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Name: In re Jose C.
Case #: D049525
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 10/01/2007
Subsequent History: 1/16/08: rev. granted (S158043)

The state juvenile court properly had jurisdiction over a minor who violated a federal law. A juvenile court found true an allegation that 16-year-old Jose committed a federal offense of bringing aliens into the United States, and that therefore he fell within the court’s jurisdiction under Welfare and Institutions Code section 602. On appeal, Jose contended that the state court had no jurisdiction over him because the sole basis of the juvenile petition was a federal offense. The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed. The state has concurrent jurisdiction over all cases brought under federal law. Congress did not intend to give federal courts exclusive jurisdiction over juvenile delinquency cases based solely upon a federal law violation. Nor is there clear incompatibility between state court jurisdiction and federal interests. The state has a strong interest in ensuring that minors who violate laws, state or federal, obtain the protective and rehabilitative objectives of the state juvenile justice system.