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Name: In re Joshua J.
Case #: F046430
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/12/2005
Subsequent History: rvw. den. 8/17/5

Appellant, a minor, fit the description of a wanted felon and was stopped by police, who patted him down for weapons. The officer felt a bulge in a pocket which he said felt like a bag of marijuana. The officer retrieved the bag and arrested the minor. Later it was discovered that the minor was on probation at the time of the search. The juvenile court denied the minor’s suppression motion, relying on In re Tyrell J. (1994) 8 Cal.4th 68. On appeal, the minor contended that the juvenile court erred in denying his motion because recent California Supreme Court opinions undermine Tyrell J. The appellate court agreed and reversed. People v. Sanders (2003) 31 Cal.4th 318 held that if an officer is unaware that a suspect is on probation and subject to a search condition, the search is not justified by the probation condition. After Sanders was published, the vitality of Tyrell J. remained an unanswered question. The question is whether the fruits of an unlawful search may properly be admitted into evidence against a juvenile based on a juvenile search condition of which the officer was unaware. The answer is no – not any more than it would be allowed against an adult.