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Name: In re M.B.
Case #: B295284
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 01/13/2020

Subsequent history: None at this time.
M.B. appealed a disposition order entered after the juvenile court sustained five petitions (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 602) for, inter alia, first degree residential burglary. (Pen. Code, § 459.) The trial court declared M.B. a ward of the court, placed him in a camp community program, and ordered him to pay the mandatory minimum $100 restitution fine. (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 730.6, subd. (b)(1).) On appeal, M.B. relied on Dueñas to argue that ordering him to pay the $100 restitution fine violates his due process rights because the trial court did not determine whether he had the financial ability to pay such a fine.


  • The Dueñas court’s analysis of criminal restitution fines under Penal Code section 1202.4 is inapplicable to restitution fines imposed in the juvenile court under section 730.6. None of the considerations that were at play in Dueñas were present in this case.
  • For reference: Section 730.6 requires that the juvenile court impose a restitution fine of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000 on any minor found to be a person described in section 602 by reason of the commission of one or more felony offenses. (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 730.6, subd. (b)(1).) Like its criminal counterpart, the juvenile restitution statute provides for a mandatory minimum restitution fine in felony cases and states that the fine “shall be imposed regardless of the minor’s inability to pay.” (Id., subd. (c).) “A separate hearing for the [restitution] fine shall not be required.” (Id., (b)(1).) The statute also provides that in imposing a section 730.6 fine, the trial court “shall consider any relevant factors including, but not limited to, the minor’s ability to pay . . . .” (Id., (d)(1).) It further provides that “[t]he consideration of minor’s ability to pay may include his . . . future earning capacity” and “[the] minor shall bear the burden of demonstrating a lack of his . . . ability to pay.” (Id., subd. (d)(2); see also § 730.7, subd. (a) [future earning capacity of minor’s parent or guardian may also be considered].)
  • To the extent that Dueñas purports to state a rule of California criminal procedure, the court here questioned whether the Court of Appeal, as opposed to the Supreme Court, has the authority to do so.
  • The court also stated it is not bound by a sister appellate court opinion and that it is obligated to follow California Constitution, article VI, section 13 (stating that no judgment shall be set aside based on specified errors unless the error resulted in a miscarriage of justice). The court could not say that a $100 mandatory juvenile restitution fine resulted in a miscarriage of justice.
  • Justice Yegan authored a concurring opinion that was critical of the Dueñas decision.