Week in Review: Mar 30-Apr 3


Happy Friday Readers & Welcome to a brand new month. We know it may not feel like it, but it goes without saying how we appreciate our essential workers, in both private and public sectors. You are the heroes.

TIP OF THE WEEK!

This week’s tip of the week is highlighting a juvenile delinquency case that defenders need to be aware of when your client wants to testify. In re J.B. was decided in 2018. The State appealed the original Court of Appeals decision, but the N.C. Supreme Court denied a hearing. 

Briefly, the facts showed the juvenile chose to testify on his own behalf and incriminated himself (he admitted that he committed an assault on his teacher). The trial court did not inquire as to whether the juvenile understood his right against self-incrimination before he testified. The trial court asked the juvenile if he understood his rights after he testified, and the Court of Appeals determined that was not sufficient to satisfy the requirements under N.C.G.S. §7B-2405 and the error was not harmless.

So – if your client wants to testify, the court must inform the juvenile of his/her constitutional and statutory right against self-incrimination before s/he testifies!

In re J.B., 820 S.E.2d 369 (2018).

OUR NEW ASSISTANT JUVENILE DEFENDER TERRI JOHNSON!

Terri is a lifelong resident of Iredell County, North Carolina.  She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University in 2000.   She received her Juris Doctor degree from UNC Chapel Hill School of Law in 2003, and was admitted to the North Carolina Bar in 2003.  Since 2003, she has been in private practice as an associate and partner in small firms and then as a solo practitioner.  Her practice areas included criminal law, family law and juvenile law and has focused on juvenile law as a contract attorney in delinquency court in both Iredell and Alexander counties.  She will continue to represent juveniles in Iredell and Alexander county as she joins the Juvenile Defender’s Office as an assistant defender for the Western District of North Carolina.

She currently resides in Statesville, North Carolina and enjoys spending time with her family, reading and photography.

WELCOME TERRI!

Resources

  • Yesterday, NJDC issued a statement on COVID-19 and the urgent need for the juvenile legal system to act. The statement is available on the Defender App. NJDC also released a new resource: Guidance to Juvenile Courts on Conducting Remote Hearings During the COVID-19 Pandemic. The resource is attached to this email and also available on NJDC’s website here
  • Save the Date! NJDC’s Juvenile Defender Leadership Summit will be in Kansas City, Missouri October 16-18, 2020.
  • NCCAY created a brief survey to share your current challenges and creative solutions with the DPS Juvenile Services Division and, in turn, contact you with what we have learned that may help you in your work. You can take the survey here.
  • JCPC has had to make the difficult decision to cancel our legislative conference this year.  Those that have already paid their registration will receive a refund. Please be sure to cancel your hotel reservations as well. 

HAVE A SAFE WEEKEND!

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.

OJD Week In Review: August 5-9, Short But Sweet

It’s August, and things can get a little slow at OJD, but we do have a few highlights for you.  Hope to see folks at the Annual Conference today!

Tip of the Week

Transcript of Admission Tips 

Filling out a transcript of admission on any admission of a new offense is important for several reasons.  It memorializes the record of admission in writing if subject to an appeal.  Reviewing the transcript with your client helps your client better understand the admission and the rights s/he is asserting or waiving.  Make sure you complete the transcript with your client present and do so in a confidential space. Consider making a copy of the transcript to keep at the attorney table to help your client answer questions.  Stand with your client when the court asks your client the listed questions and be prepared to confer with your client if any issues arise.

If you missed it, check out out Guest Blogger: David Andrews, Office of the Appellate Defender

David Andrews



Also, if you haven’t, check out IDS’ Facebook page, full of great information, in particular the personal testimonies of public defenders, and follow IDS on Twitter.

                                       new ids logo

 



Guest Blogger: David Andrews, Office of the Appellate Defender

Any Given Sunday  I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t watch a lot of football.  The games are long and there’s that persistent risk of concussion.  But a phrase you sometimes hear with football – “any given Sunday” – has a ring to it.  During any particular game, the underdog could surprise everyone and upset a higher-ranked team.  So it is with the law.  The Supreme Court of North Carolina issues opinions once or month or once every two months, but always on a Friday.  And, so, on any given Friday, a defendant or a juvenile could surprise everyone and come out on top.  The Court of Appeals issues opinions on the first and third Tuesdays of each month.  So, you know, “any given Tuesday.”  But how do you get to a point where an upset is possible?  One way is through motions.  Over the past several months, my colleagues and I at the Office of the Appellate Defender (“OAD”) have been working with attorneys at the Office of the Juvenile Defender (“OJD”), the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, and Prisoner Legal Services on sample motions for various issues.  You can find these motions on the OAD and OJD websites.  The motions are designed in part to preserve legal arguments and, thus, to achieve that unexpected win on appeal.  However, they also serve to educate judges and lawyers about specific legal issues.  And who knows? One or more of the motions might win in trial court.  One set of motions involves the new offenses of making a false report of mass violence on educational property and communicating a threat of mass violence on educational property.  The motions involve various free speech arguments.  From the outside, free speech arguments can seem complicated.  But have no fear – these motions provide case law and a roadmap for asserting free speech claims.  Another motion lays out an argument that the State should be required to give notice if it intends to seek a higher disposition on the ground that the juvenile committed the offense while on probation and then prove that the juvenile was on probation beyond a reasonable doubt.  Juveniles are entitled to the same notice as adults.  In addition, the State is required to prove every fact necessary to constitute the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Under Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000), sentencing enhancements in criminal cases are treated as elements that the State is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.  The same logic should arguably apply to delinquency cases.  Finally, there is a batch a motions that all involve extending Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012) to some of its logical conclusions.  For example, there is a motion arguing that the mandatory transfer of first-degree murder cases to adult court is unconstitutional. If judges are required to take youth into account before imposing an LWOP sentence, they should be required to do so before transferring the case to adult court.  Another motion argues that the threshold for imposing the death penalty and mandatory LWOP sentences should be extended from 18- to 25-years old.  Miller was premised on research into adolescent brain development.  And, so, if that same research indicates that the adolescent brain does not finish maturing until the mid-20s, then the law should reflect that research, as well.  Finally, there’s a motion arguing that felony murder should not apply to juveniles.  In North Carolina, felony murder is based on deterrence.  However, Miller explains that deterrence doesn’t work with kids because kids tend act impulsively without considering the consequences of their conduct.  All of these arguments are just that – arguments.  Some may win, some will lose.  But we won’t know unless we try.  On any given day in court, anything is possible. Profile Picture - Small
David Andrews

Any Given Sunday

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t watch a lot of football.  The games are long and there’s that persistent risk of concussion.  But a phrase you sometimes hear with football – “any given Sunday” – has a ring to it.  During any particular game, the underdog could surprise everyone and upset a higher-ranked team.

So it is with the law.  The Supreme Court of North Carolina issues opinions once or month or once every two months, but always on a Friday.  And, so, on any given Friday, a defendant or a juvenile could surprise everyone and come out on top.  The Court of Appeals issues opinions on the first and third Tuesdays of each month.  So, you know, “any given Tuesday.”

But how do you get to a point where an upset is possible?  One way is through motions.  Over the past several months, my colleagues and I at the Office of the Appellate Defender (“OAD”) have been working with attorneys at the Office of the Juvenile Defender (“OJD”), the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, and Prisoner Legal Services on sample motions for various issues.  You can find these motions on the OAD and OJD websites.  The motions are designed in part to preserve legal arguments and, thus, to achieve that unexpected win on appeal.  However, they also serve to educate judges and lawyers about specific legal issues.  And who knows? One or more of the motions might win in trial court.

One set of motions involves the new offenses of making a false report of mass violence on educational property and communicating a threat of mass violence on educational property.  The motions involve various free speech arguments.  From the outside, free speech arguments can seem complicated.  But have no fear – these motions provide case law and a roadmap for asserting free speech claims.

Another motion lays out an argument that the State should be required to give notice if it intends to seek a higher disposition on the ground that the juvenile committed the offense while on probation and then prove that the juvenile was on probation beyond a reasonable doubt.  Juveniles are entitled to the same notice as adults.  In addition, the State is required to prove every fact necessary to constitute the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Under Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000), sentencing enhancements in criminal cases are treated as elements that the State is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.  The same logic should arguably apply to delinquency cases.

Finally, there is a batch a motions that all involve extending Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012) to some of its logical conclusions.  For example, there is a motion arguing that the mandatory transfer of first-degree murder cases to adult court is unconstitutional. If judges are required to take youth into account before imposing an LWOP sentence, they should be required to do so before transferring the case to adult court.  Another motion argues that the threshold for imposing the death penalty and mandatory LWOP sentences should be extended from 18- to 25-years old.  Miller was premised on research into adolescent brain development.  And, so, if that same research indicates that the adolescent brain does not finish maturing until the mid-20s, then the law should reflect that research, as well.  Finally, there’s a motion arguing that felony murder should not apply to juveniles.  In North Carolina, felony murder is based on deterrence.  However, Miller explains that deterrence doesn’t work with kids because kids tend act impulsively without considering the consequences of their conduct.

All of these arguments are just that – arguments.  Some may win, some will lose.  But we won’t know unless we try.  On any given day in court, anything is possible.

OJD Week in Review: July 22 -26

This week there is a new tip and just the single training reminder.  Please make sure to subscribe to the OJD blog and follow our OJD Twitter and Facebook pages as well to get updates, relevant articles, and other juvenile defense-related content throughout the week. Have a wonderful week and remember knowledge is power!!

Tip of the Week

Relevant Ages in Juvenile Court (Other than Age of Jurisdiction)

While NC is poised to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction, here are some other relevant ages in the Juvenile Code:

6 Earliest age (date of criminal act) one can be a delinquent juvenile or undisciplined juvenile.
10 Youngest age an alleged delinquent juvenile may be fingerprinted or photographed.
Youngest age a delinquent juvenile may be committed to a youth development center.
11 Youngest age a delinquent juvenile may be registered as a juvenile sex offender.
13 Youngest age an alleged delinquent juvenile may be transferred to superior court.
Under 16*

(as of 2015)

Age at which an alleged delinquent juvenile’s admission or confession must be excluded if the juvenile’s parent/guardian or attorney was not present during an in-custody interrogation.
16-18 Age at which an alleged delinquent juvenile must be notified of the right to have a parent or guardian present, as well as an attorney, before an admission or confession may be used against the juvenile.

Training 

Parent Attorney and Juvenile Defender conferences Registration end today at 5 PM

Registration is now open for the 2019 Parent Attorney and Juvenile Defender conferences.  The Parent Attorney Conference will be held Thursday, Aug. 8 and the Juvenile Defender Conference will be held Friday, Aug. 9, and both would begin at 8:30 a.m. each day.  Both conferences, cosponsored by the School of Government and the Office of Indigent Defense Services, will be held at the School of Government on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, and offer approximately six hours of CLE credit.  The Parent Attorney Conference provides training for attorneys, who represent parents in abuse, neglect, dependency, and termination of parental rights proceedings.  The Juvenile Defender Conference provides training for attorneys who represent children in delinquency proceedings.  Please feel free to download the Juvenile Defender Conference agenda here and the Parent Attorney Conference agenda here.  If you have any questions, please contact Program Manager Kate Jennings, or if you have questions about the course content, please contact Program Attorney Austine Long.

Job Opportunity

The Council for Children’s Rights (CFCR) serves as the public defender for children in Mecklenburg County. Through a contract with the North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services, CDT attorneys represent all children charged with crimes in juvenile delinquency court. In addition to performing the public defender role in juvenile court, CDT represents every child who is facing civil commitment to a mental health hospital or residential treatment facility. As expressed-interest attorneys, CDT causes children’s voices to be heard in court and protects their constitutional and statutory rights.  CFCR is the only specialized juvenile defense agency in North Carolina.

CFCR is looking to hire a Director of the Children’s Defense team.  For more information, click here.

Articles

Registration of Juvenile Offenders

Recent publication and updates on “SORNA”  Sex  Offender Registration  Notification Act  In 2016, the Supplemental Guidelines for Juvenile Registration under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act were published in the Federal Register. However,  North Carolina has not yet  implemented this act. To learn  more about SORNA visit: www.smart.gov/caselaw/Case-Law-Update-2019-Compiled.pdf

Dual Jurisdiction Youth

UNC School of Government Professor Jacqui Greene, who co-authored a bulletin on “dual jurisdiction youth,” those youth in both the child welfare and delinquency courts, has written a follow up article on the intersection of dual jurisdiction youth and the upcoming RTA changes.

Legislation

Senate Bill 413, which includes recommendations from the Juvenile Jurisdiction Advisory Committee, passed the House and has passed in the Senate for concurrence.  It was presented to the governor for his signature on July 24th. Once the bill is final, we’ll be sure to get a breakdown on the OJD site and of course will be included in the upcoming training materials.

 

OJD Week in Review: July 15 – 19

This Week’s Blog Includes:

  • We’re Hiring!
  • Tip of the Week
  • Legislative Update
  • Still Time to Sign Up for the Annual Training!

Untitled

We’re hiring for a new Communications and Office Manager! Duties include responsible for defining and executing a social media strategy, including maintaining and updating the juvenile defender website, Twitter feed, Facebook page, and other social media; maintaining a list of juvenile defense counsel statewide including privately assigned counsel, contractors, public defenders, and clinics; identifying new juvenile defenders and create and update information packages for new defenders; assisting with the development of new technologies/platforms for providing legal education; providing general office support and management.

For a complete list of duties and details about the position, click here for the posting.

Tip of the Week – Searches Not on School Property

While an earlier tip referred to searches on school property as involving a lower standard, searches of juveniles not on school property are governed by a “reasonable juvenile standard.”  Specifically, In the matter of I.R.T., 184 N.C. App. 579, 647 S.E.2d 129 (2007) held that the age of a juvenile is a relevant factor in determining whether a reasonable person would feel free to leave upon being stopped by law enforcement.

Legislation

Senate Bill 413, which includes recommendations from the Juvenile Jurisdiction Advisory Committee, has passed the House and is being sent back to the Senate for concurrence.  It is on the Senate Calendar for Monday, July 22. Once the bill is final, we’ll be sure to get a breakdown on the OJD site and of course will be included in the upcoming training materials.  The budget bill with RTA funding was passed and then vetoed by the governor.  Both the House and the Senate have proposed supplemental budget bills, with the House bill including some RTA funding, but there is currently no version agreed upon by both chambers.

Training

Registration is now open for the 2019 Parent Attorney and Juvenile Defender conferences.  The Parent Attorney Conference will be held Thursday, Aug. 8 and the Juvenile Defender Conference will be held Friday, Aug. 9, and both would begin at 8:30 a.m. each day.  Both conferences, cosponsored by the School of Government and the Office of Indigent Defense Services, will be held at the School of Government on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, and offer approximately six hours of CLE credit.  The Parent Attorney Conference provides training for attorneys, who represent parents in abuse, neglect, dependency, and termination of parental rights proceedings.  The Juvenile Defender Conference provides training for attorneys who represent children in delinquency proceedings.  Please feel free to download the Juvenile Defender Conference agenda here and the Parent Attorney Conference agenda here.  If you have any questions, please contact Program Manager Kate Jennings, or if you have questions about the course content, please contact Program Attorney Austine Long.

OJD Week in Review: June 17 – 21

Greetings and happy Friday!  This week there is a new tip, a case law update, and the normal reminders.  And because July 2 is rapidly approaching, please note there is still time to apply to become an N.C. State Bar-certified juvenile defender!  If you are interested, please visit the N.C. State Bar Legal Specialization page.  We want to grow the N.C. juvenile defender community!

Case Law Update

Back in January of this year, the Court of Appeals filed an opinion, In the Matter of E.M.  The decision on the case had been stayed pending the State’s petition for discretionary review, which was denied last Friday.  Please be advised that based on this new case law, when faced with any amount of evidence of mental health/developmental disabilities/substance abuse, the trial court has a statutory duty to refer a juvenile to the area mental health services director for a multidisciplinary evaluation.  To review the opinion, please check our Case Summaries List here.  This case can be found in section 15 – Dispositions: Sentencing.

giphy-1

Tip of the Week – Was the Petition Properly Amended

The court may permit an amendment to the petition when it does not change the nature of the offense charged (N.C.G.S. §7B-2400).  When the amendment changes the nature of the offense, it is a jurisdictional issue that cannot be waived.  So, if you agree to admit to a charge that is not a lesser included offense, the prosecutor needs to dismiss the original petition and file a new petition with the agreed upon new offense.  This doesn’t have to be complicated and can happen in court.  Make sure the court counselor signs and approves the new petition for filing and then you can waive notice and proceed with the admission to the new agreed upon offense.

Job and Fellowship Opportunities

Today is your last chance to apply for the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN)‘s executive director position.  The executive director will be responsible for fundraising, strategic planning, communicating with board members, supervising staff, and ensuring that the organization adheres to its intersectional and anti-racist practices and principles in its internal operations.  To see the full job description, please go here.  To apply or if you have questions, please contact NJJN here.

Utah Juvenile Defender Attorneys (UJDA) is seeking applicants for an attorney to join their delinquency defense practice to assist in the representation of young people charged with delinquent offenses resulting in involvement in the juvenile justice system.  UJDA is a small firm whose attorneys collectively have more than 80 years of experience handling juvenile delinquency cases.  This is an excellent opportunity to join a sophisticated nationally recognized delinquency defense firm and work in a dynamic, expanding, and team-oriented atmosphere.  Qualified candidates should have general knowledge of delinquency law and/or criminal law with excellent written and oral communication.  They should also have working knowledge of advocacy techniques, principles of law and their applications, and criminal trial procedures and the rules of evidence.  Qualified candidates should be good standing members of the Utah State Bar.  UJDA values the strength of having a diverse and inclusive work environment, and strongly believes that everyone should feel welcomed and part of our community.  The application deadline is July 5, 2019.  Applications will be reviewed upon receipt, and the position is open until filled.  For more information about the position or the application process, please see details here or contact Monica Diaz by email.

Training

Registration is now open for the 2019 Parent Attorney and Juvenile Defender conferences.  The Parent Attorney Conference will be held Thursday, Aug. 8 and the Juvenile Defender Conference will be held Friday, Aug. 9, and both would begin at 8:30 a.m. each day.  Both conferences, cosponsored by the School of Government and the Office of Indigent Defense Services, will be held at the School of Government on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, and offer approximately six hours of CLE credit.  The Parent Attorney Conference provides training for attorneys, who represent parents in abuse, neglect, dependency, and termination of parental rights proceedings.  The Juvenile Defender Conference provides training for attorneys who represent children in delinquency proceedings.  Please feel free to download the Juvenile Defender Conference agenda here and the Parent Attorney Conference agenda here.  If you have any questions, please contact Program Manager Kate Jennings, or if you have questions about the course content, please contact Program Attorney Austine Long.

The deadline for online registration of the 2019 Defender Trial School is Tuesday, June 25.  This event, cosponsored by the School of Government and the North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services, will be held Monday, July 8, through Friday, July 12, at the School of Government on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.  Defender Trial School participants will use their own cases to develop a cohesive theory of defense at trial and apply that theory through all stages of trial, including voir dire, opening and closing arguments, and direct and cross-examination. The program will offer roughly 29 hours of general CLE credit.  The Defender Trial School is open to public defenders and a limited number of private attorneys who perform a significant amount of appointed work.  IDS has expanded the number of fellowships available to cover the registration fee, but please note there is a limited number of fellowships.  If you have any questions or would like additional information, please email Kate Jennings or Professor John Rubin or call 919-962-3287/919-962-2498.  To register, find a fellowship application, see the agenda, or find any other information, please check out the course page here.

TRAINING--DEVELOPMENT

That ends our end-of-week report.  Please make sure to subscribe to the OJD blog if you haven’t already and head over to our OJD Twitter and Facebook pages as well to get updates, relevant articles, and other juvenile defense-related content throughout the week!