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Name: In re Y.R.
Case #: D063769
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 06/03/2014

Minor’s trespass conviction reversed where evidence failed to prove she “occupied” premises within the meaning of Penal Code section 602, subdivision (m). The minor challenged true findings she committed vandalism (Pen. Code, § 594, subd. (a) & (b)(1)) and trespass (Pen. Code, § 602, subd. (m)). The prosecution claimed that the minor conspired with her boyfriend to trespass into a clubhouse so they could spend time together there, and that she was vicariously liable for the boyfriend’s acts of forcing open a door and entering the premises as a natural and probable consequence of the trespass. Held: Reversed. Section 602, subdivision (m) provides that a person commits a trespass when she enters and occupies real property or structures without the owner’s consent. The Legislature intended the word “occupy” to mean a nontransient, continuous type of possession with some degree of dispossession and permanency. The evidence here reflected the minor made only transient use of the clubhouse; she and her boyfriend were only there for several hours. This does not constitute “occupying” within the meaning section 602, subdivision (m).

The evidence was insufficient to show the minor conspired to commit a vandalism. The prosecution argued the minor was vicariously culpable for the damage her boyfriend did to the doors of the structure in effecting entry, i.e., it was the natural and probable consequence of the trespass. However, because there was insufficient evidence to find a trespass, the minor could not have entered into a conspiracy to commit the target offense. Absent a conspiracy, the prosecution cannot show the minor is vicariously liable for the boyfriend’s vandalism as a natural and probable consequence of the target offense of trespass.