Week in Review: June 8-12

Welcome to the start of your weekend, but of course we couldn’t leave without another week in review.

Tip of the Week

Before You Plea: Talk to your client about the impacts of an adjudication.  While not as public as adult criminal convictions, juvenile adjudications may impact the following: immigration status, educational placement, housing conditions, eligibility to play sports, placement on a sex offender registry (in N.C. or other states) and others.  Always consider the long-term consequences of what may first appear to be a short-term decision.

Training

Today is the last day of the 2020 SJDC Virtual Summit. There’s still time to register for another great topic: Where Do We Go From Here: Juvenile Defense Post COVID-19 with Moderator: Rob Mason and Panelists: Amy Borror, Kristen Rome, Eric Zogry. Click here for the registration link. CLE will be offered as well. This course starts at 2:00 PM

Upcoming Webinar, Thursday, June 25, 3:00PM: Best Practice Interviewing of Children in Sexual Abuse Cases. Dr. John Helminski is presenting and is a licensed psychologist who is board certified in forensic psychology. He acts as a consultant to attorneys in cases of child maltreatment with extensive experience conducting forensic and psychological assessments in child abuse cases. Please use this link to register.

While not a CLE course, OJD is starting our Juvenile Defender Forums. This will be an opportunity to meet your regional juvenile defender and network with other juvenile defense attorneys in your district. Keep a watch out for your email invite!

Lastly… Earlier this week, OJD released a statement regarding the recent protests and killing of George Floyd. You can read that here.

That will wrap up another great week at OJD. Thank you for stopping by and we’ll see you (virtually) soon!

Week in Review: June 1-5

Hey Readers! There are just a few reminders this week, and new tip on discovery. As always, we thank you so much for the work you do defending children.

TIP OF THE WEEK

The Juvenile Code has similar discovery rules to those followed in adult criminal court except that in juvenile court you are entitled to discovery in both felony and misdemeanor cases.  N.C.G.S. §7B-2300 provides for mandatory discovery upon the filing of a motion for discovery. Some jurisdictions are refusing to provide discovery for cases involving 16-17 year old youth who have petitions filed alleging an A-G offense and are awaiting indictment (as a refresher, upon a finding of probable cause or indictment, a youth who is 16 or 17 years old and charged with an A-G felony must be transferred to Superior Court).

There is no caveat to the language in the statute “upon motion of a juvenile alleged to be delinquent, the court SHALL order the petitioner…”. The statute does not exclude 16/17 year old youth with petitions for A-G felonies awaiting indictment or a probable cause hearing. It is very important that you file your motion for discovery as early as possible in your case so that if the state is refusing to provide discovery, you can file a motion to compel. In your argument to the court to compel discovery, be sure to argue that the plain language of the statute applies and unless, and until, an indictment is returned (or probable cause is found), your client is still under the jurisdiction of juvenile court and the juvenile code applies.

CLE, Anyone?

Just a reminder, the 2020 SJDC Virtual Summit Presentation #2 is TODAY at 2:00 (ET) – 3:30 (ET).

Topic? Virtual Reality: Representing Juveniles in Remote Courtroom Panelists: Gar Blume, Tim Curry, Angela Vigil Register here: https://emory.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ddRytFWkSGajsMfBXDHj

The last SJDC Virtual Summit Presentation will be June 12, 2020 from 2:00-3:30 PM. Another 1.5 of CLE hours :D.

Topic? Where Do We Go From Here: Juvenile Defense Post COVID-19

Moderator: Rob Mason; Panelists: Amy Borror, Kristen Rome, Eric Zogry. Here is the registration link: https://emory.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_lLBVyt80ROihqmb4id_EqQ

A Word Please,

OJD would also like to thank all of the defenders who make these webinars and CLE options possible. We know that they may not be the most enjoyable thing, sitting in front of the computer, but we are grateful that you attend and work hard to gain insight into juvenile defense. Keep a look out for more OJD CLE opportunities, have any course suggestions? Email LaTobia or Austine.

That’s all for this week. Thank you for checking in and we hope that your weekend is filled with grilled hot dogs and sunshine. See you next week!

Week in Review: April 20-24

Hello from Friday with OJD. Another work from home week means that OJD is rounding up resources and information for you, anything we can do to help. It always goes without saying but thank you so much for your dedication to continuing the good (juvenile justice) fight, even from your homes.

TIP OF THE WEEK

Complaints Received

We are focusing our Tips of the Week on stages of juvenile proceedings that disproportionately impact youth of color. This week we are considering complaints received:

Attorneys are appointed to cases once a complaint is received by juvenile justice, then filed as a complaint.  So generally attorneys can’t impact whether or not a complaint is received.  But attorneys can prevent the case from going to adjudication by:

  • Asking for a dismissal for various reasons, such as the victim no longer wishes to prosecute or the juvenile has already made amends through a mediation program or restitution.
  • Continue the case for an opportunity for the juvenile to participate in a program such as suggested above, or Teen Court if your jurisdiction has one.
  • After an admission, ask the court to informally defer prosecution without an adjudication.

Resources

  1. IDS recently released information on how PAC can file fee apps for teleconferencing and interim fee apps. Please visit ncids.org for more information.
  2. Legal Aid-ACS has synthesized the federal and state guidance that has come out to date and offer concrete tips and resources for advocating for students during school closures. You can get more information here. There are five documents: 
  3. On Friday, May 1st from 11 AM to 12 PM, Legal Aid-ACS is also hosting a Coronavirus-and-Education Know Your Rights training via Zoom and Facebook Live.  The ZOOM link is at: https://zoom.us/j/91168580266. This session will include overviews of recent guidance, along with lots of practical tips for advocating for students. For those who can’t attend the live session, a video recording will also be available on Legal Aid of NC’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/LegalAidNC ) for families and advocates to access whenever they are available.

THANKS FOR READING!!

AS ALWAYS, HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND AND BE SAFE!!

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.

Week in Review: Feb 3-7

Happy Friday readers! We hope this week was productive, exciting and successful!

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

Make constitutional arguments when available. If you anticipate making constitutional arguments, put the argument in a motion and get a ruling on it. “Constitutional issues not raised . . . at trial will not be considered for the first time on appeal.” State v. Gainey, 355 N.C. 73 (2002). If an unexpected issue arises and you cannot file a motion, constitutionalize your objection. Due Process is most likely an appropriate basis for your objection.

Upcoming Training!

February 14th will be the last day OJD accepts RSVP for our Juvenile Enhancement Training on February 26. Closing the RSVP will ensure we have printed enough materials for all guests and can account for some goodies we’ll have available! Make sure you RSVP now!

OJD Visits NCCU

It’s all about community building. The future lawyers at North Carolina Central University attended an Informational Career Fair and OJD was there to spark some interest in Juvenile Defense. LaTobia did a great job organizing the OJD table and speaking to the students about the importance of defending children, opportunities in policy or direct representation in juvenile defense and many other exciting things OJD has to offer for them. Thank you to NCCU for allowing us to come by and talk!

NEW JOB OPPORTUNITY!

The IDS Commission is seeking the next Executive Director for IDS and the position has been posted hereThe position closes February 18, 2020, and the Commission expects to conduct interviews March 26 or 27. 

This is an exciting opportunity for someone with a vision for public defense in North Carolina and an interest in working with great people to turn that vision into reality. 

If you want to learn more about North Carolina’s Indigent Defense Services and how you can be of great help to our community, visit the IDS Website.

Thanks for stopping by! Make sure you come back next week for another Week in Review!

Week in Review: Jan 27-31

We finally made it through January and it’s FRIDAY! OJD has been working on new, exciting trainings, consulting with our great Defenders, and being warriors in the courtroom. How has Raise the Age gone for you so far?

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

The Rules of Evidence apply at adjudication hearings (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-2408). Use the Rules to keep evidence out and even if the evidence is admitted, you can preserve the argument by making a specific evidentiary objection. Common arguments include: Non-corroborative hearsay, 404(b) evidence, opinion on guilt, vouching for the victim’s credibility.

NEW JOB OPPORTUNITY!

The IDS Commission is seeking the next Executive Director for IDS and the position has been posted here. The position closes February 18, 2020, and the Commission expects to conduct interviews March 26 or 27. 

This is an exciting opportunity for someone with a vision for public defense in North Carolina and an interest in working with great people to turn that vision into reality. 

If you want to learn more about North Carolina’s Indigent Defense Services and how you can be of great help to our community, visit the IDS Website.

We have a celebrity in the office! Austine was quoted in the Daily Tarheel about Raise the Age! Want to read the article? Click here.

DON’T FORGET!

ENJOY SUPERBOWL WEEKEND!