Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re A.C.

California Court of Appeals, Second District, Sixth Division

July 9, 2019

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

          Superior Court County of Los Angeles Super. Ct. No. PJ52736 Fred J. Fujioka, Judge

          Gerald Peters, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.

          Xavier Becerra, Attorney General, Gerald A. Engler, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Lance E. Winters, Assistant Attorney General, Zee Rodriguez, Paul S. Thies, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

          GILBERT, P. J.

         A.C., a ward of the juvenile court, made statements to an in-home counselor who interpreted them as threats. The juvenile court sustained a Welfare and Institutions Code section 602 petition and found that A.C. violated his conditions of probation by making criminal threats. (Pen. Code, § 422, subd. (a).)[1] A.C. appeals.

         We conclude that statements A.C. made to a counselor are admissible because they do not fall within the psychotherapist-patient privilege. (Evid. Code, § 1014.) We also conclude A.C.'s statements do not violate his conditions of probation. We reverse.

         FACTS

         After sustaining a Welfare and Institutions Code section 602 petition, the juvenile court placed A.C. home on probation. Probation condition 6 provided, “You must not unlawfully threaten, hit, fight with, or use physical force on any person.” Probation condition 14 provided, “You must not have, possess or act like you possess an object you know is a dangerous or deadly weapon. You must not knowingly have or possess a replica gun.”

         A few months later, the People filed a notice of violation of probation, alleging, among other things, that A.C.: 1) “threatened his peers at school, ” 2) may be in danger of hurting himself, 3) is not on medication, and 4) has not seen a psychiatrist. The People requested A.C. be detained pending a hearing on the violation of his probation conditions.

         At the hearing, Ana Burgos, a “child and family counselor” with “Family Preservation, ” testified she was the “in-home counselor assigned to [A.C.'s] family.” She did not provide “one-on-one therapy sessions.” She only assessed the needs of the family and “provid[ed] linkages” so the family and A.C. could receive mental health services.

         A.C.'s counsel objected, claiming Burgos's testimony was inadmissible because it would reveal A.C.'s statements that are protected by the psychotherapist-patient privilege. The juvenile court ruled the objection was premature. It said, “[Y]ou're required to assert the privilege every time you feel the privilege has been violated. [Y]ou need to do it at the specific point when the privilege needs to be invoked.”

         Burgos testified that prior to sessions with minors she advises them that their statements “will be private except if [she] hear[s] that the life of a child or anybody else is in danger.” The prosecutor asked whether any of A.C.'s statements fell within this exception. A.C.'s counsel objected on the grounds of privilege. The juvenile court overruled the objection.

         Burgos testified that A.C. told her that he did not want to go to school. Some students “were bullying him.” A.C. said if he went to school, “and the kids teased him, he was going to react”; he was going to “basically stab them with whatever he had available”; and he “was serious about it.” He referred to two students, but he did not give Burgos their names. His mother was present when he made the statements. Burgos contacted her supervisor to report A.C.'s statements. A psychiatric emergency team was dispatched and came to the residence. A.C. was interviewed and was eventually admitted to a hospital.

         The juvenile court found A.C. violated probation conditions 6 and 14. It said Burgos's actions in reporting A.C.'s ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.