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Name: In re E.P. (2023) 89 Cal.App.5th 409
Case #: B319738
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 03/17/2023

Remand for a new fitness hearing was warranted due to significant changes made to Welfare and Institutions Code section 707 by Assembly Bill No. 2361 (effective 1/1/2023). Following a fitness hearing for a delinquency case involving murder and attempted murder allegations, the juvenile court found E.P. unfit to be treated under the juvenile law based on the standards set forth in former section 707 and transferred the case to criminal court. E.P. appealed. Held: Reversed. Recent amendments changed section 707, including increasing the prosecution’s burden from the preponderance of the evidence to clear and convincing, making the question of whether the minor is amenable to rehabilitation while under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court the ultimate question for the juvenile court to decide, and requiring a statement of reasons supporting the juvenile court’s finding that a minor is not amenable to rehabilitation while under its jurisdiction. The parties agreed that E.P. was entitled to the benefit of amended 707 because the case was not final. The Court of Appeal concluded the prosecution is entitled to a new fitness hearing so the juvenile court can consider all five factors set forth in section 707 together in determining whether E.P. is amenable to treatment. [Editor’s Note: The Court of Appeal also concluded E.P. forfeited the claim that the prosecution did not establish a prima facie case of murder or attempted murder because he did not make the required motion under California Rules of Court, rule 5.766(c). But, in any event, there was sufficient evidence of a prima facie case for murder.]

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