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Name: In re Robert M.
Case #: F060094
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 01/28/2011
Subsequent History: Rev. gr. 4/20/11 (S191261)
Summary

A minor who commits a sex offense listed in Penal Code section 290.008 is eligible for DJF commitment even if that offense is not one listed in Welfare and Institutions Code section 707, subdivision (b). The Court of Appeal considered the interplay between the 2007 amendments to Welfare and Institutions Code sections 731 and 733. Section 731, subdivision (a)(4) allows DJF commitments for a section 707, subdivision (b) offense, if the minor is not otherwise ineligible under section 733. Section 733, lists ineligibility criteria, but subdivision (c) of that statute exempts from the ineligibility criteria those whose most recent offense is a section 707, subdivision (b) offense, or a sex offense listed in Penal Code section 290.008. Appellant argued that because he was not found to have committed a section 707, subdivision (b) offense, DJF commitment based on his sex offenses was improper. The court recognized that, when read together, the statutes appear to be inconsistent. Applying the rules of statutory construction, the court held DJF commitment based on an offense listed in Penal Code section 290.008 is permissible, even if that offense is not one listed in Welfare and Institutions Code section 707, subdivision (b). Appellant’s suggested interpretation would render the language in section 733, subdivision (c) meaningless. Moreover, both the Assembly and Senate floor analyses clearly state that juvenile sex offenders would not be affected by the new criteria limiting DJF exclusions.