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Name: In re Kenneth S.
Case #: B178488
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 09/21/2005

A juvenile questioned alone in a room at the police station was not in custody for the purposes of Miranda v. Arizona (1966) 384 U.S. 436 where his foster parent voluntarily brought him to the police station. Before the disposition hearing in this case, the minor successfully moved for a new trial on the ground that the then-recent decision in Missouri v. Seibert (2004) 542 U.S. 600 established that he was in custody at the time that he confessed to the offense, and that because he had not received any Miranda warnings, his confession should not have been admitted. The juvenile court agreed and dismissed the petition with prejudice when the People were unable to proceed on retrial. The People appealed from the granting of the motion for new trial and the order of dismissal, arguing that the minor was not in custody at the time of the confession. The minor first argued that the court lacked jurisdiction to consider the appeal, but the court found that the minor had impliedly waived jeopardy by moving for a new trial, and thus the appeal was properly filed under Welfare and Institutions Code section 800(b)(4). The court went on to reverse the order granting a new trial, noting that the minor’s foster mother had voluntarily brought him to the police station, that the minor had been informed that he was not under arrest and that he was free to leave, and that he had been informed that police had information indicating that he had committed a crime. Under the circumstances, he was not in custody and Miranda warnings were not required.