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Name: In re G.B.
Case #: A152105
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 05/31/2018
Summary

Probation condition requiring minor to obtain probation officer’s approval before changing his residence was not unconstitutional. Following a contested jurisdictional hearing, the juvenile court sustained allegations in a delinquency petition that G.B. possessed a concealable firearm in violation of Penal Code section 29610. He was placed on juvenile probation. On appeal, G.B. challenged four of his conditions of probation, including one that prohibited him from changing his residence without prior approval from his probation officer. He argued that the condition is facially overbroad, unconstitutionally restricts his right to travel and associate with his family, and grants arbitrary decisionmaking power to the probation officer to veto his future choice of residence “for any reason or no reason at all.” Held: Affirmed as to this condition. As an initial matter, the Court of Appeal concluded that G.B. forfeited his right to challenge the residency change approval condition by failing to object in the juvenile court. Even if it considered the issue on the merits, the court would conclude that the condition is not unconstitutional. It is permissible to impose limitations on a probationer’s movements to facilitate supervision, rehabilitation, and compliance with the terms of conditional release. While the same condition may be subject to greater scrutiny when imposed on an adult, juveniles are more in need of guidance and supervision than adults, their constitutional rights are more limited, and therefore the court has broader power to fashion conditions for a juvenile ward than for an adult.

Probation condition prohibiting minor’s presence on school campus unless he is enrolled in the school was modified to also allow his presence if accompanied by a parent or guardian or responsible adult, or authorized by school authorities. The juvenile court imposed a probation condition forbidding G.B.’s presence on a school campus unless enrolled. On appeal, G.B. and the Attorney General agreed that the probation condition should be modified based on In re D.G. (2010) 187 Cal.App.4th 47 as follows: Minor is not to be on a school campus unless enrolled, accompanied by a parent or guardian or responsible adult, or authorized by the permission of school authorities.

Probation condition prohibiting minor’s presence in a specifically identified park is not unconstitutionally overbroad or vague. Another condition of G.B.’s probation required him to “[s]tay out of Riverview Park in Pittsburg, CA.” G.B. argued that the condition is unconstitutionally overbroad because it impinges on his right to travel, and unconstitutionally vague because it does not reasonably inform him where Riverview Park begins and ends. The Court of Appeal disagreed. A condition that prohibits a minor from being present in a specific location does not unconstitutionally restrict his right to travel and is not unconstitutionally vague. A restriction from a specific location is too de minimis to implicate the constitutional travel right. As for whether the minor knows the boundaries of the identified park, he would be in violation only if his conduct is willful. Identifying the specific park to be avoided sufficiently put G.B. on notice of what is required.

Probation condition requiring minor to have peaceful contact with law enforcement is unconstitutionally vague. The juvenile court also imposed a probation condition that required G.B. “to have peaceful contact only with all law enforcement.” The court explained that this meant G.B. “just cannot act aggressively toward law enforcement specifically” and was not meant to abridge his First Amendment rights. G.B. argued this condition was unconstitutionally vague and the Court of Appeal agreed. “The condition requiring appellant to have only “peaceful” contact with law enforcement does not give fair warning what conduct is required or prohibited, nor does it provide guidance as to what would constitute a violation.” The juvenile court’s explanation at the disposition hearing did little to help clarify. “Peaceful” or “aggressive” contact cover a wide range of potential behavior and people of ordinary intelligence disagree as to what constitutes peaceful or aggressive behavior. Because the parties did not propose a modification of the condition that would remedy its ambiguity or add anything not already covered by the other probation conditions imposed by the juvenile court (one of G.B.’s probation conditions already required him to “obey all laws”), the court struck this condition.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/A152105M.PDF