by
The question in this case was whether K.A.M. was stopped during the search of a drug house when a detective came upon youth and a friend in one of the bedrooms, told K.A.M.'s friend to “stay off the meth,” asked them their names, and then asked whether they had anything illegal on them. Because the trial court ruled that no stop occurred, it denied K.A.M.'s motion to suppress evidence discovered during the encounter. The Court of Appeals upheld that ruling, agreeing that no stop had occurred. The Oregon Supreme Court concluded after a review of the trial court record, however, a stop occurred, it reversed the Court of Appeals decision and the trial court’s judgment. View "Oregon v. K. A. M." on Justia Law

by
When a juvenile whose parents are deceased appears at an amenability hearing, the juvenile is not required to ask for the appointment of a guardian ad litem (GAL). Rather, a GAL must be appointed as mandated by Ohio Rev. Code 2151.281(A)(1) and Juv. R. 4(B)(1). Further, the juvenile court’s failure to appoint a GAL in a delinquency proceeding is subject to criminal plain-error review if the juvenile does not object. After an amenability hearing, a judge concluded that Appellant, a juvenile, was not amenable to care and rehabilitation in the juvenile system and that Appellant was to be transferred to adult court. In common pleas court, Appellant pleaded guilty to one count of burglary, two counts of felonious assault, and one count of aggravated robbery, each including a firearm specification. On appeal, Appellant argued that the juvenile court committed plain error when it failed to appoint a GAL for his amenability hearing. The court of appeals concluded that the juvenile court erred in failing to appoint a GAL but that Appellant was unable to demonstrate prejudice. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant failed to show that the juvenile court’s error in failing to appoint a GAL at the amenability hearing affected the outcome of the proceeding. View "State v. Morgan" on Justia Law

by
Father lived the child and her mother, outside of Maine, until 2008, when the child was about six months old. After that time, he maintained regular contact with the child, who resided primarily in New York, but was never her primary caregiver. In 2016 Mother moved to Maine with the child. Father, who is incarcerated in Massachusetts, did not oppose the move. While he was incarcerated the child asked a neighbor for help and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services commenced a child protection proceeding. Father made no effort to take responsibility. The Department obtained a preliminary protection order, 22 M.R.S. 4032-4036, and placed the child in foster care after hospitalization for psychiatric care. Father was served with notice and provided with appointed counsel, who moved to dismiss the petition for lack of personal jurisdiction because Father is not a Maine resident, has never traveled to Maine,and otherwise lacked sufficient minimum contacts with Maine. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the court’s rejection of that motion. The court was not required to have jurisdiction over Father to have authority to issue a jeopardy order to protect the child. View "In re Emma B." on Justia Law

by
Under Indiana Code section 31-25-2-5, no family case manager at the Indiana Department of Child Services can oversee more than 17 children at a time who are receiving services. The statute does not require the Department to perform any specific, ministerial acts for achieving that number. Price, a family case manager, filed a proposed class action. She alleged that her caseload was 43 children and sought an “order mandating or enjoining [D]efendants to take all necessary steps to comply with [Section 5].” The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of Price’s claim prior to class certification. Judicial mandate is an extraordinary remedy—available only when the law imposes a clear duty upon a defendant to perform a specific, ministerial act and the plaintiff is clearly entitled to that relief. The statute at issue does not impose a specific, ministerial duty. View "Price v. Indiana Department of Child Services; Director of Indiana Department of Child Services" on Justia Law

by
In December 2015, the Contra Costa County District Attorney filed a petition alleging Charles committed felony violations of Penal Code section 29610 by possession of a firearm by a minor and of section 25400(a)(2) by having a concealed firearm on his person, and a misdemeanor violation of section 148(a)(1) by resisting, obstructing or delaying a peace officer in that officer’s performance of his duties. In August 2016, the juvenile court denied Charles’s motion to suppress evidence under Welfare and Institutions Code section 700.1 but granted Charles’s motion to reduce the firearm felony violations to misdemeanors. The court committed Charles to Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facility for a six-month regular program. The court of appeal reversed as to the charge of resisting, finding insufficient evidence, but otherwise affirmed. The court rejected an argument that the statute prohibiting carrying a concealed firearm (254001) was preempted by the more specific statute that targets minors, section 29610. The statutes prohibit different conduct and Charles violated both statutes. View "In re Charles G." on Justia Law

by
The United States Supreme Court vacated the Alabama Supreme Court's earlier judgment in Ex parte Williams, 183 So. 3d 220 (Ala. 2015). Jimmy Williams, Jr., was convicted of murder made capital because it was committed during a robbery in the first degree; the offense was committed when Williams was 15 years old. The trial court sentenced Williams to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, the only possible sentence and one that was mandatory. In June 2013, Williams petitioned the Montgomery Circuit Court for a new sentencing hearing, asserting that his life-without-the possibility-of-parole sentence was unconstitutional and unlawful in light of Miller v. Alabama, 132 S.Ct. 2455 (2012). The circuit court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, and this Court disagreed, each holding that Williams was not entitled to a new sentencing hearing because the rule in Miller did not apply retroactively to cases such as Williams's, which were final when Miller was decided. Williams petitioned the United States Supreme Court for certiorari review. While Williams's petition for certiorari review was pending, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Montgomery v. Louisiana, 136 S.Ct. 718 (2016)., which clarified its holding in Miller, stating that "Miller announced a substantive rule that is retroactive in cases on collateral review." The Alabama Court vacated the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals and remanded this case directly to the circuit court for proceedings consistent with Miller and Montgomery. View "Ex parte Jimmy Williams, Jr." on Justia Law

by
Defendant was sixteen years old when he committed the crimes at issue in this case. The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions of one count of first-degree murder, one count of aggravated assault and battery, and ten counts of attempted aggravated assault and battery but reversed Defendant’s sentence and remanded for resentencing. The court held (1) the district court did not abuse its discretion when it denied Defendant’s motion to transfer the proceedings to juvenile court; (2) there were some errors in the jury instructions, but the errors were not prejudicial either individually or cumulatively; (3) the prosecutor’s victim impact statements during closing arguments were improper but not prejudicial; (4) there was sufficient evidence to support the attempted assault and battery charges; (5) Defendant’s aggregate sentence did not deprive the parole board of its statutory authority to consider parole of juveniles after twenty-five years; (6) Defendant’s sentence for murder and aggravated assault of the same victim did not violate double jeopardy; but (7) Defendant’s aggregate sentence violated the Eighth Amendment because it was a de facto life without parole sentence. View "Sam v. State" on Justia Law

by
The Eleventh Circuit affirmed defendant's sentence of 685 months in prison for multiple armed robbery and carjacking crimes committed while he was a juvenile. The court held that defendant did not assert any valid ground for vacating his convictions where the district court did not err in its suppression rulings; the district court properly dismissed defendant's original indictment without prejudice; defendant's second indictment was timely; and the district court's evidentiary rulings did not warrant reversal. The court also held that the district court did not err in sentencing defendant. In this case, defendant's sentence complied with Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48 (2010), because defendant had some meaningful opportunity to obtain release during his lifetime. Finally, defendant's sentence was not vindictive. View "United States v. Mathurin" on Justia Law

by
A jury found defendant Armando Pineda, Jr. guilty of second degree murder for shooting the patriarch of a neighboring family, Rogelio Islas (Rogelio). Defendant was 17 years old at the time of the crime, and the district attorney directly filed the charge against him in a court of criminal jurisdiction, rather than a juvenile court. Owing to that filing and the subsequent repeal of “direct file” procedures effected by Section 4 of the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016 (Proposition 57), the issue presented for the Court of Appeal was an issue still pending on the California Supreme Court‘s docket: whether the changes worked by Section 4 applied to defendant because his conviction was not yet final. In the unpublished portion of its opinion, the Court also considered defendant‘s additional arguments on appeal: (1) that the trial court abused its discretion by denying his motion to continue the trial; (2) the court should have instructed the jury on third party flight as consciousness of guilt (both defendant and his father fled the scene of the crime, and the defense at trial was that the father was the shooter); and (3) the court should have given defendant‘s proposed pinpoint instruction on provocation as relevant to voluntary manslaughter. The judgment was conditionally reversed and remanded for the juvenile court to conduct a fitness hearing under Welfare and Institutions Code section 707. If, after a fitness hearing, the juvenile court determined that it would have transferred defendant to a court of criminal jurisdiction, the judgment of conviction would be reinstated as of the date of that determination. If no motion for a fitness hearing is filed, or if a fitness hearing is held and the juvenile court determined that it would not have transferred defendant to a court of criminal jurisdiction, defendant‘s criminal conviction, including the true findings on the alleged enhancements, would be deemed to be juvenile adjudications as of the date of the juvenile court‘s determination. In the event the conviction was deemed a juvenile adjudication, the juvenile court was ordered to conduct a dispositional hearing and impose an appropriate disposition within the court‘s discretion. View "California v. Pineda" on Justia Law

by
Trever P. was found by the juvenile court to have committed acts of sexual molestation against his four-year-old cousin while babysitting him one day. Trever was twelve-years-old at the time of the offenses. The court committed Trever to the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). Trever argued on appeal that the primary evidence against him, an audio recording, surreptitiously made by the victim’s mother, of the conversation Trever and the victim had during the offenses, was inadmissible under Penal Code section 632.1, a part of the Invasion of Privacy Act. Trever also argued the trial court abused its discretion by committing him to DJJ. The Court of Appeal agreed with the trial court’s conclusion that the evidence was admissible under an exception in section 633.5, allowing for admission of surreptitious recordings if one party consents to being recorded for the purpose of obtaining evidence of certain specified crimes. The victim’s mother reasonably suspected such a crime when she arranged to make the recording. Finding no other error, the Court affirmed the juvenile court’s judgment. View "In re Trever P." on Justia Law