Manduley v. Superior Court, No. S095992.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (California)
Citation27 Cal.4th 537,41 P.3d 3,117 Cal.Rptr.2d 168
Docket NumberNo. S095992.
Decision Date28 February 2002
PartiesMorgan Victor MANDULEY et al., Petitioners, v. The SUPERIOR COURT of San Diego County, Respondent. The People, Real Party in Interest. Michael Rose et al., Petitioners, v. The Superior Court of San Diego County, Respondent. The People, Real Party in Interest.

117 Cal.Rptr.2d 168
41 P.3d 3
27 Cal.4th 537

Morgan Victor MANDULEY et al., Petitioners,
v.
The SUPERIOR COURT of San Diego County, Respondent.
The People, Real Party in Interest.
Michael Rose et al., Petitioners,
v.
The Superior Court of San Diego County, Respondent.
The People, Real Party in Interest

No. S095992.

Supreme Court of California.

February 28, 2002.

As Modified on Denial of Rehearing April 17, 2002.


117 Cal.Rptr.2d 172
William J. LaFond; Kerry L. Steigerwalt; and Charles M. Sevilla, San Diego, for Petitioner Morgan Victor Manduley

117 Cal.Rptr.2d 173
Haus & Damiani and Lisa J. Damiani for Petitioner Steven James DeBoer

Patrick Q. Hall, San Diego, for Petitioner Kevin Scott Williams.

Timothy A. Chandler, Alternate Public Defender, Mary Ellen Attridge and Jose H. Varela, Deputy Alternate Public Defenders, for Petitioner Adam Mitchell Ketsdever.

Michael D. McGlinn for Petitioner Jason Wayne Beever.

Steven J. Carroll, Public Defender, Gary R. Nichols, Stewart Dadmun and Jo Pastore, Deputy Public Defenders, for Petitioner Michael Anthony Rose.

Marc B. Geller, San Diego, for Petitioner Nicholas Paul Fileccia.

Bardsley & Carlos, Francis J. Bardsley, San Diego, and Judith A. Litzenberger for Petitioner Bradley Hunter Davidofsky.

Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabin, Steven L. Mayer, Kimberly A. Proctor, San Francisco, Erick M. Silber; Robert Kim, Margaret C. Crosby; Mark D. Rosenbaum, Los Angeles; Jordan C. Budd for American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, America Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego and Imperial Counties, League of Women Voters of California, California Teachers Association, Children's Advocacy Institute, Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth and Pacific Juvenile Defender Center as Amici Curiae on behalf of Petitioners.

John T. Philipsborn, San Francisco, for California Attorneys for Criminal Justice as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Petitioners.

James F. Sweeney, Sacramento, for California Catholic Conference as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Petitioners.

Munger, Tolles & Olson, Jeffrey L. Bleich, San Francisco, Deborah N. Pearlstein; Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, Robert Rubin and Rebekah B. Evenson for The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, The National Center for Youth Law, Legal Services for Children, The National Association of Counsel for Children, The American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry, The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, The Center for Young Women's Development, The Trauma Foundation, The Asian Law Caucus, The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Children Now as Amici Curiae on behalf of Petitioners.

Elissa Barrett; Rohde & Victoroff and Stephen F. Rohde, Los Angeles, for Progressive Jewish Alliance as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Petitioners.

Earl Warren Legal Institute and Franklin E. Zimring for Law Professors and Juvenile Justice Specialists Elizabeth Cauffman, Laurence Steinberg, Dean Hill Rivkin, Jeffrey Fagan, Darrell F. Hawkins, Peter Edelman, Jan C. Costello, Mercer Sullivan, Elizabeth Scott and William Patton as Amici Curiae on behalf of Petitioners.

Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, William A. Norris, Edward P. Lazarus, Los Angeles, and Jonathan Gottlieb for Los Angeles County Bar Association, Beverly Hills Bar Association, Culver Marina Bar Association, Bar Association of San Francisco, Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Criminal Courts Bar Association, Mexican American Bar Association and Los Angeles Chapter of the National Association of Counsel for Children as Amici Curiae on behalf of Petitioners.

Carla J. Johnson, Beverly Hills; Daniel M. McGuire and Debra A. Gutierrez McGuire for Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Petitioners.

117 Cal.Rptr.2d 174
Mark I. Soler, Michael Finley; Laval Miller Wilson and Marsha Levick for Youth Law Center, Juvenile Law Center, Children's Defense Fund, Child Welfare League of America, National Council of La Raza, National Mental Health Association, National Urban League and The Sentencing Project as Amici Curiae on behalf of Petitioners

Ron Boyer, Deputy Public Defender (Contra Costa) for California Public Defenders Association as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Petitioners.

No appearance for Respondent.

Paul J. Pfingst, District Attorney, Thomas F. McArdle, Hector M. Jiminez and Anthony Lovett, Deputy District Attorneys, for Real Party in Interest.

Kent S. Scheidegger and Charles L. Hobson for Criminal Justice Legal Foundation as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Real Party in Interest.

Gary T. Yancey, District Attorney (Contra Costa) and L. Douglas Pipes, Deputy District Attorney, for California District Attorneys Association as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Real Party in Interest.

Bill Lockyer, Attorney General, David P. Druliner and Robert R. Anderson, Chief Assistant Attorneys General, Gary W. Schons, Assistant Attorney General, Laura Whitcomb Halgren, Raquel M. Gonzalez and Patti W. Ranger, Deputy Attorneys General, as Amici Curiae.

GEORGE, C.J.

Proposition 21, titled the Gang Violence and Juvenile Crime Prevention Act of 1998 and approved by the voters at the March 7, 2000, Primary Election (Proposition 21), made a number of changes to laws applicable to minors accused of committing criminal offenses. As relevant here, the initiative measure broadened the circumstances in which prosecutors are authorized to file charges against minors 14 years of age and older in the criminal division of the superior court, rather than in the juvenile division of that court. Welfare and Institutions Code section 707, subdivision (d) (section 707(d)),1 confer upon prosecutors the discretion to bring specified charges against certain minors directly in criminal court, without a prior adjudication by the juvenile court that the minor is unfit for a disposition under the juvenile court law.

Petitioners are eight minors accused of committing various felony offenses.2 As authorized by section 707(d), the People filed charges against petitioners directly in criminal court. Petitioners demurred to the complaint, contending that section 707(d) is unconstitutional on several grounds. The superior court overruled the demurrers, but the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, issued a writ of mandate directing the superior court to vacate its ruling and to sustain the demurrers. The Court of Appeal (by a two-toone vote) held that section 707(d) violates the separation of powers doctrine (Cal. Const., art. III, § 3) by allowing the prosecutor to interfere with the court's authority to choose a juvenile court disposition for minors found to have committed criminal offenses.

In considering the validity of the Court of Appeal's decision, we emphasize that this court is not confronted with any question regarding the wisdom of authorizing

117 Cal.Rptr.2d 175
the prosecutor, rather than the court, to decide whether a minor accused of committing a crime should be treated as an adult and subjected to the criminal court system. In the present case, rather, we must decide whether section 707(d) satisfies minimum constitutional requirements; we are not called upon to resolve the competing public policies implicated by the measure, considered by the electorate when it voted upon Proposition 21, and discussed at length by numerous amici curiae who have filed briefs in support of petitioners or the People. As we shall explain, we conclude that a prosecutor's decision to file charges against a minor in criminal court pursuant to section 707(d) is well within the established charging authority of the executive branch. Our prior decisions instruct that the prosecutor's exercise of such charging discretion, before any judicial proceeding is commenced, does not usurp an exclusively judicial power, even though the prosecutor's decision effectively can preclude the court from selecting a particular sentencing alternative. Accordingly, we disagree with the Court of Appeal's conclusion that section 707(d) is unconstitutional under the separation of powers doctrine.

Because the Court of Appeal held that the statute violates the separation of powers doctrine, the appellate court did not resolve the other constitutional challenges to section 707(d) raised by petitioners in that court. In order to prevent continued uncertainty regarding the status of numerous proceedings involving accusations of criminal conduct committed by minors, we shall resolve those remaining issues in the present case. As discussed below, we have reached the following conclusions with regard to these questions: (1) the absence of a provision requiring that a judicial fitness hearing take place before a minor can be charged in criminal court pursuant to section 707(d) does not deprive petitioners of due process of law; (2) prosecutorial discretion to file charges against some minors in criminal court does not violate the equal protection clause; and (3) Proposition 21 does not violate the single subject rule, set forth in article II, section 8, subdivision (d), of the California Constitution, applicable to initiative measures.

I

By a single felony complaint filed in the superior court, the People charged petitioners with eight felonies: four counts of assault with a deadly weapon by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury against four victims (Pen. Code, § 245, subd. (a)(1)), two counts of willful infliction of injury upon an elder under circumstances likely to result in great bodily harm or death (id., § 368, subd. (b)(1)), and two counts of robbery (id., § 211). The complaint alleged that these crimes were committed because of the victims' race, color, religion, nationality, country of origin, ancestry, gender, disability, or sexual orientation, and while petitioners acted in concert (id., § 422.75, subd. (c)), and that some of the petitioners personally inflicted great bodily...

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323 practice notes
  • People v. Smith, No. B162023.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • July 24, 2003
    ...adult and juvenile justice systems. Even so, as Justice Kennard explained in her dissenting opinion in Manduley v. Superior Court (2002) 27 Cal.4th 537, 117 Cal.Rptr.2d 168, 41 P.3d 3, the purposes of the juvenile system and adult courts and the consequences of adverse determinations in adu......
  • People v. Rhodes, No. A102776.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • February 18, 2005
    ...crimes and fix penalties is vested exclusively in the legislative branch." [Citations.]' [Citation.]" (Manduley v. Superior Court (2002) 27 Cal.4th 537, 552, 117 Cal.Rptr.2d 168, 41 P.3d 3; see also People v. Thompson (1994) 24 Cal.App.4th 299, 304, 29 Cal.Rptr.2d 847.) "The judiciary may n......
  • In re Eddie M., No. S109902.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • August 7, 2003
    ...felonies, and felonies committed under certain aggravating circumstances. (E.g., §§ 602, subd. (b), 707, subd. (d); see Manduley, supra, 27 Cal.4th 537, 549-550, 117 Cal. Rptr.2d 168, 41 P.3d 3.) As petitioner suggests, no statute added or revised by Proposition 21 requires all criminal act......
  • People v. Jackson, No. B125364.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • May 9, 2005
    ...687. 137. Warne v. Harkness (1963) 60 Cal.2d 579, 588, 35 Cal.Rptr. 601, 387 P.2d 377. 138. Compare Manduley v. Superior Court (2002) 27 Cal.4th 537, 563, 117 Cal.Rptr.2d 168, 41 P.3d 139. Section 1054, subdivision (a). 140. Section 1054, subdivision (e). 141. People v. Jackson (1993) 15 Ca......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
318 cases
  • People v. Smith, No. B162023.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • July 24, 2003
    ...adult and juvenile justice systems. Even so, as Justice Kennard explained in her dissenting opinion in Manduley v. Superior Court (2002) 27 Cal.4th 537, 117 Cal.Rptr.2d 168, 41 P.3d 3, the purposes of the juvenile system and adult courts and the consequences of adverse determinations in adu......
  • People v. Rhodes, No. A102776.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • February 18, 2005
    ...crimes and fix penalties is vested exclusively in the legislative branch." [Citations.]' [Citation.]" (Manduley v. Superior Court (2002) 27 Cal.4th 537, 552, 117 Cal.Rptr.2d 168, 41 P.3d 3; see also People v. Thompson (1994) 24 Cal.App.4th 299, 304, 29 Cal.Rptr.2d 847.) "The judiciary may n......
  • In re Eddie M., No. S109902.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • August 7, 2003
    ...felonies, and felonies committed under certain aggravating circumstances. (E.g., §§ 602, subd. (b), 707, subd. (d); see Manduley, supra, 27 Cal.4th 537, 549-550, 117 Cal. Rptr.2d 168, 41 P.3d 3.) As petitioner suggests, no statute added or revised by Proposition 21 requires all criminal act......
  • People v. Jackson, No. B125364.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • May 9, 2005
    ...687. 137. Warne v. Harkness (1963) 60 Cal.2d 579, 588, 35 Cal.Rptr. 601, 387 P.2d 377. 138. Compare Manduley v. Superior Court (2002) 27 Cal.4th 537, 563, 117 Cal.Rptr.2d 168, 41 P.3d 139. Section 1054, subdivision (a). 140. Section 1054, subdivision (e). 141. People v. Jackson (1993) 15 Ca......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • The Miller Trilogy and the Persistence of Extreme Juvenile Sentences
    • United States
    • American Criminal Law Review Nbr. 58-4, October 2021
    • October 1, 2021
    ...raised all three 65. 469 N.E.2d 1090, 1092 (Ill. 1984). 66. Id. at 1093–94. 67. Id. at 1094–95. 68. See, e.g., Manduley v. Superior Ct., 41 P.3d 3, 27 (Cal. 2002) (upholding prosecutorial discretion to f‌ile cases of minors in adult court against constitutional objections), superseded by st......

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