In re Ricardo P.Annotate this Case
Ricardo P. appealed a juvenile court order finding that he committed first degree burglary, declaring him to be a ward of the court, and placing him on probation. One of his probation conditions required him to submit to warrantless searches of his “electronics including passwords.” He challenged the condition on grounds that it allowed illegal eavesdropping under Penal Code section 632; was not reasonable; and was unconstitutionally overbroad. The court of appeal modified the order, so that the phrase “electronics including passwords” was stricken from the condition permitting warrantless searches. The court noted several pending appeals involving similar conditions. The juvenile court may choose to impose a probation condition permitting searches of a narrower range of electronic information related to the court’s supervisory concerns. Such a condition could, for example, limit searches of Ricardo’s cell phone and other devices to electronic information that is reasonably likely to reveal whether Ricardo is boasting about his drug use or activity, such as text and voicemail messages, photographs, e-mails, and social-media accounts. The court also noted that state and federal statutes, including the recently enacted California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (Stats. 2015, ch. 651), impose limits on the government’s ability to obtain private electronic information.