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Name: In re Calvin S.
Case #: C051191
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/01/2007

The Fourth Amendment does not preclude the collection of DNA samples from a juvenile adjudicated as a 602 for committing a felony. A petition was sustained which alleged the minor had committed a felony car theft. The minor was required to provide DNA samples for submission to the state’s DNA Databank, under Penal Code section 296. On appeal, he contended that section 296, as it related to juveniles, violated the Fourth Amendment. The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed. The authorities are consistent in holding that extracting DNA samples from an adult felon is not an unreasonable search and seizure. The minor argued, however, that juveniles have special privacy interests that lead to a different constitutional result. The appellate court agreed that the juvenile’s relationship to the state and public policy favoring confidentiality of juvenile proceedings are factors which should be considered in balancing the competing interests. However, those factors do not tip the balance. The intrusion into a juvenile’s Fourth Amendment interests, including his interest in the confidentiality of the proceedings, does not outweigh the legitimate government interest in DNA testing as an aid to law enforcement.