Juveniles & COVID-19

As you may know, courts around the country are limiting or altogether restricting visitation to juvenile detention to combat the spread of COVID-19. While at a base level, important to the safety and physical health of these youth, another issue has come from these sweeping changes: added mental health stress.

You can read this article from The Marshall Project. With the limits on visitation, youth are concerned for their loved ones, parents cannot see their child, and the implications of the restriction are taking an emotional toll on all.

For our NC Defenders who has juveniles in secure custody please read below:

We wanted to pass on some information regarding youth in detention. We have spoken with DJJ and here is what they have relayed:

  • all legal visits to the detention centers for juvenile will continue
  • attorneys are asked to call the detention center before they visit
  • attorneys may be screened for COVID-19 (asked a couple questions) to ensure the safety of the youth and staff
  • due to the closure of courts and continuances as a result to Chief Justice Beasley’s Executive Order, DJJ is working to have tele-hearing equipment available by early next week. That equipment is being delivered to the facilities and districts today and may also be available to parents and attorneys to visit electronically with their child/clients in detention in a secure and confidential manner. DJJ said they would let our office know when this option is available.

We understand that some of the detention centers may be filling up, with a reduction in alternatives due to the pandemic.  We encourage you to remind the court of low contact options, such as house arrest or electronic monitoring.  Check out our website for materials and information about Detention Advocacy here, or call our office and we will get back with you!

Week in Review: March 16-20

Welcome to Friday, March 20. As we recognize this week was more difficult than most, OJD would like to thank everyone for their patience and dedication to making sure our youth are taken care of, still well represented and fought for. Defenders, you are superheroes.

Appeals Tip of the Week: Courtesy of David Andrews, Office of the Appellate Defender

Suppression motions and admissions – Give the prosecutor and the court notice of the juvenile’s intent to appeal the suppression order before the juvenile enters the admission AND enter notice of appeal from the dispositional order (not from the suppression order)! 

Court Updates

There have been a few court updates and directives by Chief Justice Beasley to help our community slow the spread of COVID-19. Read below for announcements from the North Carolina Judicial Branch and NCAOC Communications.

On March 13, she issued two emergency directivespostponing most cases in superior and district courts for 30 days and instructing local officials to take steps to limit the risk of exposure in courthouses.

On March 15, 2020, Chief Justice Beasley issued a memo providing guidance to local judges, clerks, and district attorneys as they worked to implement earlier directives. The memo allowed for the public and court personnel to practice social distancing and other preventative measures recommended by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Center for Disease Control. 

On March 19, she announced an order extending filing deadlines and further curtailing other court processes. The order states that documents due to be filed from March 16 to April 17 will be deemed timely filed if received before the close of business on April 17, 2020, and that any actions required to be done during that time can also be postponed until April 17, 2020. 

If you have any questions regarding these orders, please contact your local clerk or visit the Juno website.

North Carolina Celebrates 50 Years of Public Defense

March 18 was declared Public Defender Day in North Carolina by Chief Justice Cheri Beasley and Governor Roy Cooper. The first public defender office opened in January, 1970 in Guilford County. Cumberland and Hoke counties opened offices in the summer that same year. 

OJD is an office full of public defenders and we are happy to help train, develop and support those who currently support our juvenile justice community, those who are just starting juvenile work, and those who will in the future. Here’s a couple shots of OJD in their Anniversary shirts (well, Eric and LaTobia).

Week in Review: Feb 9-13

Good Morning Readers! We know it has been a chaotic week and one filled with a bit of stress. So we’ll keep it light and airy, an easy blog post for your enjoyment.

Appeals Tip of the Week: Courtesy of David Andrews, Office of the Appellate Defender

Suppression motions and contested adjudicatory hearings – If the suppression motion is denied, object when the evidence is admitted at the adjudication hearing because the failure to do so creates a heavier burden on appeal. A pretrial ruling on a motion to suppress is “preliminary,” which means the juvenile must object when evidence is offered during the adjudication hearing. State v. Waring, 364 N.C. 443 (2010). The failure to object when the evidence is admitted subjects the argument to plain error review on appeal. State v. Stokes, 357 N.C. 220 (2003).

Training

An announcement regarding the upcoming Watauga County CLE will be posted later today due to COVID concerns.

Need something to listen to while you work? How about the OJD Podcast?

You can listen to the new podcast here on Soundcloud. Our first episode features Dorothy Hairson-Mitchell, Clinical Assistant Professor/Supervising Attorney Juvenile Law Clinic, NC Central University School of Law, Durham, NC. We have new episodes coming soon!

Stay Safe! See you next week!

Did you hear? We have a PODCAST!

On your way to work, or maybe you’re on your way home, sitting in your office, or working from home? Take a listen to the revamped Office of the Juvenile Defender Podcast!

You can listen to the new podcast here on Soundcloud. Our first episode features Dorothy Hairson-Mitchell, Clinical Assistant Professor/Supervising Attorney Juvenile Law Clinic, NC Central University School of Law, Durham, NC

Podcast Alert!

The revamped OJD Podcast is here! We are still searching for a new name so if you have any ideas and would like to win a prize…email us your thoughts!

You can listen to the new podcast here on Soundcloud.

Please feel free to send us your comments, suggestions, and thoughts regarding our first podcast release. We’d love to hear from you!

Want to be a guest with a Juvenile Justice topic? Email LaTobia.

Week in Review: March 2-6

What a week for OJD! Started off smooth sailing and then 2 days at the UNC School of Government for the Intensive Juvenile Defender Training. But we’ll get to that later, first substance!

Appeals Tip of the Week: Courtesy of David Andrews, Office of the Appellate Defender

If the trial attorney does not file any motion to suppress, (or make an oral motion as allowed by §7B-2408.5(e)), the juvenile cannot raise a suppression issue on appeal. State v. Miller, 2018 N.C. LEXIS 425. If the juvenile made a confession or was subject to a search or seizure, you should strongly consider filing and litigating a suppression motion.

NEW COA OPINIONS!

There has been a new Court of Appeals opinion and we have that available to you on our website under Materials for Defenders > Case Summaries. Remember this page has many different summaries that can help you in your defense. Here’s a link to In The Matter of H.D.H. the most recent update.

2020 Juvenile Justice & Children’s Rights Section Annual Meeting

The NCBA Juvenile Justice & Children’s Rights Section are having their annual meeting and CLE on Thursday, May 4, 2020 at the NC Bar Center in Cary. The topic discuss Raise the Age in different aspects, such as: The Juvenile Court Counselors View, School to Prision Pipeline and will also have a Juvenile Justice Panel. Check-in begins at 8:30 AM and the CLE will end at 12:15. If you are interested, you can reach out to Eric for more information.

UPCOMING TRAINING!

Last but not least! Training Recap: 2020 Intensive Juvenile Defender Training at UNC SOG.

2 full days of learning at the UNC School of Government did not go unappreciated. Defenders learned topics ranging from Adolescent Behavior to Disposition Advocacy. Packed with workshops and discussions on how to advocate for our youth, UNC and OJD did a great job of bringing defenders out and lifting them up in the defense community. Take a look at some photos below.

Week in Review: Feb 24-28

If I told you that OJD had the busiest week, would you believe us? From grant meetings to trainings, the work never stops when OJD is making juvenile justice a bit better in North Carolina.

Appeals Tip of the Week: Courtesy of David Andrews, Office of the Appellate Defender

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-2408.5 governs suppression motions in juvenile court. Under the statute, the suppression motion must include an affidavit. In adult cases, the failure to include an affidavit waives the suppression issue, even on appeal. State v. Holloway, 311 N.C. 573 (1984).

Upcoming Trainings

Remember! OJD is reporting and covering CLE fees.

Juvenile Enhancement Training Recap

First, OJD would like to thank all of our guest speakers who presented at the Juvenile Enhancement Training: Dr. Julianne Ludlam, Dorothy Hairston-Mitchell, Kim Howes, Terri Johnson, Eric Zogry, L. Chantel Cherry-Lassiter & Mary Stansell. We appreciate your time and effort to make this CLE possible and a success. A big thank you to Austine Long for organizing and scheduling this event, and one to LaTobia for getting the materials printed and arranged so nicely.

Topics covered included: Raise the Age, Adolescent Behavior, Collateral Consequences, Interviewing and Expunctions. It was a long but educational day. Subscribe to our blog for more training announcements. Take a look at some photos below!

Next up, UNC SOG Intensive. See you next week!

Week in Review: Feb 17-21 (Corrected)

This post has been edited to correct CLE presentation information due to inaccurate names. MY APOLOGIES! – LaTobia

Happy SNOW DAY Friday Readers! Parts of North Carolina are covered in snow but that doesn’t mean that OJD takes a break. We’re still working hard even if we want to go make snow angels.

Appeals Tip of the Week: Courtesy of David Andrews, Office of the Appellate Defender

More on Motions to Dismiss – If there are specific elements that you believe are not satisfied by the evidence, argue about those elements after you raise the general arguments outlined in last week’s tip. If the judge asks for specific variance arguments and you are not aware of any, tell the
judge that you are raising a variance argument to preserve the issue for appeal. Prior case law finds that if there is a variance between the offenses alleged in the petitions and any offense for which the state’s evidence may have been sufficient and that adjudicating the juvenile delinquent of those offenses would violate Due Process under the United States and North Carolina constitutions.

Wake County Bar CLE

Eric & Tawanda Foster presented a CLE at the Wake County Bar Association Tuesday. Take a look at Tawanda present below.

Take a look at Eric who presented with LaToya Powell February 14, on how Raise the Age and School Justice Partnerships impact racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system.

Juvenile Enhancement Training

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is juvenhancementflyer.jpg

We’re days away from our Juvenile Enhancement Training. We have a wide wealth of knowledge headed to AOC to train our defenders on varying Juvenile Justice Topics. Make sure you check back next week for a round-up of just how we did that!

2020 Intensive Juvenile Defender Training

The UNC School of Government has announced their 2020 Intensive Juvenile Defender Training. The deadline for registration is quickly approaching. The training will offer approximately 12.75 hours of CLE credit, which includes one hour of ethics. To read the full post and register before February 26, click here.

One More Thing!

Have you seen our Who We Are page? There’s been an update [with one more to come ;)]. Take a look here.

Week in Review: Feb 10-14

Happy Valentine’s Day Readers! We hope this day reaches you with lots of joy and smiles.

Appeals Tip of the Week: Courtesy of David Andrews, Office of the Appellate Defender

Motions to Dismiss – Always make a motion to dismiss at the close of the State’s evidence and at the close of all the evidence. Failure to do so waives the argument on appeal. In re Rikard, 161 N.C. App. 150 (2003). Challenge each element of each offense and raise variance arguments as well. If possible, constitutionalize the argument under the due process clauses of the U.S. and N.C. constitutions.

Don’t Forget!

Today is the last day for registration for our Juvenile Enhancement Training on 02/26/2020. The link will be removed from all our platforms at 3PM today.

SOMETHING’S COMING!

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day weekend & we’ll see you next week!