People v. Albert C.Annotate this Case
Defendant, a minor named in two Welfare and Institution Code 602 petitions, was detained in juvenile hall for 294 days while receiving services to assist him in gaining competence after being declared incompetent to stand trial. At the end of that 294 day period, the delinquency court reinstated proceedings based on findings that minor was competent and he had “exaggerated” his inability to understand the nature of the proceedings. The court rejected defendant's argument that the delinquency court erred in finding competency despite the report of an evaluator that defendant did not understand the nature of the proceedings; the delinquency court did not comply with the standard required by Dusky v. United States; and the delinquency court held him to the standard of competence applicable to adults, rather than the broader standard applied to juveniles. Assuming there was undue delay without evidence of progress toward attaining competency, or a violation of the Protocol or section 709, no structural error is involved. The court concluded that any error was harmless and reversal is inappropriate. Further, the court rejected defendant's equal protection claim where defendant is not similarly situated to persons who fall under the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, Welf. & Inst. Code 5000 et seq. The court concluded, however, that Probation condition No. 9 is modified to provide as follows: “You must go to school each day. You must be on time to each class. You must follow the rules of behavioral conduct set forth by school personnel. You must receive passing grades in each graded subject.” The court affirmed in all other respects.