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Name: In re Trenton D.
Case #: A144070
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 11/23/2015

Reversal is required where prosecution provided inadequate notice to minor of his eligibility for deferred entry of judgment (DEJ). Following a contested jurisdictional hearing, Trenton was declared a ward of the court for being a minor in possession of a firearm (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 602; Pen. Code, § 29610). He was committed to a rehabilitation facility for six months. On appeal he claimed he received insufficient notice of his DEJ eligibility (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 790, et seq.). Held: Reversed. Under Welfare and Institutions Code section 790 et seq., in lieu of jurisdictional and dispositional hearings, a minor who is qualified for DEJ may admit the allegations in a section 602 petition and waive time for pronouncement of judgment. After the minor successfully completes probation, on motion of the prosecutor and with a positive recommendation from probation, the court is required to dismiss the charges and the juvenile court records are sealed. Initially, the prosecution reviews the minor’s file to determine whether he is eligible for DEJ and if so, provides the court and minor with the basis for this determination by filing a Judicial Council JV-750 form. The written notification must include information specified in Welfare and Institutions Code section 791, subdivision (a), and this information is preprinted on page two of the Judicial Council JV-751 form. In this case, the record contained only page one of the JV-751 form and the record did not reflect that the form was properly filled out and served. Generally, after proper notice of DEJ eligibility is given, the juvenile court is required to evaluate whether the minor is suitable for DEJ. Here, the court failed to do so. The court’s findings were set aside and the matter remanded to provide Trenton adequate notice of his DEJ eligibility and to allow the court to determine whether to grant it.