Justia Juvenile Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Ohio Supreme Court
In re M.M.
The State filed seven complaints against Appellee, a juvenile, alleging that he was delinquent for engaging in conduct that, if he had been an adult, would have constituted rape and gross sexual imposition. During pretrial proceedings, the State sought to introduce statements that two of the alleged victims made to a social worker with the police department. A magistrate concluded that the State was precluded from introducing at trial the out-of-court statements. The State did not move to set aside the magistrate's decision as was its right under the juvenile rules of procedure and failed to perfect an interlocutory appeal pursuant to the juvenile rules of procedure. The case proceeded to trial, where the court dismissed all counts after declining to allow out-of-court statements into evidence. The State appealed. The court of appeals dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the State is not authorized to pursue a discretionary appeal when it fails to take an appeal as of right in accordance with the applicable rules of procedure. View "In re M.M." on Justia Law
State ex rel. Jean-Baptiste v. Kirsch
Ohio Rev. Code 2152.83(A)(1) requires that a juvenile court issue on order classifying the child as a juvenile-offender registrant at the time of the child's release from the custody of a secure facility. When he was eighteen years old, Appellant, a native of Haiti, was adjudicated to be a delinquent child and ordered to be committed to the Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS). After Appellant was released from DYS, he was held in jail until hearings could be conducted to determine his citizenship. When Appellant was released from jail and after he turned twenty-one, he filed a complaint for a writ of prohibition to prevent the juvenile court from proceeding to classify him as a juvenile-offender registrant. Appellant claimed the juvenile court lacked jurisdiction to proceed because he was over twenty-one years old and because the court failed to hold a classification hearing within a reasonable time of his release from DYS. The court of appeals denied the writ. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that he juvenile court lacked jurisdiction to classify Appellant, who was no longer a "child" under the applicable statute. View "State ex rel. Jean-Baptiste v. Kirsch" on Justia Law
In re Bruce S.
Appellee committed an act on September 1, 2007 that, if committed by an adult, would constitute rape. On May 19, 2010, the juvenile court classified Appellee as a Tier III sex offender under S.B. 10. Appellee appealed, asserting that he should not be classified as a Tier III sex offender under S.B. 10 because he committed his offense before the effective date of the applicable part of that statute. The First District Court of Appeals agreed and reversed. Noting, however, that its analysis was in conflict with the analysis of the Eighth District Court of Appeals, the First District certified a question of law to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court answered by stating that S.B. 10's classification, registration, and community-notification provisions may not be constitutionally applied to a sex offender who committed his sex offense between the July 1, 2007 repeal of Megan's Law and the January 1, 2008 effective date of S.B. 10's aforementioned provisions. View "In re Bruce S." on Justia Law
State v. D.W.
At issue in this appeal was whether a hearing to determine a juvenile's amenability to care or rehabilitation in the juvenile system may be waived, and if so, what the standard for waiver should be. In this case, the juvenile court found an amenability hearing was not required because he had found probable cause, and the juvenile had been bound over to adult court in a prior case. The juvenile was subsequently found guilty of burglary, theft, vandalism, and criminal damaging. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) a juvenile has a right to an amenability hearing to determine if the juvenile can remain within the juvenile justice system or be bound over to adult court; (2) the juvenile may waiver the right to the amenability hearing; and (3) here, the juvenile failed to conduct an amenability hearing before transferring the juvenile to adult court and erred by failing to ask the juvenile whether he was waiving the hearing. Remanded for an amenability hearing or proper waiver of it. View "State v. D.W." on Justia Law
In re M.W.
At issue in this appeal was whether a juvenile has a statutory right to counsel during a police interrogation conducted before a complaint is filed or an appearance is made in juvenile court. The juvenile in this case was adjudicated delinquent of aggravated robbery with a three-year firearm specification. The juvenile appealed, arguing that the police sergeant violated Ohio Rev. Code 2151.352 in obtaining a written statement before giving the juvenile an opportunity to obtain counsel. The appellate court rejected the juvenile's claim, concluding that a juvenile proceeding does not commence until the filing of a complaint, and because no complaint had been filed against the juvenile at the time he was interrogated and gave the written statement, section 2151.352 did not apply. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) pursuant to section 2151.352, a child is statutorily entitled to representation by legal counsel upon the filing of a complaint in juvenile court or upon initial appearance in the juvenile court; and (2) thus, the right of a juvenile to counsel pursuant to section 2151.352 attaches when the jurisdiction of a juvenile court is properly invoked. View "In re M.W." on Justia Law
In re C.P.
C.P. was fifteen years old when he was charged with two counts of rape and one count of kidnapping with sexual motivation. The juvenile court found C.P. to be a delinquent child and designated him a serious youthful offender in relation to each offense. Further, the court classified C.P. a public-registry-qualified juvenile-offender registrant (PRQJOR) and a Tier III sex-offender/child-victim offender pursuant to Ohio Rev. Code 2152.86. At issue on appeal was the constitutionality of section 2152.86, which created the new class of juvenile sex-offender registrants, PRQJORs, who are automatically subject to mandatory, lifetime sex-offender registration and notification requirements without the participation of a juvenile judge. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that to the extent that it imposes such requirements on juvenile offenders tried with the juvenile system, section 2152.86 violates the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment and the due process clauses of the state and federal Constitutions. View "In re C.P." on Justia Law
In re C.B.
After it was granted temporary custody of C.B. in a dependency proceeding, the county department of children and family services sought to be awarded permanent custody of the child. The juvenile court denied the motion, terminated the department's temporary custody of the child, and ordered that the child be placed with the father. The mother appealed that order, and the child's guardian ad litem (GAL) filed a cross-appeal, challenging the trial court's decision. The court of appeals dismissed the appeal, holding that there was no final, appealable order in this case. The GAL sought review, which the Supreme Court granted. The Court reversed and remanded the case, holding that when a trial court denies a children-services agency's motion to modify temporary custody to permanent custody, terminates the placement of temporary custody with the agency, and awards legal custody to a parent, the order is final and appealable under Ohio Rev. Code Ann 2505.02. Additionally, the Court found that there was no reasonable basis for the juvenile court to have appointed independent counsel separate from the GAL under the circumstances. View "In re C.B." on Justia Law
In re D.B.
D.B. and another boy were under 13 years of age when they engaged in sexual activity. The juvenile court adjudicated D.B. delinquent for rape based on the violation of Ohio Rev. Code 2907.01(A)(1)(b), which prohibits one from engaging in sexual conduct with a person under the age of 13. On appeal, D.B. argued that application of the statute violated his federal rights to due process and equal protection. At issue was whether a child's constitutional rights are violated when, as a member of the class protected by the statute, the child is adjudicated as a delinquent based upon a violation of the statute. The appeals court affirmed, and the Supreme Court reversed and remanded. The Court held that (1) as applied to offenders who are under 13 themselves, the statute is unconstitutionally vague in violation of due process because arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement is encouraged; and (2) application of the statute in this case violates equal protection because only one child was charged with being delinquent, while others similarly situated were not. View "In re D.B." on Justia Law