Justia Juvenile Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Illinois Supreme Court
In re C.C.
The state filed a neglect petition, naming Long, the legal guardian of her grandchildren along with the children's biological mother and father, as respondents. The biological father waived adjudication. Long and the biological mother stipulated that the children were neglected. The trial court terminated the guardianship and dismissed Long from the case. The appellate court reversed, holding that the legislature could not have intended that a guardian could be dismissed from the case based simply upon her dismissal as guardian. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed, holding that, under 705 ILCS 405/1-5(1), once the court directs the removal or dismissal of a guardian, that individual no longer is a guardian and, thus, no longer a party respondent to the proceedings. The appellate court erred in looking to the children's best interests in deciding that Long would remain a party to the case even after she was dismissed as the children’s guardian. She is not without recourse; pursuant to section 1-5(2)(a), she may have the right to be heard as a previously appointed relative caregiver interested in the minors.View "In re C.C." on Justia Law
In re Dar. C. and Das. C., Minors
Termination proceedings began with 2006 charges that children, living with their mother, were neglected. The mother received Social Security benefits, but no effort was made to determine their source or to obtain a release of Social Security information. Later that year, a proceeding to collect child support from the father was initiated in the same prosecutor's office, with a complaint signed by a caseworker in the termination proceeding. In the collection matter, the father's birth date, Social Security number and description were listed The state located the father at a treatment center and obtained consent to a support order using funds from his disability benefits.The father challenged the termination of parental rights for lack of personal jurisdiction, claiming that, under the Juvenile Court Act, it was improper to serve him only by publication after attempts at personal service or service by certified mail were unsuccessful. The appellate court upheld the order. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed, stating that the state’s ability to obtain information in the child support action cast significant doubt on the diligence of inquiry in the termination proceedings and that relying on a computerized database search of a parent's name while ignoring, or not investigating, other potentially useful information, does not constitute a diligent inquiry. View "In re Dar. C. and Das. C., Minors" on Justia Law
In re Jonathon C.B., a Minor
The juvenile was adjudicated delinquent based on findings of criminal sexual assault (720 ILCS 5/12–13(a)(1)) and attempted robbery (720 ILCS 5/8–4(a), 18–1). The trial court ordered him committed for an indeterminate term, to automatically terminate in 15 years or at age 21. The appellate and state supreme courts affirmed. The evidence was sufficient to sustain a conviction, despite some inconsistencies in testimony. The court presumed that the trial court did not allow the juvenile to be shackled without a hearing on whether restraint was required, absent any indication in the record that the court was aware that he was in shackles before he was called to testify. Delinquency adjudications are not the equivalent of felony convictions,so it is not unconstitutional that juveniles do not have a right to a jury trial. Imposition of collateral consequences on juveniles adjudicated delinquent for committing felony sex offenses, such as reduced confidentiality, unavailability of expungement, and possibility of involuntary commitment under the Sexually Violent Persons Act,do not negate the rehabilitative purposes of the Act so that a jury trial would be required. View "In re Jonathon C.B., a Minor" on Justia Law