Montgomery v. Louisiana – Decision and Resources

On January 26, 2016 the United States Supreme Court determined in Montgomery v. Louisiana that the 2012 decision of Miller v. Alabama applies retroactively to juveniles who are currently serving life without parole sentences.  This ruling may lead to the review of sentences for former juveniles currently incarcerated under life sentences in North Carolina and around the country.  For more information about the case and its potential impact, please see:

2016 Intensive Juvenile Defender Training – March 9-11, 2016

We are excited to announce that the 2016 Intensive Juvenile Defender Training, cosponsored by the School of Government and the Office of Indigent Defense Services, will be held on March 9-11, 2016 at the Guilford County Juvenile Detention Center and UNC School of Government.

It is designed for attorneys representing juveniles in delinquency proceedings less than two years or attorneys who have not practiced in this area for a period of time. The program begins at the Guilford County Juvenile Detention Center in Greensboro with an introduction to theories of adolescent brain development, detention advocacy, and a discussion with juveniles in detention and the manager of the detention center. Attorneys will also tour the facility. The program continues at the School of Government on Thursday and Friday with sessions such as suppression, evidence blocking and dispositions. Additionally, it includes workshops in which participants practice trial skills, such as preparing and arguing a suppression motion. The training will offer 14.0 hours of CLE credit, which includes one hour of ethics. The agenda is posted on the course page.

PARTICIPANTS: The Intensive Juvenile Defender Training is open to public defenders and private attorneys who represent juveniles in delinquency proceedings or attorneys who want to practice in this area. Attendance is limited to 36 participants in light of the intensive small group work.

TIMES: Check-in will be on Wednesday, March 9, 2016 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm, at which time the program will begin. The program ends on Friday, March 11, 2016 at 12:15pm.

REGISTRATION: To register online, as well as to find directions and other program information, please visit:

The registration fee for private assigned counsel is $300. Thanks to support from IDS, there is no fee for IDS employees. Pre-registration is required and space is limited; the online registration deadline is 5:00pm on FRIDAY, March 4, 2016. There is no onsite registration.

HOTEL INFORMATION: A block of rooms has been set up at the Holiday Inn Express Chapel Hill. The rate is $77 per night and includes a full deluxe hot breakfast, high speed wireless internet access and local shuttle service. To reserve a room online please visit and use the group code NJD. To reserve a room by phone please call the hotel directly at 919.489.7555, provide your arrival / departure dates and the group code NJD. You are responsible for making your own hotel reservation. The reservation deadline for the block rate is February 23, 2016. After this date, guests will be accommodated on a space-available basis and may not be able to obtain the group rate.

TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT – STATE EMPLOYEES ONLY: If you are an IDS employee, your eligibility for travel reimbursement at the state rate is contingent upon state rules and regulations. For all questions regarding travel reimbursement, please contact Patty Barbour—Accounts Payable Supervisor at IDS—at 919.789.3615.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: We look forward to seeing you in March.  If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact Danielle Rivenbark – Program Manager – at or 919-843-8981, or Austine Long – Program Attorney for the Indigent Defense Education – at or 919.962.9594.

Can the Court Detain a Juvenile on a Motion for Review Who’s Run Away on Probation?

Although “don’t run away from home” is not usually a standard condition of probation, several other conditions, such as remain on good behavior, not violate any laws, maintain a curfew, and not violate reasonable rules of the parent or guardian, are clearly stated under NCGS 7B-2510.  So when a juvenile runs from home, a motion for review can be filed alleging a violation of probation.  But can a secure custody order be filed to place the juvenile in detention for this behavior? And what if the juvenile can’t be served with the motion? Can the court then issue an order after the juvenile doesn’t appear in court?

According to the Juvenile Code, it doesn’t appear that running away, as a violation of probation, can be the sole basis for issuing a secure custody order.  NCGS 7B-1903 lists the circumstances in which a juvenile may be placed under secure custody.  Only sections (b) (3) and (d) seem to refer to probation violations.  Under section (d), the juvenile may be detained for a probation violation but only if the juvenile is alleged to have injured persons or damaged property.  Merely running away, without other allegations, doesn’t fit this criteria. Under section (b) (3) the juvenile must have “willfully failed to appear on…charges of probation…providing the juvenile was properly notified.”

Assume that the juvenile has run away, can’t be served, and doesn’t show to the court hearing.  Is this “willfully fail[ing] to appear”?  Unless the juvenile was ordered to show up on that specific court date through a served motion, or otherwise notified in open court under NCGS 7B-1807, it doesn’t appear so. “Notice” isn’t defined under the probation violation statute, 7B-2510.  But sections (d) and (e) refer to “notice” and “hearing,” presumably referring back to NCGS 7B-1807.  Therefore, the juvenile either needed to be served in person (see NCGS 15A-301(c), indicated by NCGS 7B-1806), or be notified in open court.

Faced with this issue, what are some options for the juvenile defender? Counsel should consider objecting if the juvenile hasn’t been served and the court orders secure custody, citing the above mentioned statutes.  Additionally, counsel could file a motion under 7B-2600 to modify, or consider other extraordinary motions. If the order issues and the juvenile is picked up prior to the next court hearing, counsel should consider motioning the case back into court as soon as possible, even if it’s before the mandatory five days under NCGS 7B-1906(a).  If the issue persists in the jurisdiction, counsel should consider approaching court officials in a non-hearing setting to clarify the law and procedure.



NCAJ Trial Briefs Focus on Juvenile Justice

The January issue of Trial Briefs, a magazine produced by the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, is now online for members.  The magazine updates readers on the latest in the practice of juvenile defense and recent innovations in youth justice in North Carolina today.  Authors include UNC School of Law professor Tamar Birckhead, UNC School of Government Professor LaToya Powell, Juvenile Defender Eric Zogry, Assistant Capital Defender Julie Boyer, Charlotte School of Law Professor Megan Annitto, Attorney Kellie Mannette, IDS Regional Defender Valerie Pearce, UNC Charlotte Professor Susan McCarter and the Honorable Judge Marcia H. Morey.   Click here for the table of contents.

For members of the Advocates for Justice, visit for individual articles.

If you are interested in joining the Advocates, click