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In re W.R.

California Court of Appeals, First District, First Division

November 6, 2017

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

         San Francisco County Superior Court, No. JW14-6119 Hon. Linda Colfax Trial Judge

          Jeffrey A. Glick, under appointment of the Court of Appeal under the First District Appellate Project, Independent Case System.

          Xavier Becerra, 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.

          DONDERO, J.

         INTRODUCTION

         Minor W.R. appeals from the San Francisco Superior Court's order denying his motion to seal certain records pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 786.[1] This appeal involves the meaning of the phrase “in the case” used in several subsections of that statute. We find that the phrase does not reference the entire juvenile court file, as the minor contends. Nevertheless, we conclude for other reasons the court should have sealed the records in a case dismissed as part of a plea bargain with another case; had the discretion under section 786, subdivision (e)(1) to seal the records pertaining to another petition in which the allegations were found not true; but did not have the discretion under section 786, subdivisions (b) or (e)(1) to seal the records pertaining to a petition filed subsequent to the last petition for which the minor was placed on probation. However, as to that petition, the minor may seek to have his records sealed pursuant to section 781. Thus, we reverse in part and affirm in part the court's orders and remand for further proceedings consistent with the views expressed in this opinion.

         STATEMENT OF THE CASE[2]

         A. Original San Mateo County Petition No. 82358.

         “On January 15, 2013, the San Mateo County District Attorney filed an original wardship petition under Welfare and Institutions Code section 602 charging appellant with possession of a dirk or dagger (Pen. Code, § 21310, count 1), battery (Pen. Code, § 242, count 2), and resisting arrest (Pen. Code, § 148, subd. (a)(1), count 3). At his jurisdictional hearing, appellant admitted a violation of count 1, with the remaining counts dismissed. At his disposition hearing, the court found minor a ward of the court and removed custody from his parents but ordered him to reside with his mother under the supervision of the Family Preservation Program.” (In re W.R., supra, A144659/A145118, at p. *2.)

         B. Second San Mateo County Petition No. 82358.

         “On July 24, 2013, the San Mateo District Attorney filed a second wardship petition accusing appellant of vandalism (Pen. Code, § 594, subd. (b)(2)(A)). The minor admitted the charge on August 14, 2013. Minor's supervision under the Family Preservation Program was extended and he was detained at the Youth Services Center for 24 consecutive days.” (In re W.R., supra, A144659/A145118, at p. *2.)

         C. Probation Violation Petitions in San Mateo County No. 82358.

         “The probation officer filed a notice of probation violation against appellant under... section 777, subdivision (a) on December 19, 2013. The petition alleged minor failed to attend the Community Care Program, was truant in school attendance, failed to observe curfew, and tested positive for marijuana. The minor admitted the truancy violation and the court dismissed the remaining allegations. As a result of the violation, the court ordered 30 consecutive days of detention.

         “On March 5, 2014, the juvenile probation department filed a new notice of probation violation. The notice alleged continued truancy, failure to attend Community Care Program, failure to follow his curfew restrictions, and positive tests for marijuana use. The minor admitted to truancy and the remaining contentions were dismissed. He was ordered detained for 45 consecutive days and the court terminated the original condition placing the minor in the Family Preservation Program. On April 17, 2014, the court permitted the minor to reside with his father at his home, as well as with his mother at her residence, after the probation officer agreed with the recommendation.

         “The San Mateo Superior Court ordered the minor's case transferred to San Francisco on April 28, 2014. San Francisco County did not accept the transfer and the case went back to San Mateo County on May 19, 2014.” (In re W.R., supra, A144659/A145118, at pp. *2-*3, italics added.)

         D. Third Petition Filed in San Francisco County No. JW14-6119.

         “On September 5, 2014, the San Francisco District Attorney filed a third wardship petition charging appellant with robbery (Pen. Code, § 211, count 1), assault by force likely to cause great bodily injury (Pen. Code, § 245, subd. (a)(4), count 2), and false personation (Pen. Code, § 148.9, subd. (a), count 3). After a contested jurisdiction hearing, the trial court found the allegations not true and returned the ...


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