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Name: In re A.C.
Case #: C073242
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 03/10/2014

Where a juvenile court’s order includes a maximum confinement term for a minor who is not removed from parental custody, the remedy is to strike the term. The juvenile court sustained a Welfare and Institutions Code section 602 petition alleging that the minor committed robbery and other offenses. He was not removed from parental custody but was released on home probation. Nevertheless, the court set a maximum confinement term. On appeal, the minor argued that this was error. Held: Maximum confinement term stricken. In In re Ali A. (2006) 139 Cal.App.4th 569, the Third District Court of Appeal held that it was error to set a maximum confinement term when the minor was not removed from parental custody. However, the court concluded that it was not necessary to strike the term from the order because it had no legal effect. In this opinion the court acknowledged that Ali A. had resulted in a debate on appeal whether to strike the term (see In re Matthew A. (2008) 165 Cal.App.4th 537) and that the erroneous inclusion of maximum terms in non-custodial orders continues, “unnecessarily depleting the limited resources of the judicial system.” To stop the error and quell the debate, the court concluded that the remedy is to strike the term.