People v. Superior Court (Alexander C.)Annotate this Case
Proposition 57, enacted by voters in 2016, eliminated a district attorney’s ability to “direct file” charges in criminal court against minors who were 14 years of age or older at the time of their alleged crimes. Proposition 57 requires a district attorney to obtain juvenile court approval before prosecuting minors in criminal court. In 2018, the Legislature further restricted a district attorney’s ability to treat minors as adults by enacting Senate Bill 1391, which prohibits the transfer of 14- and 15-year-old offenders to criminal court in almost all circumstances. The Solano County District Attorney argued the new law is invalid because it is inconsistent with and does not further the intent of Proposition 57. The court of appeal disagreed and denied mandamus relief. SB 1391 takes Proposition 57’s goal of promoting juvenile rehabilitation one step further by ensuring that almost all who commit crimes at the age of 14 or 15 will be processed through the juvenile system and in no way detracts from Proposition 57’s stated intent that, where a juvenile transfer decision must be made, a judge rather than a prosecutor must make the decision.