Code Section Group

Welfare and Institutions Code - WIC

DIVISION 2. CHILDREN [100 - 1500]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 369. )

PART 1. DELINQUENTS AND WARDS OF THE JUVENILE COURT [100 - 1455]

  ( Part 1 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 369. )

CHAPTER 2. Juvenile Court Law [200 - 987]

  ( Chapter 2 repealed and added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 1616. )

ARTICLE 4. The Juvenile Court [245 - 265]
  ( Article 4 added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1068. )

245.
  

Each superior court shall exercise the jurisdiction conferred by this chapter, and while sitting in the exercise of such jurisdiction, shall be known and referred to as the juvenile court. Appealable orders and judgments of the juvenile court are subject to the appellate jurisdiction of the court of appeal.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 931, Sec. 468. Effective September 28, 1998.)

245.5.
  

In addition to all other powers granted by law, the juvenile court may direct all such orders to the parent, parents, or guardian of a minor who is subject to any proceedings under this chapter as the court deems necessary and proper for the best interests of or for the rehabilitation of the minor. These orders may concern the care, supervision, custody, conduct, maintenance, and support of the minor, including education and medical treatment.

(Amended by Stats. 1990, Ch. 182, Sec. 6.)

246.
  

The presiding judge of the superior court shall annually, in the month of January, designate one or more judges of the court to hear all cases under this chapter during the ensuing year, and shall, from time to time, designate such additional judges as may be necessary for the prompt disposition of the judicial business before the juvenile court.

In all counties where more than one judge is designated as a judge of the juvenile court, the presiding judge of the superior court shall also designate one such judge as presiding judge of the juvenile court.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 784, Sec. 609. Effective January 1, 2003.)

247.5.
  

The provisions of Sections 170 and 170.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure shall apply to a referee, provided, that the presiding judge of the juvenile court shall if the motion is granted reassign the matter to another referee or to a judge of the juvenile court.

(Added by renumbering Section 553.2 by Stats. 1977, Ch. 910.)

248.
  

(a) A referee shall hear those cases that are assigned to him or her by the presiding judge of the juvenile court, with the same powers as a judge of the juvenile court, except that a referee shall not conduct any hearing to which the state or federal constitutional prohibitions against double jeopardy apply unless all of the parties thereto stipulate in writing that the referee may act in the capacity of a temporary judge. A referee shall promptly furnish to the presiding judge of the juvenile court and the minor, if the minor is 14 or more years of age or if younger has so requested, and shall serve upon the minor’s attorney of record and the minor’s parent or guardian or adult relative and the attorney of record for the minor’s parent or guardian or adult relative a written copy of his or her findings and order and shall also furnish to the minor, if the minor is 14 or more years of age or if younger has so requested, and to the parent or guardian or adult relative, with the findings and order, a written explanation of the right of those persons to seek review of the order by the juvenile court.

(b) Service, as provided in this section, shall be made as follows:

(1) If a minor, parent, or guardian is present in court at the time the findings and order are made, then the findings and order may be served in court on any minor, parent, or guardian who is present in court on that date and a written explanation of the right to seek review of the order as required pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be furnished at that time.

(2) If paragraph (1) is not applicable, service shall be made by mail or electronic service pursuant to Section 212.5, within the time period specified in Section 248.5, to the last known address of those persons or to the address designated by those persons appearing at the hearing before the referee and the documents served shall include, if applicable, the written explanation of the right to seek review of the order. If the parent or guardian does not have a last known address or electronic service address designated, service shall be to that party in care of his or her counsel.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 319, Sec. 109. (AB 976) Effective January 1, 2018.)

248.5.
  

All written findings and orders of the court shall be served by the clerk of the court personally, by first-class mail, or by electronic service pursuant to Section 212.5, within three judicial days of their issuance on the petitioner, the minor or the minor’s counsel, the parent or the parent’s counsel, and the guardian or the guardian’s counsel.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 319, Sec. 110. (AB 976) Effective January 1, 2018.)

249.
  

No order of a referee removing a minor from his home shall become effective until expressly approved by a judge of the juvenile court.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1068.)

250.
  

Except as provided in Section 251, all orders of a referee other than those specified in Section 249 shall become immediately effective, subject also to the right of review as hereinafter provided, and shall continue in full force and effect until vacated or modified upon rehearing by order of the judge of the juvenile court. In a case in which an order of a referee becomes effective without approval of a judge of the juvenile court, it becomes final on the expiration of the time allowed by Section 252 for application for rehearing, if application therefor is not made within such time and if the judge of the juvenile court has not within such time ordered a rehearing pursuant to Section 253.

Where a referee sits as a temporary judge, his or her orders become final in the same manner as orders made by a judge.

(Amended by Stats. 1980, Ch. 532, Sec. 2.)

251.
  

The judge of the juvenile court, or in counties having more than one judge of the juvenile court, the presiding judge of the juvenile court may establish requirements that any or all orders of referees shall be expressly approved by a judge of the juvenile court before becoming effective.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1068.)

252.
  

At any time prior to the expiration of 10 days after service of a written copy of the order and findings of a referee, a minor or his or her parent or guardian or, in cases brought pursuant to Section 300, the county welfare department may apply to the juvenile court for a rehearing. That application may be directed to all or to any specified part of the order or findings, and shall contain a statement of the reasons the rehearing is requested. If all of the proceedings before the referee have been taken down by an official reporter, the judge of the juvenile court may, after reading the transcript of those proceedings, grant or deny the application. If proceedings before the referee have not been taken down by an official reporter, the application shall be granted as of right. If an application for rehearing is not granted, denied, or extended within 20 days following the date of its receipt, it shall be deemed granted. However, the court, for good cause, may extend the period beyond 20 days, but not in any event beyond 45 days, following the date of receipt of the application, at which time the application for rehearing shall be deemed granted unless it is denied within that period. All decisions to grant or deny the application, or to extend the period, shall be expressly made in a written minute order with copies provided to the minor or his or her parent or guardian, and to the attorneys of record.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 510, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1998.)

253.
  

A judge of the juvenile court may, on his own motion made within 20 judicial days of the hearing before a referee, order a rehearing of any matter heard before a referee.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1068.)

254.
  

All rehearings of matters heard before a referee shall be before a judge of the juvenile court and shall be conducted de novo.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1068.)

255.
  

The court may appoint as subordinate judicial officers one or more persons of suitable experience, who may be a probation officer or assistant or deputy probation officers, to serve as juvenile hearing officers on a full-time or part-time basis. A hearing officer shall serve at the pleasure of the court, and unless the court makes an order terminating the appointment of a hearing officer, the hearing officer shall continue to serve until the appointment of his or her successor. The court shall determine whether any compensation shall be paid to hearing officers, not otherwise employed by a public agency or holding another public office, and shall establish the amounts and rates thereof. An appointment of a probation officer, assistant probation officer, or deputy probation officer as a juvenile hearing officer may be made only with the consent of the probation officer. A juvenile court shall be known as the Informal Juvenile and Traffic Court when a hearing officer appointed pursuant to this section hears a case specified in Section 256.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 784, Sec. 610. Effective January 1, 2003.)

256.
  

Subject to the orders of the juvenile court, a juvenile hearing officer may hear and dispose of any case in which a minor under the age of 18 years as of the date of the alleged offense is charged with (1) any violation of the Vehicle Code, except Section 23136, 23140, 23152, or 23153 of that code, not declared to be a felony, (2) a violation of subdivision (m) of Section 602 of the Penal Code, (3) a violation of the Fish and Game Code not declared to be a felony, (4) a violation of any of the equipment provisions of the Harbors and Navigation Code or the vessel registration provisions of the Vehicle Code, (5) a violation of any provision of state or local law relating to traffic offenses, loitering or curfew, or evasion of fares on a public transportation system, as defined by Section 99211 of the Public Utilities Code, (6) a violation of Section 27176 of the Streets and Highways Code, (7) a violation of Section 640 or 640a of the Penal Code, (8) a violation of the rules and regulations established pursuant to Sections 5003 and 5008 of the Public Resources Code, (9) a violation of Section 33211.6 of the Public Resources Code, (10) a violation of Section 25658, 25658.5, 25661, or 25662 of the Business and Professions Code, (11) a violation of subdivision (f) of Section 647 of the Penal Code, (12) a misdemeanor violation of Section 594 of the Penal Code, involving defacing property with paint or any other liquid, (13) a violation of subdivision (b), (d), or (e) of Section 594.1 of the Penal Code, (14) a violation of subdivision (b) of Section 11357 of the Health and Safety Code, (15) any infraction, (16) any misdemeanor for which the minor is cited to appear by a probation officer pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 660.5, or (17) a violation of subdivision (b) of Section 601 that is due to having four or more truancies, as described in Section 48260 of the Education Code, within one school year.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 898, Sec. 1. (AB 2195) Effective January 1, 2015.)

256.5.
  

A juvenile hearing officer may request the juvenile court judge or referee to issue a warrant of arrest against a minor who is issued and signs a written notice to appear for any violation listed in Section 256 and who fails to appear at the time and place designated in the notice. The juvenile court judge or referee may issue and have delivered for execution a warrant of arrest against a minor within 20 days after the minor’s failure to appear as promised or within 20 days after the minor’s failure to appear after a lawfully granted continuance of his or her promise to appear. A juvenile hearing officer who is also a referee or juvenile court judge may personally issue the warrant of arrest.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 679, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1998.)

257.
  

(a) (1) Except in the case of infraction violations, with the consent of the minor, a hearing before a juvenile hearing officer, or a hearing before a referee or a judge of the juvenile court, when the minor is charged with an offense as specified in this section, may be conducted upon an exact legible copy of a written notice given pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 40500) of Chapter 2 of Division 17 or Section 41103 of the Vehicle Code, or an exact legible copy of a written notice given pursuant to Chapter 5C (commencing with Section 853.5) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code when the offense charged is a violation listed in Section 256, or an exact legible copy of a citation as set forth in subdivision (e) of Section 660.5, or an exact legible copy of the notice given pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 601 when the minor is within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 601, in lieu of a petition as provided in Article 16 (commencing with Section 650).

(2) Notwithstanding any other law, in the case of infraction violations, consent of the minor is not required prior to conducting a hearing upon written notice to appear.

(b) Prior to the hearing, the judge, referee, or juvenile hearing officer may request the probation officer to commence a proceeding, as provided in Article 16 (commencing with Section 650), in lieu of a hearing in Informal Juvenile and Traffic Court.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 898, Sec. 2. (AB 2195) Effective January 1, 2015.)

258.
  

(a) Upon a hearing conducted in accordance with Section 257, and upon either an admission by the minor of the commission of a violation charged, or a finding that the minor did in fact commit the violation, the judge, referee, or juvenile hearing officer may do any of the following:

(1) Reprimand the minor and take no further action.

(2) Direct that the probation officer undertake a program of supervision of the minor for a period not to exceed six months, in addition to or in place of the following orders.

(3) Order that the minor pay a fine up to the amount that an adult would pay for the same violation, unless the violation is otherwise specified within this section, in which case the fine shall not exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250). This fine may be levied in addition to or in place of the following orders and the court may waive any or all of this fine, if the minor is unable to pay. In determining the minor’s ability to pay, the court shall not consider the ability of the minor’s family to pay.

(4) Subject to the minor’s right to a restitution hearing, order that the minor pay restitution to the victim, in lieu of all or a portion of the fine specified in paragraph (3). The total dollar amount of the fine, restitution, and any program fees ordered pursuant to paragraph (9) shall not exceed the maximum amount which may be ordered pursuant to paragraph (3). This paragraph shall not be construed to limit the right to recover damages, less any amount actually paid in restitution, in a civil action.

(5) Order that the driving privileges of the minor be suspended or restricted as provided in the Vehicle Code or, notwithstanding Section 13203 of the Vehicle Code or any other provision of law, when the Vehicle Code does not provide for the suspension or restriction of driving privileges, that, in addition to any other order, the driving privileges of the minor be suspended or restricted for a period of not to exceed 30 days.

(6) In the case of a traffic related offense, order the minor to attend a licensed traffic school, or other court approved program of traffic school instruction pursuant to Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 11200) of Division 5 of the Vehicle Code, to be completed by the juvenile within 60 days of the court order.

(7) Order that the minor produce satisfactory evidence that the vehicle or its equipment has been made to conform with the requirements of the Vehicle Code pursuant to Section 40150 of the Vehicle Code if the violation involved an equipment violation.

(8) Order that the minor perform community service work in a public entity or any private nonprofit entity, for not more than 50 hours over a period of 60 days, during times other than his or her hours of school attendance or employment. Work performed pursuant to this paragraph shall not exceed 30 hours during any 30-day period. The timeframes established by this paragraph shall not be modified except in unusual cases where the interests of justice would best be served. When the order to work is made by a referee or a juvenile hearing officer, it shall be approved by a judge of the juvenile court.

For purposes of this paragraph, a judge, referee, or juvenile hearing officer shall not, without the consent of the minor, order the minor to perform work with a private nonprofit entity that is affiliated with any religion.

(9) In the case of a misdemeanor, order that the minor participate in and complete a counseling or educational program, or, if the offense involved a violation of a controlled substance law, a drug treatment program, if those programs are available. Fees for participation shall be subject to the right to a hearing as the minor’s ability to pay and shall not, together with any fine or restitution order, exceed the maximum amount that may be ordered pursuant to paragraph (3).

(10) Require that the minor attend a school program without unexcused absence.

(11) If the offense is a misdemeanor committed between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., require that the minor be at his or her legal residence at hours to be specified by the juvenile hearing officer between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., except for a medical or other emergency, unless the minor is accompanied by his or her parent, guardian, or other person in charge of the minor. The maximum length of an order made pursuant to this paragraph shall be six months from the effective date of the order.

(12) Make any or all of the following orders with respect to a violation of the Fish and Game Code which is not charged as a felony:

(A) That the fishing or hunting license involved be suspended or restricted.

(B) That the minor work in a park or conservation area for a total of not to exceed 20 hours over a period not to exceed 30 days, during times other than his or her hours of school attendance or employment.

(C) That the minor forfeit, pursuant to Section 12157 of the Fish and Game Code, any device or apparatus designed to be, and capable of being, used to take birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, or amphibia and that was used in committing the violation charged. The judge, referee, or juvenile hearing officer shall, if the minor committed an offense that is punishable under Section 12008 or 12008.1 of the Fish and Game Code, order the device or apparatus forfeited pursuant to Section 12157 of the Fish and Game Code.

(13) If the violation charged is of an ordinance of a city, county, or local agency relating to loitering, curfew, or fare evasion on a public transportation system, as defined by Section 99211 of the Public Utilities Code, or is a violation of Section 640 or 640a of the Penal Code, make the order that the minor shall perform community service for a total time not to exceed 20 hours over a period not to exceed 30 days, during times other than his or her hours of school attendance or employment.

(b) If the minor is before the court on the basis of truancy, as described in subdivision (b) of Section 601, all of the following procedures and limitations shall apply:

(1) The judge, referee, or juvenile hearing officer shall not proceed with a hearing unless both of the following have been provided to the court:

(A) Evidence that the minor’s school has undertaken the actions specified in subdivisions (a), (b), and (c) of Section 48264.5 of the Education Code. If the school district does not have an attendance review board, as described in Section 48321 of the Education Code, the minor’s school is not required to provide evidence to the court of any actions the school has undertaken that demonstrate the intervention of a school attendance review board.

(B) The available record of previous attempts to address the minor’s truancy.

(2) The court is encouraged to set the hearing outside of school hours, so as to avoid causing the minor to miss additional school time.

(3) Pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 257, the minor and his or her parents shall be advised of the minor’s right to refuse consent to a hearing conducted upon a written notice to appear.

(4) The minor’s parents shall be permitted to participate in the hearing.

(5) The judge, referee, or juvenile hearing officer may continue the hearing to allow the minor the opportunity to demonstrate improved attendance before imposing any of the orders specified in paragraph (6). Upon demonstration of improved attendance, the court may dismiss the case.

(6) Upon a finding that the minor violated subdivision (b) of Section 601, the judge, referee, or juvenile hearing officer shall direct his or her orders at improving the minor’s school attendance. The judge, referee, or juvenile hearing officer may do any of the following:

(A) Order the minor to perform community service work, as described in Section 48264.5 of the Education Code, which may be performed at the minor’s school.

(B) Order the payment of a fine by the minor of not more than fifty dollars ($50), for which a parent or legal guardian of the minor may be jointly liable. The fine described in this subparagraph shall not be subject to Section 1464 of the Penal Code or additional penalty pursuant to any other law. The minor, at his or her discretion, may perform community service, as described in subparagraph (A), in lieu of any fine imposed under this subparagraph.

(C) Order a combination of community service work described in subparagraph (A) and payment of a portion of the fine described in subparagraph (B).

(D) Restrict driving privileges in the manner set forth in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a). The minor may request removal of the driving restrictions if he or she provides proof of school attendance, high school graduation, GED completion, or enrollment in adult education, a community college, or a trade program. Any driving restriction shall be removed at the time the minor attains 18 years of age.

(c) (1) The judge, referee, or juvenile hearing officer shall retain jurisdiction of the case until all orders made under this section have been fully complied with.

(2) If a minor is before the judge, referee, or juvenile hearing officer on the basis of truancy, jurisdiction shall be terminated upon the minor attaining 18 years of age.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 340, Sec. 49. (SB 839) Effective September 13, 2016.)

260.
  

A juvenile hearing officer shall promptly furnish a written report of his or her findings and orders to the clerk of the juvenile court. The clerk of the juvenile court shall promptly transmit an abstract of those findings and orders to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 679, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 1998.)

261.
  

Subject to the provisions of Section 262, all orders of a juvenile hearing officer shall be immediately effective.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 679, Sec. 7. Effective January 1, 1998.)

262.
  

Upon motion of the minor or his or her parent or guardian for good cause, or upon his or her own motion, a judge of the juvenile court may set aside or modify any order of a juvenile hearing officer, or may order or himself or herself conduct a rehearing. If the minor or parent or guardian has made a motion that the judge set aside or modify the order or has applied for a rehearing, and the judge has not set aside or modified the order or ordered or conducted a rehearing within 10 days after the date of the order, the motion or application shall be deemed denied as of the expiration of that period.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 679, Sec. 8. Effective January 1, 1998.)

263.
  

At any time prior to the final disposition of a hearing pursuant to Section 257, the judge, referee, or juvenile hearing officer may, on motion of the minor, his or her parent, or guardian, or on its own motion, transfer the case to the county of the minor’s residence for further proceedings pursuant to Sections 258, 260, 261, and 262.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 679, Sec. 9. Effective January 1, 1998.)

264.
  

At the direction and under the supervision of the Judicial Council, judges of the juvenile courts and juvenile court referees shall meet from time to time in statewide or regional conferences, to discuss problems arising in the course of administration of this chapter, for the purpose of improving the administration of justice in the juvenile courts. Actual and necessary expenses incurred by a judge or referee in attending any such conference shall be a charge upon the county.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1068.)

265.
  

The Judicial Council shall establish rules governing practice and procedure in the juvenile court not inconsistent with law.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1068.)

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