People
v.
Victor D. (In re Victor D.)

This case is not covered by Casetext's citator
COURT OF APPEAL, FOURTH APPELLATE DISTRICT DIVISION ONE STATE OF CALIFORNIANov 6, 2018
D073371 (Cal. Ct. App. Nov. 6, 2018)

D073371

11-06-2018

In re VICTOR D., a Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. VICTOR D., Defendant and Appellant.

Kent D. Young, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant. Xavier Becerra, Attorney General, Gerald A. Engler, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Julie L. Garland, Assistant Attorney General, Arlene A. Sevidal, Eric A. Swenson and Joseph C. Anagnos, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.


NOT TO BE PUBLISHED IN OFFICIAL REPORTS

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115. (Super. Ct. No. J236107) APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of San Diego County, Donal B. Donnelly and Aaron H. Katz, Judges. Affirmed. Kent D. Young, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant. Xavier Becerra, Attorney General, Gerald A. Engler, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Julie L. Garland, Assistant Attorney General, Arlene A. Sevidal, Eric A. Swenson and Joseph C. Anagnos, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

I.

INTRODUCTION

Defendant Victor D. appeals from the judgment entered after the trial court found true the allegations of a delinquency petition filed under Welfare and Institutions Code section 602, charging him with one count of vandalism resulting in damage worth $400 or more (Pen. Code, § 594, subds. (a), (b)(1)).

Victor contends that the record fails to disclose that the trial court was aware of, and exercised, its discretion to declare his offense either a misdemeanor or a felony, as required by Welfare and Institutions Code section 702 and the authority of In re Manzy W. (1997) 14 Cal.4th 1199 (Manzy W.). We conclude that the record discloses that the trial court declared the offense to be a felony, and that, given the presumption that the court properly exercised its discretion in the absence of an affirmative showing otherwise, the requirement of Welfare and Institutions Code section 702 was met in this case.

Victor also initially challenged two of his probation conditions on vagueness grounds. However, the parties now agree that subsequent actions by the trial court have rendered moot Victor's challenges to his probation conditions. We therefore decline to consider these challenges.

We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

II.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On the evening of October 25, 2017, A.P. was driving his car and exiting a parking lot. A.P. was stopped at a stop sign when Victor rode up next to the car on a bicycle and placed his hand on the hood of A.P.'s car. A.P. asked Victor whether he was "okay." Victor approached A.P.'s driver side window and punched the window approximately 10 times, causing the glass to shatter.

A.P. got out of the car, and in the process Victor somehow "fell over." A.P. told Victor to " 'run,' " which Victor did. A.P. pursued Victor on foot and caught up to him. A.P. restrained Victor until police arrived.

A juvenile wardship petition was filed against Victor, alleging that Victor had maliciously and unlawfully damaged and destroyed the personal property of another, causing damage of $400 or more.

The petition classified the offense as a felony offense.

A jurisdictional hearing was held on December 18, 2017. At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial court found the allegation of vandalism true and sustained the petition. At the dispositional hearing, the court sentenced Victor to probation, and imposed various terms and conditions of probation.

Victor filed a timely notice of appeal.

In briefing on appeal, the People indicated that subsequent to the dispositional hearing and the filing of this appeal, the trial court found that Victor had satisfactorily completed probation, dismissed the petition, and ordered the records in the case sealed. After a request for supplemental briefing by this court, the People filed a formal Request for Judicial Notice, seeking to have this court take judicial notice of an order of the trial court dismissing the petition and sealing the records in this case. Victor indicated his non-opposition to the Request for Judicial Notice, and this court granted the request.

III.

DISCUSSION

A. Remand is not required

Victor contends that the record does not establish that the court was aware of, and exercised, its discretion to classify his offense as a misdemeanor. He relies on the authority of Manzy W., supra, 14 Cal.4th at page 1199 in support of this contention.

In supplemental briefing requested by this court, the People concede that the trial court's dismissal of the petition and sealing of the record in this case does not moot Victor's first contention on appeal because there may continue to be collateral consequences in certain limited circumstances resulting from the filing of the petition.

1. Additional relevant background

At the conclusion of the adjudication hearing, the trial court made the following statement on the record: "[T]he court does make a true finding on the petition. I do find the People have proved count 1 . . . true beyond a reasonable doubt. So the minor is described under section 2 of the felony offense of Penal Code section 594[, subdivisions (a) and (b)(1)] has been met [sic]." (Italics added.)

2. Analysis

The Manzy W. court considered the requirement of Welfare and Institutions Code section 702, which states, "If the minor is found to have committed an offense which would in the case of an adult be punishable alternatively as a felony or a misdemeanor, the court shall declare the offense to be a misdemeanor or felony." One of the reasons for requiring a declaration of the offense as a misdemeanor or felony is to "ensur[e] that the juvenile court is aware of, and actually exercises, its discretion under Welfare and Institutions Code section 702." (Manzy W., supra, 14 Cal.4th at p. 1207.) However, Welfare and Institutions Code section 702 does not require a court to state its reasoning or rationale in declaring the offense to be a misdemeanor or felony. (In re Jacob M. (1989) 210 Cal.App.3d 1178, 1180 ["The statute by its terms demands only a declaration—a statement of the existence of either a felony or a misdemeanor"].)

Vandalism that results in damage of $400 or more is punishable as either a felony or a misdemeanor. (See Pen. Code, § 594, subd. (b)(1).) Given the requirement of Welfare and Institutions Code section 702, upon finding that a minor committed vandalism that resulted in damage of $400 or more, a trial court is required to exercise its discretion and declare the offense to either be a misdemeanor or a felony.

The Reporter's Transcript reflects that the trial court declared the offense to be a felony in remarks made just after the court found the allegations of the petition to be true. The minute order issued by the court similarly reflects the court's declaration of the offense as a felony.

Thus, unlike in Manzy W., supra, 14 Cal.4th at page 1207, in which the trial court made no statement regarding whether the offense was a felony or a misdemeanor, the trial court here did declare the offense to be a felony. Given the court's statement declaring the offense a felony, we must presume that the trial court understood and properly applied the law (see People v. Coddington (2000) 23 Cal.4th 529, 644 [absent an affirmative showing to the contrary, we presume a trial court understood and properly applied the law]). Absent anything in the record that affirmatively demonstrates that the court did not understand the law and was therefore not aware of its discretion to declare the offense a felony or misdemeanor, we conclude that the trial court properly exercised its discretion and declared Victor's offense a felony, as required by Welfare and Institutions Code section 702. B. Victor's contentions regarding two of his probation conditions have been rendered moot by subsequent proceedings in the trial court

Victor also argued in his briefing on appeal that two of his probation conditions were unconstitutionally vague. We have taken judicial notice of the fact that subsequent to Victor's taking of this appeal, the trial court determined that Victor successfully completed probation, dismissed the petition, and ordered the records in the case sealed. The parties agree that these actions by the trial court render moot Victor's challenge to two of his probation conditions. We therefore decline to consider Victor's contentions regarding his probation conditions.

Upon the People's representation in briefing on appeal that the trial court had dismissed the petition and ordered the records in the case sealed, this court requested supplemental briefing from the parties regarding whether this action by the trial court rendered the appeal moot. In responding to this court's request, the parties agreed that the trial court's subsequent actions in the case rendered moot Victor's challenge to his probation conditions, only. --------

IV.

DISPOSITION

The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

AARON, J. WE CONCUR: BENKE, Acting P. J. HUFFMAN, J.