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Name: In re Jorge G.
Case #: F043272
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/13/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 6/23/04

The minor was ordered to register as a gang member, pursuant to Penal Code section 186.30, subdivision (b)(3), [added by the Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention (STEP) Act, enacted by Proposition 21], as a condition of probation, after he admitted a juvenile petition charging him with disturbing the peace and resisting arrest. At a contested disposition hearing, he challenged the gang registration requirement. After testimony, the juvenile court found that the charges were gang-related, and therefore registration was required. On appeal, the minor contended that the statute was unconstitutionally vague. The appellate court disagreed but applied a limiting construction of the term “gang-related” by adopting the definition of “gang” provided by section 186.22, subdivision (e). Using that definition, there was insufficient evidence to find that the minor’s offenses were gang-related, and reversal and remand were required. There was evidence that the minor was a member of the Nortenos and committed the offenses while in the company of other Nortenos. But the record lacked sufficient evidence of the other requirements: that at least two predicate offenses be proved, and that the commission of the offenses was a primary activity of the group. Further, to assist upon remand, the court also found that the registration requirement which includes providing “any information that may be required” is not unconstitutionally vague or a violation of the separation of powers doctrine; nor did it violate the minor’s privilege against self-incrimination or right to free association or privacy. However, it construed the language of the statute to mean that the registrant may be required to provide information enabling law enforcement to identify and locate the registrant. Finally, the appellate court held that requiring the minor to register for five years did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment as applied to him because the offenses were comparatively minor. The fact that law enforcement can track the minor for five years does not shock the conscience.