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Name: In re R.W.
Case #: E068746
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 06/01/2018
Summary

Sufficient evidence supported finding that minor resisted an officer where minor, who was initially detained as part of vehicle theft investigation, was in lawful temporary custody awaiting release to her mother when she resisted the officer. R.W., a minor, was initially taken into custody on suspicion of vehicle theft, but no charges were filed after an investigation. She was turned over to another deputy at the sheriff’s station to be watched until her mother arrived to pick her up, in accordance with a department policy. While waiting, R.W. started talking to the deputy, claiming responsibility for the theft. During the discussion, R.W. became frustrated, impatient, and upset. The deputy determined that R.W. had no involvement with the car theft, and told her she need not lie to make herself a suspect. R.W. attempted to leave and refused to come back, pulling away from the deputy who had grabbed her by the arm. A total of three deputies restrained her and handcuffed her until she calmed down. The juvenile court found R.W. resisted a peace officer, in violation of Penal Code section 148. She appealed, arguing that insufficient evidence supported the juvenile court’s finding because her custody was unlawful when the deputy restrained her as she attempted to leave. Held: Affirmed. In the juvenile criminal justice system, warrantless detentions are governed by statute. The minor was properly taken into custody under Welfare and Institutions Code section 625, as the first deputy had reason to believe the minor had violated the law. When a minor detained under section 625 is released, police may condition the minor’s release upon being turned over to the custody of a responsible adult. The Court of Appeal concluded that the minor was in the deputy’s supervision solely for her safety until her mother arrived, as required by department policy, and that the deputy’s continued detention of the minor was lawful when the resistance occurred.

The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/E068746.PDF