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Name: In re Oscar A.
Case #: D062817
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 06/28/2013
Summary

Juvenile court did not abuse its discretion by ordering out-of-state placement of a minor where in-state facilities were not adequately addressing the minor’s needs and the higher level of care offered at the out-of-state facility would best serve his interests. After being declared a ward of the juvenile court in 2009, the minor admitted violating his probation on no fewer than ten times. He was initially placed with family but when he continued to violate conditions of probation, he was eventually ordered into out-of-home placements in California. Again, he was unsuccessful and, ultimately, the court placed him in an out-of-state facility. On appeal, the minor argued that the juvenile court abused its discretion by ordering out-of-state placement. Affirmed. Under Welfare and Institutions Code section 727.1, subdivision (b)(1), a court may not order out-of-state placement of a ward unless “[i]n-state facilities or programs have been determined to be unavailable or inadequate to meet the needs of the minor.” The court does not need to determine that all in-state facilities are unavailable and the existence of other facilities in California does not mean the juvenile court abused its discretion in ordering out-of-state placement. The court has discretion to decide that in-state facilities were inadequate to rehabilitate a minor. Here, the record reflects that the court adequately evaluated the available facilities, which would not provide the services and security needed to reform the minor based on his history, and determined that the out-of-state facility would best meet the minor’s needs.