by
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of a single justice of the court denying Petitioner’s petition pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 arguing that because he had been “lawfully committed to the Department of Youth Services” at the time he committed the crime of murder, he was entitled to a transfer hearing pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 119, 61, which was then in effect. The single justice concluded that Petitioner was not entitled to a transfer hearing because, when the murder occurred in 1995, a seventeen-year-old was an adult in the eyes of the juvenile and criminal law. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding (1) because a seventeen-year-old was not, at the relevant time, considered a “child,” the juvenile court did not have jurisdiction over the matter; and (2) the fact that Petitioner had previously been committed to the Department was of no relevance because Petitioner would not have been subject to the juvenile court’s jurisdiction in any event. View "Elliot v. Commonwealth" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the single justice denying Petitioner’s petition filed under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 arguing that when the Commonwealth seeks to indict a juvenile, the grand jury must be instructed on the basic differences between juvenile and adult brains. Petitioner based his argument on the court’s decision in Commonwealth v. Walczak, 463 Mass. 808 (2012), which requires that a grand jury be instructed on the elements of murder and the significance of mitigating circumstances and defenses when the Commonwealth seeks to indict a juvenile for murder. The single justice denied the petition without a hearing. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that Petitioner’s arguments in support of his petition were unavailing. View "Cepeda v. Commonwealth" on Justia Law

by
The Court of Appeal reversed a two-year restraining order against Jonathan V, because he did not receive adequate notice of or a hearing on the People's application for the restraining order. In this juvenile case, defense counsel walked into court for a trial setting conference and was given "notice" by the prosecutor that the People were going to seek a two-year restraining order against her client, Jonathan V. Jonathan V. did not receive adequate notice or an adequate opportunity to be heard to contest the issuance of the order. View "In re Jonathan V." on Justia Law

by
A juvenile who is bound over to adult court must wait to appeal until the end of the adult-court proceedings. D.H. was a juvenile at the time he was charged with robbery. The juvenile court determined that D.H. was not amenable to rehabilitation in the juvenile system and transferred jurisdiction to the adult court. D.H. then pled no contest to the charges in adult court. The court of appeals concluded that because the juvenile court had not articulated the reasons that D.H. was not amenable to rehabilitation in the juvenile system, the court erred in transferring D.H. On remand, the juvenile court once again found that D.H. was not amenable to rehabilitation. D.H. immediately appealed the juvenile court’s transfer orders rather than wait until the end of the adult-court proceedings. The court of appeals dismissed the appeal for lack of a final order. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding the the juvenile court’s orders transferring jurisdiction to the adult court are not final orders under Ohio Rev. Code 2505.02(B)(4). View "In re D.H." on Justia Law

by
School administrator Cushman received a text message indicating that a student had a loaded gun at school. The tipster had received a SnapChat video showing a student, in a classroom, displaying a gun and a magazine clip. Cushman saw the video and identified the student as K.J., based on the tipster's description. The principal removed K.J. from class and escorted him to the hallway where a school resource officer and a backup police officer were waiting. A search of K.J. revealed a semi-automatic handgun and rounds of ammunition. Cushman knew but declined to reveal the tipster's identity due to her fear of retaliation. The parties stipulated that she would be treated as an anonymous tipster. Following a combined motion to suppress and jurisdictional hearing, the juvenile court sustained a petition alleging K.J. possessed a weapon on school grounds. The court of appeal affirmed, rejecting K.J.’s argument that he was detained and searched without reasonable suspicion. Substantial evidence supported findings that the actions of the school officer, detaining K.J. on school property, were neither arbitrary, capricious, nor harassment. In balancing the grave threat to students and staff posed by a student carrying a firearm against the minimally intrusive nature of removing a student from class, the detention was lawful. View "In re K.J." on Justia Law

by
San Pablo Police Officer Niemi determined that an Acura parked on the street was stolen. C.D. pulled the Acura into the street. Niemi followed. Officers Hearn and Dimercurio arrived. The three activated the lights of their patrol cars. Hearn pointed his gun at C.D. and shouted commands. C.D. stepped on the gas pedal and drove the Acura through the gap between Hearn’s patrol car and another car. Niemi saw the Acura strike the door of Hearn’s car as Hearn “pushed himself up against the frame ... as the driver door closed on his body.” Hearn fired several shots. The Acura hit a fence. A shot hit C.D, who lost an eye. Hearn was not injured and no documented repairs were made to his patrol car. The district attorney filed a juvenile court petition, alleging assault with a deadly weapon upon a peace officer; assault upon a peace officer by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury; and taking or driving a vehicle without the owner’s permission. The trial court found all three counts true. The court of appeal held that one count must be reversed because Penal Code 245(c), describes a single offense that can be committed two separate ways. The evidence was sufficient to support one true finding of assault under section 245(c). The trial court properly denied C.D.’s motion to disclose police personnel records. View "In re C.D." on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the juvenile court adjudicating Appellant for violating a Lincoln city ordinance prohibiting disturbing the peace. The juvenile court found that the State had proved the allegations in the petition beyond a reasonable doubt, specifically, that Appellant knowingly or intentionally disturbed the peace of a high school security officer by engaging in fighting. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) a school security officer and campus supervisor may be an appropriate victim of disturbing the peace; and (2) the evidence adduced sufficiently supported the juvenile court’s adjudication. View "In re Interest of Elainna R." on Justia Law

by
Father challenged the juvenile court’s jurisdictional finding that his two children, ages 11 and 14, were at substantial risk of serious physical harm due to his use of methamphetamine and the dispositional order removing the children from his custody. The court of appeal affirmed, rejecting Father’s argument that, although he is a “user” of methamphetamine he is not an “abuser” of it. His and Mother’s drug use has resulted in recurrent legal problems, namely, the current and prior dependency matters. Even though he received a negative test in 2009, Father admitted he used methamphetamine while the dependency matter was ongoing. He was unable to stop despite fearing that his children would be taken away from him. Despite Father’s claim that the children are “doing well,” substantial evidence supported a finding that there was a risk of serious physical harm to the children from his methamphetamine abuse. The juvenile court found by clear and convincing evidence that substantial danger exists to the physical health of the children and there are no reasonable means to protect them without removal from their parents’ custody; the finding comports with Welfare and Institutions Code section 361. View "In re Alexzander C." on Justia Law

by
The Court of Appeal reversed the juvenile court's order recommitting defendant to the Division of Juvenile Facilities (DJF) pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 707, subdivision (b). In this case, DJJ rejected the initial commitment—which was ordered following a violation of probation—because it was based on a section 602 petition in which the most recent offense was not a DJF-qualifying offense. The juvenile court then granted the prosecutor's motion to dismiss the no-qualifying offense and ordered the recommitment. The court agreed with defendant that the juvenile court erred in granting the prosecution's post-disposition motion to dismiss count 2 of his section 602 petition for the sole purpose of rendering him eligible for a DJF commitment. View "In re A.O." on Justia Law

by
In 2013, the juvenile court declared defendant-appellant, R.G. (Minor, born in April 2000), a dependent of the court. In 2016, while Minor remained a dependent of the juvenile court, the State filed a juvenile wardship petition alleging Minor had committed misdemeanor battery. After denying Minor’s request to refer the matter for a Welfare and Institutions Code section 241.12 assessment and report, Minor admitted the allegation that she had committed misdemeanor battery. The court declared Minor a ward of the court, placed her on formal probation, placed her in the custody of Children and Family Services (CFS), and scheduled the matter for a hearing pursuant to section 241.1. After subsequently receiving a section 241.1 report, the court again declared Minor a ward of the court with “CFS lead jurisdiction.” On appeal, Minor contended the juvenile court prejudicially erred by refusing to refer the matter for a section 241.1 assessment, report, and hearing prior to taking jurisdiction, resulting in violations of Minor’s statutory and due process rights. Moreover, Minor argued the subsequent section 241.1 report and hearing were statutorily inadequate. CFS countered Minor forfeited any contention the section 241.1 report was untimely or inadequate and that any error was harmless. The Court of Appeal reversed, finding the court erred by refusing to refer the matter for a section 241.1 report prior to making a determination of Minor’s status and holding the jurisdictional hearing. Furthermore, the subsequent section 241.1 report was inadequate to overcome the court’s initial error, and this error was not harmless. View "In re R.G." on Justia Law