K.R. v. Super. Ct.Annotate this Case
In March 2013, when the minor (K.R.) was 13 years old, a delinquency petition was filed alleging he had committed the crimes of robbery, criminal threats, and brandishing a knife. In August 2013, Judge James Arguelles presided over a jurisdictional hearing on the petition in Department 97 and found the allegations true. At a disposition hearing in Department 97 in September, Judge Arguelles granted the minor probation with a number of conditions, including 150 days of confinement. In April 2015, the minor’s probation officer filed a petition alleging the minor had violated his probation by remaining away from his home overnight without parental permission; failing to keep his probation officer informed of his address and telephone number; using marijuana; and committing the crimes of having marijuana on a school campus, falsely identifying himself to a law enforcement officer, and being a disruptive presence on a school campus. A week later, the People filed a petition alleging the minor had violated his probation by committing the crimes of brandishing a firearm and brandishing a replica firearm. The parties appeared before Judge Jack Sapunor in Department 97 for a settlement conference. The minor’s attorney told the court the minor was prepared to admit the allegation in the first petition that he remained away from his home overnight without parental permission and the allegation in the second petition that he brandished a replica firearm. Judge Sapunor was a “regular visiting judge” in juvenile court. The settlement conference was continued, and when it resumed, Judge James Arguelles presided. He noted that there was “a minute order saying that May 28th the minor admitted a violation of probation” and “[a]pparently, probation is recommending that [the minor] just be shipped off to Vegas to live with his mother.” Judge Arguelles disagreed with that proposal and stated that his intention was “probably to send him to DJJ [Department of Juvenile Justice]." The matter was continued again, and upon the resumption of the conference, the minor’s attorney objected to Judge Arguelles presiding over the disposition because “we have not affirmatively asserted an Arbuckle waiver in this case.” She requested that the matter be set for hearing in front of Judge Sapunor. Judge Arguelles reiterated his disagreement with the proposed disposition, set a schedule for the parties to brief the application of Arbuckle, and continued the matter to July 2. On June 25, the minor commenced the proceeding underlying this appeal, essentially requesting that the Court of Appeal order Judge Arguelles to either: (1) impose the disposition the parties had agreed upon in front of Judge Sapunor or (2) set the case for a disposition hearing in front of Judge Sapunor. The Court of Appeal denied the minor's petition for a writ of mandate: "[w]hile the minor certainly had a reasonable expectation that he would receive the agreed-upon disposition that was part of the plea agreement approved by Judge Sapunor, and the refusal by Judge James P. Arguelles to impose that disposition certainly entitles the minor to withdraw his negotiated plea, the minor has failed to show that he entered into the plea agreement in expectation of and reliance upon Judge Sapunor conducting the disposition hearing. Thus, the minor is not entitled to have the disposition hearing set in front of Judge Sapunor, nor is he entitled to an order requiring Judge Arguelles to impose the agreed-upon disposition."