you do that, you will then have to petition the court for a
sealing of the records at the appropriate time. It won't
be done automatically, as it would have been done before. So
it's not the end of the world. You still have a chance,
as I say, to get it sealed, but that depends on 100 percent
April 20, 2015, the probation department filed a notice of
probation violation (§ 777) alleging that A.V. used
marijuana and violated his 7:00 p.m. curfew and the terms of
his community detention, by testing positive for marijuana on
April 9, 2015, and leaving his house in the middle of the
night while on community detention. This resulted in
A.V.'s first experience in juvenile hall, where he had no
negative behavioral reports and excelled in sports
activities. A.V. attributed his marijuana use to stress and
the influence of his current peer group, from which he
intended to disassociate himself. Due to A.V.'s
“record of successfully completing probation programs,
excellent reports from his school, and his family support
network, ” the probation department's screening
committee unanimously agreed that home removal would not be
appropriate at this time.
April 21, 2015, A.V. admitted a probation violation. On May
5, 2015, the juvenile court reinstated probation on the same
and additional terms and conditions, including that A.V.
spend 30 to 45 days in juvenile hall.
October 19, 2015, the probation department filed a notice of
probation violation (§ 777) alleging that A.V. used
marijuana on October 12 and was cited by police for
possessing marijuana on school grounds on October ...