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Name: In re G.F.
Case #: B276109
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 05/30/2017
Summary

In a case where a delinquency petition was filed, juvenile court erred by failing to seal minor’s record under Welfare and Institutions Code section 786 after he completed informal supervision. The District Attorney filed a Welfare and Institutions Code section 602 petition alleging G.F. possessed a sharpened letter opener at school (Pen. Code, § 626.10, subd. (a)). However, at the arraignment hearing, the District Attorney moved to dismiss the petition and proceed with informal supervision “pursuant to [Welfare and Institutions Code section] 654.” After G.F. satisfactorily completed the period of informal supervision, he moved to seal the juvenile records under Welfare and Institutions Code section 786. The District Attorney opposed the motion on the ground that section 786 applied only to informal supervision under Welfare and Institutions Code section 654.2, not section 654. The juvenile court agreed and denied the motion. G.F. appealed. Held: Reversed and remanded. Section 786 requires dismissal of the petition and record sealing when a minor completes “(1) an informal program of supervision pursuant to Section 654.2, (2) probation under Section 725, or (3) a term of probation for any offense . . . .” Section 786 does not expressly require sealing when a minor completes informal supervision pursuant to section 654, but this is only because supervision under section 654 is supposed to be undertaken in lieu of the filing of a petition. Once a petition is filed, the minor’s program of supervision is governed by section 654.2, not section 654. Since a petition was filed in this case, it should have proceeded under section 654.2 rather than section 654. As such, G.F.’s records are eligible for sealing under section 786. G.F.’s failure to oppose the District Attorney’s request for dismissal pursuant to section 654 was not dispositive because the statute does not recognize or contemplate this procedure.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/B276109M.PDF