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In re M.B.

California Court of Appeals, Second District, Sixth Division

January 13, 2020

IN RE M.B., a Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law.
v.
M.B., Defendant and Appellant. The People, Plaintiff and Respondent,

         [257 Cal.Rptr.3d 499] Superior Court County of Los Angeles, J. Christopher Smith, Judge (Super. Ct. No. YJ39017).

         COUNSEL

         Mary Bernstein, under appointment by the Court of Appeal for Defendant and Appellant.

         Xavier Becerra, Attorney General, Lance E. Winters, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Steven E. Mercer, Acting Supervising Deputy Attorney General, Esther P. Kim, Deputy Attorney General, for Plaintiff and Respondent

          OPINION

         YEGAN, Acting P. J.

Page 282

          Does "Dueñas " apply to a mandatory minimum juvenile restitution fine? (

Page 283

People v. Dueñas (2019) 30 Cal.App.5th 1157, 242 Cal.Rptr.3d 268 (Dueñas ).) No. This celebrated or denigrated case has its followers and detractors at the Court of Appeal. (See, e.g., People v. Belloso (2019) 42 Cal.App.5th 647, 255 Cal.Rptr.3d 640.) Here, Dueñas attempts to rear its head in juvenile jurisprudence. As we shall explain, even if this case is "good law," it does not apply to a mandatory minimum juvenile restitution fine.

         M.B. appeals a disposition order entered after the juvenile court sustained five petitions [257 Cal.Rptr.3d 500] (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 602)[1] for, inter alia, first degree residential burglary. (Pen. Code, § 459.) The trial court declared appellant a ward of the court, placed him in a camp community program, and ordered him to pay the mandatory minimum $100 restitution fine. (§ 730.6, subd. (b)(1).)

          Appellant claims that ordering him to pay the $100 restitution fine violates his due process rights because the trial court did not determine whether he had the financial ability to pay such a fine.

         We do not agree. Appellant was ordered to pay the mandatory minimum restitution fine allowable under section 730.6, subdivision (b)(1). The statute provides that in imposing a section 730.6 fine, the trial court "shall consider any relevant factors including, but not limited to, the minor’s ability to pay ...." (§ 730.6, subd. (d)(1).) It further provides that "[t]he consideration of minor’s ability to pay may include his ... future earning capacity" and "[the] minor shall bear the burden of demonstrating a lack of his ... ability to pay." (Id., subd. (d)(2); see also § 730.7, subd. (a) [future earning capacity of minor’s parent or guardian may also be considered].) The presumption is, and we believe, that the juvenile court followed these legislative directions.

         Dueñas involved a mandatory adult restitution fine (Pen. Code, § 1202.4) and assessments (Gov. Code, § 70373; Pen. Code, § 1465.8) in an adult criminal matter. (Dueñas, supra, 30 Cal.App.5th at pp. 1161-1162, 242 Cal.Rptr.3d 268.) After Dueñas was convicted of driving with a suspended license and granted probation, she requested a hearing on her ability to pay the fine and assessments. The trial court determined that the fine and assessments were mandatory and rejected defendant’s constitutional arguments. (Id. at p. 1163, 242 Cal.Rptr.3d 268.) The Court of Appeal reversed, concluding that due process requires that a trial court "conduct an ability to pay hearing and ascertain a defendant’s present ability to pay" before it imposes assessments under Penal Code section 1465.8 or Government Code section 70373. (D ...


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