Dismiss Ex Parte Custody Order

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					   Juvenile Law:
  A Quick Overview
of Delinquency Cases

                        October 2004
             Institute of Government
                   UNC at Chapel Hill
1. Offense committed while at least 6 and
   not yet 16 (unless married, emancipated,
   or in armed services)
2. Continues even if juvenile becomes
   emancipated after the offense
3. For dispositional purposes, may continue
   to age 18, 19, or 21 (depends on offense)
4. Is in adult court if juvenile had been
   convicted in adult court at time of offense
  Learning a New Language

• See definitions in G.S. 7B-1501
• See purpose statements in
  G.S. 7B-1500 and 7B-2500
        Judge‟s Role in Setting
•   Attorneys
•   Juvenile Court Counselors
•   Law Enforcement
•   Juvenile Clerks
•   Service Providers
•   Juveniles
•   Parents
          Law Enforcement
• Temporary custody
• Custodial interrogation and special
  “Miranda” for juveniles
• Preparation of complaints for filing
• Fingerprints and photographs
• Other nontestimonial
  identification procedures
Intake, Screening, Diversion, Petitions
          Juvenile court counselor:
• Receives and screens all complaints
• Makes preliminary inquiry
• Does not “investigate”
• Evaluates legal sufficiency
• If nondivertible, authorizes petition for filing
• Otherwise, has discretion to close, divert, or
  authorize petition
• May seek secure custody order
            Secure Custody
• First order is usually ex parte
• Petition must be filed before order issued
• Be clear about magistrate‟s role
• Hearing required within 5 calendar days,
  then every 10 days unless waived
• State has burden at every hearing
    Grounds for Secure Custody
• Charged with felony and demonstrated danger
  to persons or property
• Demonstrated danger to persons and charged
  with misdemeanor that
   – included assault on a person, or
   – involved firearm or other deadly weapon
• Willfully failed to appear
• Reasonable cause to believe
   he/she will not appear
• Has absconded
          Court Hearings

Judge may exclude public:
1. Only for good cause
2. Only if juvenile does not ask for open
   hearing, and
3. Only after considering factors set
   out in statute
         First Appearance
1. Within 10 days of filing of petition in all
   felony cases

2. If juvenile is not in custody, court may
   continue to time certain for good cause

3. If juvenile is in custody, first
   appearance and first custody hearing
   occur together
 At First Appearance, the Court
1. Informs juvenile of allegations in petition
2. Appoints counsel if juvenile not
3. Informs juvenile of date of probable cause
   hearing, if one is required
4. Informs parent, guardian, custodian that
   they must attend all hearings and may be
   held in contempt for failing to appear
     Probable Cause Hearing
1. For all juveniles alleged to have
   committed a felony while 13 or older
2. Within 15 days of first appearance unless
   court continues for good cause
3. Counsel for juvenile may waive in writing
   and stipulate to probable cause
          Transfer Hearing
• Juvenile entitled to 5 days‟ notice
• Transfer may be considered
  - on motion of prosecutor or juvenile
  - on court‟s own motion
• Court must consider 8 statutory factors
• Issue = Will protection of public and
  needs of juvenile be served by transfer?
• Transfer order must state reasons
• Immediate appeal to superior court
• State has burden of proof
• Limits on amending petitions
• Standard of proof -- beyond reasonable doubt
• Elements of offenses and rules of evidence
  same as in adult court
• Juvenile may not waive right to counsel
• Juvenile adjudicated for felony must be
• An „adjudication‟ is not a „conviction‟
         Disposition Hearing
• Presumed to be open
• Predisposition report, including risk and
  needs assessment
• Court may proceed without report if finds it
  is not needed
• Hearing is informal
         Dispositional Factors:
1.   Seriousness of offense
2.   Need to hold juvenile accountable
3.   Protecting public safety
4.   Degree of juvenile‟s culpability
5.   Juvenile‟s rehabilitative and treatment
 Available Dispositions Include:
• Dismiss the case
• Continue up to 6 months to allow family to
  take appropriate action
• Order evaluation; hold hearing on treatment
• Refer mentally ill or developmentally
  disabled juvenile to area mental health
Determining Disposition Options
 1. Categories of Disposition:
    -Level 1 - Community
    -Level 2 - Intermediate
    -Level 3 - Commitment
    2. Offense Classification:

- Violent: A-E felony
- Serious: F-I felony or A1 misdemeanor
- Minor: Class 1, 2, or 3 misdemeanor
     3. Delinquency History Level
Prior Adjudications
A-E felony…………………………                 4 points
F-I felony or A1 misdemeanor…..      2 points
Class 1, 2, or 3 misdemeanor…..      1 point
On probation at time of new offense..2 points
      Points         History Level
       0-1              Low
       2-3              Medium
       4 or more        High
Delinquency History Level Special Rules
1.Classification is as of date of the offense
  before court
2.If multiple adjudications in one session of
  court, use only the most serious one
3.Proof of prior adjudications may be by
  – stipulation of parties
  – court records
  – DCI or DJJDP records
  – other reliable method
            Disposition Chart
           LOW           MEDIUM             HIGH
          (0-1 pts)      (2-3 pts)    (4 or more pts)
VIOLENT   Level 2 or 3   Level 3          Level 3
SERIOUS   Level 1 or 2   Level 2          Level 2 or 3
MINOR     Level 1        Level 1 or 2     Level 2
      Chart: Rules and Exceptions
1. Consolidate multiple offenses adjudicated
   in one session
2. At Level 2, may order Level 3, if juvenile
   committed to YDC (training school) previously
3. At Level 3, may order Level 2, based on
   extraordinary needs
4. May order Level 3 for minor offense,
   if 4 or more “prior” adjudications
Conditions Court may Authorize Court
Counselor to Invoke:

1.   Up to 20 hours community service
2.   Substance abuse monitoring/treatment
3.   Life skills or educational skills program
4.   Electronic monitoring (only Level 2)
5.   Intensive supervision (only Level 2)
          Violation of Probation
   After notice, hearing, finding (greater weight of
   evidence) of violation of probation, court may:
1. continue or modify probation conditions
2. order new disposition at next higher Level
3. order detention for twice time in 7B-2508
4. not order commitment if juvenile was
   adjudicated for minor offense
* Be clear whether before court for violation of
  probation or new offense.
     Commitments to DJJDP
1. Always for minimum of 6 months
2. Always (almost) for indefinite period
3. Absolute maximum commitment period
   • Age 21, for 1st degree murder, rape, or
     sexual offense
   • Age 19, for other B - E felonies
   • Age 18, all other offenses
          Commitment Orders
•  Court may not order that juvenile remain
   committed until specific age or for specific
   amount of time
• Order must state maximum time juvenile
   may remain committed before being notified
   that DJJDP seeks to extend commitment
   beyond either
  – adult maximum for same offense, or
  – age 18 (in cases where that is an option)
     Extended Commitments
Treatment plan, notice, and opportunity for
  hearing are required before
• keeping juvenile committed past age 18
  (for A - E felony) or
• keeping juvenile longer than adult
  maximum (except for six month minimum)
      Post-Release Supervision

•   Requires a plan
•   Minimum 90 days
•   Maximum 1 year
•   Re-commitment for violation is minimum
    of 3 months
 The Goal: Nonoffending ,
responsible, and productive
members of the community

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