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Name: In re A.A.
Case #: B289821
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 12/20/2018

Minor’s First Amendment rights were not violated by a probation condition prohibiting him from posting on social media about his case. During juvenile court proceedings against A.A., the court admonished him for posting a photo of his court subpoena with a caption describing himself as a 16-year-old felon and a subsequent video of A.A. dancing in front of the courthouse. The court sustained a petition alleging A.A. committed battery with serious bodily injury and placed him on probation with a condition prohibiting him from discussing his case on social media. On appeal, A.A. challenged the probation condition as vague and overbroad in violation of his First Amendment freedom of speech rights. Held: Affirmed. A juvenile court has broad discretion in imposing probation conditions it determines are “fitting and proper to the end that justice may be done,” and a condition that is consistent with the rehabilitative purpose of probation is not overbroad. Here, the restriction on social media postings is precise, narrow, and reasonably tailored to address A.A.’s posting conduct and rehabilitation. The court found that A.A. “showed disrespect for the court process when he posted the courthouse-musical video” and that his “attempt to entertain his friends at the expense of the juvenile court’s dignity is not to be appreciated.” The postings had the potential to embarrass the victim who was undergoing therapy for his injuries. The probation condition was necessary to protect the victim and supervise A.A.’s rehabilitation.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: