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Name: In re Edward B.
Case #: A148887
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 03/21/2017

Probation condition prohibiting minor from associating with gang members was unreasonable under People v. Lent (1975) 15 Cal.3d 481. Edward B. snatched a woman’s purse out of her hand and ran away. He was adjudged a ward after he admitted misdemeanor grand theft from the person and was placed on probation with a number of terms. He objected to the imposition of a condition that prohibited him from associating with anyone known to him to be a gang member or associate. On appeal, he challenged the condition was unreasonable under Lent. Held: Condition stricken. Under the Lent test, a probation condition is unreasonable if it “(1) has no relationship to the crime of which the offender was convicted, (2) relates to conduct which is not in itself criminal, and (3) requires or forbids conduct which is not reasonably related to future criminality[.]” (Lent, supra, 15 Cal.3d 481, 486.) Here, associating with gang members is not in itself criminal. Furthermore the nexus between Edward B.’s offense and gang activity or between the gang condition and future criminality is lacking. There was no evidence that Edward is or was a gang member. Edward’s father told the probation officer that an older man may have directed Edward to steal the purse and the probation officer observed that older gang members sometimes tell younger members to commit crimes because the punishment will be less severe if they are caught. However, “[a]ny connection between Edward’s offense and gang activity is speculation. And in the absence of evidence of gang affiliation or association with gang members or risk of gang involvement on Edward’s part, the gang condition is not tailored to his future criminality.”

Probation condition prohibiting minor’s presence on school property unless enrolled is not void for vagueness. The court also imposed a probation condition prohibiting Edward from being on school property unless he was an enrolled student. On appeal, Edward argued that the condition was facially vague for lacking a knowledge requirement. The Court of Appeal disagreed. The Supreme Court has recently clarified that probation violations must be willful. (People v. Hall (2017) 2 Cal.5th 494, 501.) “Therefore, Edward will not violate the school campus provision if, as he hypothesizes, he should simply happen to find himself to be present on a school campus without knowing it.”

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