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Name: In re Samuel J.
Case #: A092914
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 10/25/2001
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 1/29/02. Rev. dismissed 6/12/02 & remanded. Depublished.
Summary

The admission of hearsay at the minor’s probation revocation hearing under Welfare and Institutions Code section 777, as revised by Proposition 21, without a showing of the declarant’s unavailability or good cause was reversible error as a denial of federal due process. A police officer was permitted to testify as to statements of staff at the minor’s placement regarding conduct of the minor which was in violation of probation. The staff were the only percipient witnesses, and thus the need for confrontation was particularly important in order to assess the witnesses’ demeanor. Simply establishing the reliability of the testimony alone is insufficient.