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In re L.W.

California Court of Appeals, Second District, Sixth Division

January 7, 2020

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

          Superior Court County of Los Angeles No. PJ52813, Fred J. Fujioka, Judge, Morton Rochman, Judge

          Courtney M. Selan, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant.

          Xavier Becerra, Attorney General, Lance E. Winters, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Zee Rodriguez and Stephanie C. Santoro, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

          PERREN, J.

         L.W. was charged in a juvenile wardship petition with committing sexual battery against two minor females. (Welf. & Inst. Code, [1] § 602; Pen. Code, § 243.4, subd. (e)(1).) Prior to adjudication, and without any prior notice to L.W. or his counsel, the juvenile court issued temporary restraining orders against appellant as to the two alleged victims pursuant to section 213.5 and rule 5.630 of the California Rules of Court (rule 5.630). Following a noticed hearing held prior to adjudication, the court issued a three-year restraining order as to both alleged victims.

         L.W. appeals from both the temporary restraining orders and the three-year restraining order.[2] He contends the temporary restraining orders were erroneously granted without notice, and that the three-year restraining order was not supported by substantial evidence. We agree with the first contention but reject the second. We affirm.


         In February 2018, appellant (who was then 14 years old) was charged in a section 602 petition with assault with a deadly weapon (Pen. Code, § 245, subd. (a)(1)), false imprisonment by violence (id., § 236), and resisting a peace officer (id., § 148, subd. (a)(1)). He was ordered detained. Pursuant to a negotiated disposition, appellant admitted the assault and the court sustained the petition as to that count, dismissed the other counts, and ordered appellant placed home on probation with various terms and conditions.

         On October 5, 2018, appellant was charged in a subsequent wardship petition with committing sexual battery against 14-year-old minors S.G. (count 1) and C.M. (count 2). At the November 13, 2018 arraignment hearing, the prosecutor requested that the court issue temporary restraining orders against appellant as to S.G. and C.M. Defense counsel objected on the ground that the prosecution had not satisfied the requirements for the issuance of temporary restraining orders without notice, as set forth in Code of Civil Procedure section 527, subdivision (c). The prosecutor countered that applications for temporary restraining orders in juvenile cases are governed by rule 5.630(d), which makes no mention of Code of Civil Procedure section 527.

         The court concluded that “the rule of court applies” and granted the temporary restraining orders, which were prepared on form JV-250 as provided in rule 5.630(d). After the court made its ruling, the prosecutor sought to “make a record” by orally adding “[i]t's alleged... that at a high school football game [appellant] grabbed one victim and began touching her breast and vagina against her consent and then went on to touching another victim in a similar way trying to unbutton her pants. These are the facts under which the People are submitting this temporary restraining order request.” Defense counsel objected to the prosecutor's offer of proof on the ground “[i]t does not comply with what is required by law.” The court overruled the objection. In accordance with section 213.5, a noticed hearing on the restraining orders was set for December 4, 2018.

         At the December 4 hearing, the prosecutor presented the testimony of Los Angeles Unified School District Police Officer Leo Gil.[3] On September 12, 2018, Officer Gil interviewed S.G. and C.M. S.G. told the officer she was at a high school football game on the night of September 7 when appellant pulled her by the arm, hugged and touched her, and rubbed her vagina over her clothing. Appellant also asked S.G. if she was “horny.” She pulled away from him and left with her friend. C.M. told Officer Gil that appellant approached her at the football game that same evening, said “I want you, ” and touched her breast and vagina over her clothing. Appellant also tried to unbuckle C.M.'s pants, but she told him to stop and pulled away from him.

         At the conclusion of the hearing, the prosecutor argued: “I believe the court has before it evidence showing good cause to issue this restraining order. There were two victims here who were assaulted... within an hour of each other, both taken to an area that the minor had exclusive access to them. Both were contacted by the minor physically. He touched their breasts, their vaginas. In the case of the second victim, [C.M.], he attempted to unbutton her pants.... [¶] Additionally, this court is able to look at the record of [appellant] in determining whether good cause has been shown to issue a restraining order. [Appellant] is on probation for [an assault] against his mother. He's also on probation [for another assault] in Maryland. So the People believe there's good cause for this court to issue a restraining order.”

         Appellant countered among other things that the order could not be issued because “[t]here has been no good cause to establish that my client, after the alleged incidents, intimidated, dissuaded any victims, alleged victims. There's no evidence presented that an emergency existed at the time the People are seeking this restraining order. This incident happened on allegedly September 7, 2018. The officer didn't interview them until September 12, 2018, and my client has not been at that school... for at least a few months. So in light of that, I don't believe that there's the requisite justification for the court to sign off on this restraining order.”

         The court found good cause for the restraining order and signed and issued an order providing that appellant shall not “contact, threaten, stalk, or disturb the peace of” S.G. and C.M. for a period of three years. The order also states that appellant “must stay 100 yards away” from S.G. and C.M. and ...

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