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 23-27

Welcome to Friday! OJD would again like to thank all of our public defenders who are continuing their work while a crisis sweeps through our state. This week we want to focus on some resources and news regarding the youth in secure custody. As stated earlier this week, 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 these limitations are important to the safety and physical health of these youth, another issue has come from these sweeping changes: added mental health stress. We want to equip our defenders with as much information as we can to advocate for those currently in YDCs or detention centers.

Secure Custody Tip of the Week:

Use of Audio/Video Transmission for Secure Custody Hearings 

North Carolina law allows for the use of audio and video transmission for secure custody hearings.  Under 7B-1906(h), note specifically that “[I]f the juvenile has counsel, the juvenile may communicate fully and confidentially with the juvenile’s attorney during the proceeding.” 

Currently your court may not have the equipment needed to perform these hearings.  But if your court does have the equipment, here are a few tips to consider: 

  • When possible, collaborate with stakeholders on how to develop rules or protocols that will ensure clients’ rights are considered, especially confidential communications.
  • Having the ability to engage in confidential communications with your client is paramount, so be mindful of the type of technology used to converse with your client.  Also, there should be created a space where others cannot hear your or your client’s discussions.  For example, don’t use a phone without some kind of barrier prevent others from hearing your conversation. 
  • Check out the School of Government’s Professor Jacqui Greene’s recent article on secure custody.  

Courts may be considering other communication platforms as well, such as Facetime, Skype, Zoom or Microsoft Teams.  If any of these are utilized, try to maintain confidentiality as best possible by ensuring other participants are in closed rooms or otherwise out of sight and sound of others. 

Use your best judgement, and always feel free to contact our office with any questions. 

COVID-19 Resources

Throughout the week we have received numerous resources regarding court, secure custody and COVID-19. We wanted to round those up for you here.

FD.ORG COVID-19 Resources: The Defender Services Office and the Administrative Office of the United States Courts have collected information from around the country for defense council varying from appeals, compassionate release, and access to council.

Physicians for Criminal Justice Reform: A letter written by Physicians for Criminal Justice Reform urging governors, juvenile court systems, and state and local juvenile detention and correctional departments to address the health pandemic by swiftly implementing recommendations in juvenile facilities.

Due Process Challenges in a Time of Crisis Webinar: A webinar opportunity that may shed some light on the challenges the legal system is currently experiencing due to the Coronavirus. A little information can go a long way in times like this. 

ADA Letter Regarding COVID-19 & Diabetes: Shared by NACDL,  a letter the American Diabetes Association has created to help educate courts, detention center, and other officials on the unique challenges and risks for individuals with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. It can be used alongside bond/release motions or shared with local law enforcement.

ABA Non-CLE Webinar on NJ’s Rapid Release: On Sunday, March 22, 2020, the Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court entered an Order providing for the commutation or suspension of many county jail sentences. his webinar will feature many of the key players to discuss the actual terms of the Order, how they came to agreement and how this agreement might serve as a model for decreasing jail populations to limit the spread of COVID-19 in other states.

Resources for Private Council & Small Businesses: Provided by one of our contract attorneys, Donna Terrell, this is a great resource for staying engaged with clients and potential clients while running a private practice.

HAVE SAFE SOCIAL DISTANCING WEEKEND!

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: 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

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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: Jan 13-17

Happiest of Friday’s to you OJD readers! This week was full of meetings and trainings… AND INTERVIEWS! We narrowed down the candidates for the Assistant Juvenile Defender position and began the second round of interviews this week. We’re so excited to have a new attorney with us in the office, this is going to be a hard choice!

APPEALS TIP OF THE WEEK: Courtesy of David Andrews, Office of the Appellate Defender

  • When you appeal, do these things:
    • Make sure the juvenile has the right to appeal. Generally, the juvenile can appeal from a dispositional order.
    • Give proper and timely notice of appeal.
    • Prepare an appellate entries with all of the hearing dates and have the judge sign it on the day you give notice of appeal.
    • Ask the judge to stay the dispositional order.
    • If the dispositional order is not stayed and the order requires the juvenile to be placed in custody, argue that compelling reasons do not exist to keep the juvenile in custody during the appeal.
    • Make sure the clerk sends the recordings to the court reporter and the court file to the appellate attorney in a timely manner.

Public Defenders! Wonder what the rate is for your current cases? Click here for the IDS Rate Information & Calculators.

Upcoming Trainings:

Juvenile Defender Enhancement Training February 26, 2020 – Sponsored by the Office of the Juvenile Defender, this training will provide vital Juvenile Defense topics such as: Transfer Hearings, Raise the Age Advocacy and Addressing Trauma in Adolescents. We have guest speakers and are covering the CLE cost & reporting 6 CLE training hours.

Intensive Juvenile Defender Training, March 4-5, 2020 – Brought to you by the UNC School of Government. The training will offer approximately 12.75 hours of CLE credit, which includes one hour of ethics. The tentative agenda is posted on the course page. Final session times may vary depending on the schedules of the instructors. Click the link for more information!

JOB OPENINGS

Center for Death Penalty Litigation (CDPL)

The Center for Death Penalty Litigation (CDPL) in Durham, North Carolina has two openings for staff attorneys.

CDPL is a non-profit law firm and advocacy organization that works to provide the highest quality representation to people facing execution, and to end the death penalty in North Carolina.  CDPL is committed to diversity and racial equity and is an equal opportunity employer. 

For details about the positions and how to apply, please click here.

UNC School of Government

The UNC School of Government seeks a tenure-track assistant professor who will specialize in the field of criminal law. This position will be responsible for educating judicial officials on North Carolina criminal law. Click here for the announcement.

Disability Rights North Carolina (DRNC)

Disability Rights North Carolina (DRNC) is seeking a Staff Attorney for their Education Team with a Juvenile Justice and Race Equity Focus. The Staff Attorney will work to ensure equity in the education and criminal justice systems; represent students in special education, and school discrimination matters, including youth in juvenile detention facilities; train attorneys, advocates and other stakeholders; and participate in policy initiatives related to the school-to-prison pipeline.

Send a resume and detailed letter of interest explaining your qualifications and interest in the position to: virginia.fogg@disabilityrightsnc.org. Include Staff Attorney – Education in the subject line of the email. No phone calls please.

Wow! That was a LOT of information. If you have any questions please feel free to contact the office and we can help! See you next week!

Week in Review: Dec 2-6

Welcome to the Merriest Month of All (but really, Raise the Age December!) Sunday, December 1st marked the official start of the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act (Raise the Age :D) and OJD couldn’t be more proud or more excited about this change in NC law.

DEFENDERS PLEASE NOTE: “A quick reminder about fee applications…Any offense originally charged as a Class E through I felony disposed of in juvenile court after December 1, 2018 is paid at $60 per hour.   For more information about privately assigned counsel rates, click here.”

Raise the Age TIP

What Is the Process for Indictment?

Once a petition is filed against a juvenile, the prosecutor may submit the petition to a grand jury for indictment.  Unlike in adult criminal court where the prosecutor submits a bill of information prior to charges being filed, in juvenile court the grand jury process starts after the formal charging process (petition filed) begins.  If an indictment is handed down against the juvenile and the juvenile is given notice, the juvenile court must transfer the case to superior court.

Twitter Town Hall

On Monday, OJD hosted a Twitter Town Hall to discuss and answer questions about the many different facets of #RaiseTheAgeNC. Take a brief look at some of the questions and if you have any answers, comment on this post and let us know!

NEW AOC FORMS

New Juvenile forms (J- forms) were posted to nccourts.gov on Monday which means there are new forms for our defenders to know about. These will also be listed on our Forms Page, but you can visit the updated list here.

DEFENDERS!

We have an amazing new resource for you! If you attend an IDS / OJD sponsored training, you’ll receive one of these amazing Raise the Age Quick Guides!

That’s all for this first week of December! Stay tuned for update and information brought to you by the Jolly OJD Office!

OJD Week In Review: August 12-16 School Justice Partnership Summit (SJP)

School Justice Partnership (SJP) logo

Chief Justice Beasley and Governor Cooper Announce School Justice Partnership Initiative

This past Monday Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, Governor Roy Cooper, and public officials from across the state representing schools, law enforcement, courts and juvenile justice joined together in Guilford County to announce the official release of the School Justice Partnership (SJP) Toolkit. The SJP Toolkit is a collaborative resource for stakeholder meetings to address offenses emanating from school behavior that are processed in the juvenile and criminal court system . For more information click here.

MORE INFORMATION/OTHER LINKS

 

Watch this clip from Monday’s Safety Summit

www.nccourts.gov/news/tag/press-release/watch-live-Monday-Chief-Justice-Beasley-and-Governor-Cooper-to-announce-official-statewide-release-of-school-justice-partnership-toolkit.

IDS and OJD in the the Bar Journal

barjournal

The Office of Indigent Defense Services, including the Office of the Juvenile Defender, were featured in the Fall 2019 edition of the North Carolina State Bar Journal.

Sign Up Now To Receive Updates About Supreme Courts Rules

www.nccourts.gov/news/tag/press-release/sign-up-now-to-receive-updates-about-supreme-court-rules