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Name: In re Mark C.
Case #: A144875
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 01/28/2016

Probation condition requiring minor to submit “electronics including passwords” to search was unreasonable under People v. Lent (1975) 15 Cal.3d 481. Mark admitted an allegation in a juvenile delinquency petition that he possessed a knife with a blade longer than two and one-half inches on school grounds in violation of Penal Code section 626.10. The juvenile court adjudged him a ward and placed him on probation. Over his objection, the court imposed a search condition that covered electronics, including passwords, finding the condition absolutely necessary to ensure that Mark was not using drugs. On appeal, Mark argued that the search condition was invalid under People v. Lent. Held: Condition stricken. Under Lent, a probation condition is invalid if it (1) has no relationship to the crime of which the offender was convicted, (2) relates to conduct which is not in itself criminal, and (3) requires or forbids conduct which is not reasonably related to future criminality. Here, all those factors are met. There was no evidence that Mark used electronic devices or social media to facilitate his offense of possessing a knife on school grounds. The use of electronic devices is not in itself criminal, nor is using password-protected services, such as social media. Finally, there is simply nothing in the record that connected Mark’s use of electronics to illegal drugs. The court agreed with other courts that have stricken electronics search conditions under similar circumstances. (See In re J.B. (2015) 242 Cal.App.4th 749, 752; In re Erica R. (2015) 240 Cal.App.4th 907, 909-910.)

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: