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In re L.L.

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, Dallas

October 30, 2019

IN THE INTEREST OF L.L., A CHILD

          On Appeal from the 304th Judicial District Court Dallas County, Texas Trial Court Cause No. JD-18-00890-W.

          Before Justices Myers, Osborne, and Nowell.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          LESLIE OSBORNE JUSTICE.

         L.L., a child between the ages of 10 and 17, entered a plea of true to a charge of criminal mischief under Texas Penal Code section 28.03, and the trial court declared L.L. to be a child engaged in delinquent conduct under section 51.03 of the juvenile justice code.[1] After a disposition hearing, the trial court ordered L.L. and her mother to pay restitution fees of $3, 061.91 as a result of L.L.'s criminal mischief. In two issues, L.L. challenges the trial court's judgment of disposition. We affirm the trial court's judgment.

         Background

         L.L. and Enohelia Bustos were involved in a traffic accident. After the collision, L.L. got out of her car and caused further damage to Enohelia's[2] vehicle. The Dallas County District Attorney's Office, counsel for the State of Texas, filed a "Petition Regarding Child Engaged in Delinquent Conduct" against L.L. An Associate Judge made findings and recommendations including restitution in the amount of $3, 061.91 for damages to the car resulting from the vandalism. The case proceeded to a bench trial.

         L.L. entered a plea of true to the criminal mischief charge, and the trial court heard evidence on the disputed issue of restitution. Enohelia's husband Reuben and L.L. testified. Reuben explained that he obtained estimates for repair of Enohelia's car, requesting separate figures for the damage caused by the collision itself and the damage caused by L.L. after the collision. He testified that he obtained several estimates and receipts and submitted them to the victim services department in connection with the case. He explained that although Enohelia had originally sought $7, 906 in restitution, she was now seeking $3, 061.91 as a result of L.L.'s vandalism, having separated and subtracted the damages from the collision. He testified:

Q. Okay. If you could just kind of tell the Court what was damaged in the vandalism only. Not the car accident, but what happened in the vandalism only to the vehicle?
A. Okay. The vehicle, the driver's side mirror got broken. They tried to-they pulled the-
MS. JACOBSON: Objection. Your Honor, I'm not sure he has personal knowledge about which is the vandalism versus-
. . . -the crash.
THE COURT: Hold on. Go ahead. Your response.
Q (By Ms. Valdez) You-when the crash happened you responded straight to the scene immediately where your wife was?
A. That's correct. I got there, like, 10 minutes after 'cause I work ...

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