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Name: In re Sean W.
Case #: A107500
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 03/28/2005

Following amendments to Welfare and Institutions Code section 731, subdivision (b), a juvenile court must exercise its discretion in selecting the maximum confinement time in delinquency proceedings. The court first held that the issue was not waived under People v. Scott (1994) 9 Cal.4th 331, because the minor was not complaining on appeal that discretion was exercised in a flawed manner, but rather that the court was not aware of its discretion in the first place. The court then went on to exam the legislative history of the new amendment, along with the overall statutory scheme, and rejected the Attorney General’s arguments suggesting that the minor’s proposed interpretation would dismantle the juvenile detention scheme or create equal protection problems. The court remanded the matter to allow the juvenile court to exercise its discretion in setting a maximum confinement time.