Sunday, December 8, 2013

People v. Hodges case brief

People v. Hodges case brief summary
13 Cal. Rptr. 2D 412 (1992)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellants, a pastor and assistant pastor of a church who were also the president and principal of a private school affiliated with the church, sought review of a judgment of the Municipal Court for the San Diego Judicial District of San Diego County (California), which convicted them of violating the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act, Cal. Penal Code § 1166(a).

CASE FACTS
Appellants, a pastor and assistant pastor of a church who were also the president and principal of a private school affiliated with the church, were approached by a student of the school after the student's teacher made an appointment to see appellant pastor. The student confided that her stepfather had been molesting her. Appellant assistant pastor was also aware of the allegations, and together with appellant pastor told the student to return home. Appellants did not report the incident to authorities, but rather addressed it internally within the church. Appellants were convicted of violating the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (the Act), Cal. Penal Code § 11166. Appellants sought review.

DISCUSSION

  • The court affirmed the lower court convictions, holding that there was substantial evidence to support the jury's verdict that appellants were child care custodians pursuant to Cal. Penal Code § 11165.7; that the Act was sufficiently specific to defeat a constitutional attack based on vagueness; and that the Act did not violate appellants' U.S. Constitutional Amendment I rights or freedoms, including the free exercise, free speech, or establishment clauses.
CONCLUSION
The court affirmed the judgment of the lower court convicting appellants, a pastor and assistant pastor of a church who were also the president and principal of a private school affiliated with the church, of violating the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act, finding that there was substantial evidence to support appellants' convictions and holding that the statute did not violate any of appellants' constitutional freedoms or rights.

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