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Name: In re I.V.
Case #: D070611
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/28/2017

Juvenile court made necessary findings as to minor’s special education needs (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 5.651(b)(2) when it imposed probation condition ordering him to enroll in a day center program instead of high school. The juvenile court adjudged 15-year-old I.V. a ward for vandalizing his house during an argument with his mom. He was placed on probation with a number of conditions, including one requiring him to attend the Reflections Day Center Program instead of high school. I.V. objected to the condition, arguing the court failed to make necessary findings as to special educational needs before ordering him to attend Reflections. Held: Affirmed. Children with disabilities have a right to education and an individualized education program (IEP). California Rules of Court, rule 5.651(b)(2) implements the IEP mandate in delinquency proceedings. Under this rule, the court’s findings and orders at the disposition hearing “must address whether the minor’s educational needs are being met and indicate any special education and related services, assessments, or evaluations the minor may need.” The juvenile court made the necessary findings in this case. Before concluding that I.V. would benefit from the structured environment at Reflections, the court considered I.V.’s poor grades and bad behavior, a social study disclosing that I.V. was in special education and had an IEP of an unknown date, and a recent psychological evaluation revealing no indications I.V. suffered from a learning disability. Although the juvenile court did not have a copy of I.V.’s IEP when it made these findings, rule 5.651(c) requires only that a child’s IEP be attached to any social study or probation report if available, and I.V.’s IEP was not available. The court distinguished In re Angela M. (2003) 111 Cal.App.4th 1392.

I.V. forfeited overbreadth challenge to standard probation search condition by failing to object on that ground when it was imposed. At the disposition hearing, the juvenile court imposed a probation condition requiring I.V. to submit his “person, property, or vehicle, and any property under [his] immediate custody or control to search at any time . . . .” On appeal, I.V. challenged the condition as facially overbroad because it may encompass searches of electronic devices and data, which he argued “threaten[ed] to reveal private information unlikely to shed any light on whether he is complying with his other conditions of probation.” The Court of Appeal concluded that the challenge was forfeited. While an appellate court may review a facial overbreadth challenge to a probation condition absent an objection below (In re Sheena K. (2007) 40 Cal.4th 875, 889), I.V.’s is not a facial challenge: “To address [his] claim, we would have to review the record to assess whether the condition is sufficiently tailored to I.V.’s rehabilitative needs.” Therefore, traditional forfeiture principles applied.

Standard probation condition permitting searches of minor’s “property” is not facially vague because it applies to tangible property only, not electronic data. I.V. argued that the term “property” as used in the standard search condition was unconstitutionally vague as to whether it included electronic devices and data. The Court of Appeal disagreed. Electronics search conditions are typically imposed separately, and here there was no indication the court intended to authorize searches of I.V.’s electronic data when it imposed the standard search condition. Given that the standard property search condition predates the digital era, it would not be reasonable to construe the condition to include searches of electronic data. The condition permits search of tangible physical property only and, so construed, is not unconstitutionally vague. The court noted that this interpretation is consistent with the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which limits government entities’ access to “electronic device information.” (See Pen. Code, § 1546.1, subd. (c)(1) [government entity may access electronic device information “if the device is seized from an authorized possessor of the device who is subject to an electronic device search as a clear and unambiguous condition of probation, mandatory supervision, or pretrial release”].)

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