Because the juvenile court lacked jurisdiction over a 26-year-old person, he could not be placed on deferred entry of judgment (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 790) in the juvenile court for an offense committed as a minor. In 2022, a WIC section 602 petition was filed against 25-year-old petitioner regarding a crime committed as a minor. The juvenile court granted deferred entry of judgment (DEJ) (§ 790). Petitioner sought writ relief, citing lack of jurisdiction due to his age. Held: Writ of mandate issued directing the superior court to vacate its order granting DEJ and dismiss the 602 petition. An adult may be technically eligible for DEJ under section 790 if he was under 18 at the time of the commission of the felony. However, the juvenile court only retains jurisdiction until he turns 21. Because petitioner is over 21, the juvenile court lacked jurisdiction to grant DEJ. Further, the juvenile court cannot retain jurisdiction over him under WIC section 607(h)(2), as this section applies to the discharge from the juvenile court’s jurisdiction after the court has retained jurisdiction under section 607(a)-(c). Pursuant to section 607(a), the juvenile court lacked jurisdiction because petitioner was over 21.
The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: https://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/B323404.PDF