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R.E. v. Superior Court (The People)

California Court of Appeals, Sixth District

November 20, 2019

R.E., Petitioner,
v.
THE SUPERIOR COURT OF SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Respondent THE PEOPLE, Real Party in Interest.

          Santa Clara County Superior Court No. 15JV41464H & I Hon. Katherine Lucero Trial Judge

          Counsel for Real Party in Interest: The People Xavier Becerra Attorney General Gerald A. Engler Chief Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey M. Laurence Senior Assistant Attorney General Laurence K. Sullivan Supervising Deputy Attorney General René A. Chacón Supervising Deputy Attorney General

          Counsel for Petitioner: R.E. By appointment of the Court under the Santa Clara County Independent Defense Counsel Office Eric Weaver Lana M. Kreidie

         Counsel for Respondent: Superior Court of Santa Clara County, Juvenile Division No appearance for respondent

          Premo, J.

         Minor R.E. petitions for a writ of mandate challenging respondent court's order granting the People's motion to transfer him from juvenile court to a court of criminal jurisdiction. (See Welf. & Inst. Code, § 707, subd. (a)(1).)[1]

         On appeal, R.E. argues the juvenile court erred in granting the motion to transfer because it incorrectly determined it lacked authority to order him into custody on a probation violation once he turns 19. R.E. also argues that the probation department's delay in producing a “ranch failure” report violated his right to due process.

         We agree the juvenile court erred in concluding it would not have the authority to order R.E. into custody if he violated probation after turning 19.[2] We will therefore issue a peremptory writ commanding respondent court to vacate the challenged order and issue a new order denying the motion to transfer.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         In April and June 2018, the Santa Clara County District Attorney filed juvenile wardship petitions (§ 602, subd. (a)) alleging that petitioner R.E., who was born in June 2000 and had been a ward of the juvenile court since 2016, committed two separate first degree burglaries (Pen. Code, § 460, subd. (a)), one in January 2018 and the other in April 2018.

         A. Motion to transfer

         On the basis of the April and June 2018 wardship petitions, the district attorney moved to transfer R.E. to adult criminal court. (§ 707, subd. (a); see also Cal. Rules of Court, rule 5.766(a).)

         1. Probation officer's report

         In July 2018, the probation officer prepared her report for the transfer hearing, recommending that R.E. be transferred to adult court. In her report, the probation officer recounted R.E.'s juvenile criminal history, which began when he was declared a ward of the court in January 2016. R.E. was continued as a ward of the court in February and again in April 2016 for violating his probation by not adhering to court orders, failing drug tests, refusing to attend school, etc.

         In June 2017, R.E. was ordered to a ranch program following his involvement in several offenses including carjacking, vehicle theft, and robbery. He completed the custodial portion of the ranch program in December 2017 and was placed on the “Ranch Pre-Release program.” However, after testing positive for drugs and missing school, R.E. was returned to the ranch in January 2018. R.E. went back and forth between the ranch and the pre-release program for ...


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