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Name: People v. Superior Court (Marcelina M.)
Case #: F047953
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/19/2005

A minor’s plea in criminal court does not require an automatic transfer of any subsequent juvenile petition to criminal court. The minor was charged in adult court with various offenses falling under Welfare and Institutions Code section 707(b), as well as offenses that are not included under that section. The prosecutor filed the accusatory pleading in adult court under section 707(d), bypassing the juvenile court. The minor ultimately pled no contest to one count of false imprisonment by violence, an offense that does not fall under section 707(b), and admitted that she was over 16 at the time of the offense. She later admitted a juvenile petition alleging that she had possessed methamphetamine, but the prosecutor moved to set aside her plea and transfer the matter to criminal court, arguing that under section 707.01, all subsequent charges against a minor who has been found to be unfit for juvenile court must be filed in adult court if the minor was 16 years or older at the time of the offense. The Court of Appeal denied the People’s petition for writ of mandate or prohibition, noting that the requirements of section 707.01(a)(5) were not met in this case, because the minor was not found to be unfit by the juvenile court. Rather, the People proceeded directly into adult court under section 707(d), but the minor was not ultimately convicted of any 707(b) offense. Thus, even if the court were to assume that a direct filing is equivalent to a finding of unfitness for purposes of section 707.01, the latter section would still not apply under these circumstances.