Week in Review: Nov 4-8

Before we begin.

With respect and gratitude to those who have served and are serving today, The Office of the Juvenile Defender salute you for your service and sacrifice.

The leaves are falling and it’s getting colder, but Raise the Age is just heating up. The Office of the Juvenile Defender is completing training all across the state, have you attended?

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 OF THE WEEK

Where Can I Find the Law on RTA?

If you want to see the Session Laws which include the Raise the Age changes, see:

  • Senate Bill 413: 2019 Session Amendments to the RTA Bill (Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act)
  • Senate Bill 257: The final bill budget for Session Law 2017; info pertaining to the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act can be found on pages 309-325

You can also check out the NC General Assembly website.  Look under “Bills and Laws,” then “General Statutes.”  You can search by citation or test, or you can look at Chapter 7B under the Table of Contents, and see the most recent changes to statute text on the right side of the statute.

UPCOMING EVENT!

The questions will also be posted on our Facebook page “North Carolina Office of the Juvenile Defender” as well!

Resource!

Juvenile Justice Service Directory: A directory of services to aid in alternative solutions.

Photo Recap!

Eric speaking to the Orange County Bar Association and Austine presenting in Salisbury on Raise the Age!

MAKE SURE YOU CHECK BACK NEXT WEEK FOR MORE OJD NEWS!

Week in Review: Oct 21-25

Happy Friday! Can you believe October is almost over and we are 38 days away from the implementation of Raise the Age? This week, to mark the countdown, we are providing a few resources about what’s coming. BUT FIRST!

TIP OF THE WEEK!!

When Should I Receive the Disposition Report? 

You should try to receive the disposition report prior to the dispositional hearing to review with your client.  If possible, try to get a copy of the report at least several days prior to the hearing.  While there is no statutory authority compelling the receipt from the intake counselor, there are local rules which suggest time periods.

Austine flew to Palm Springs to take part in the Juvenile Defender Leadership Summit hosted by the NJDC and we may not or may not be jealous! More pictures coming soon!

RESOURCES:

The NJDC released a new fact sheet on Wednesday, Eliminating Shackling in Juvenile Court: Continuing the Momentum. You can read the fact sheet here and below for a snippet:

Experts agree: shackling harms children; it causes trauma; interferes with participation in their own defense; impedes procedural justice; and biases judges.

  • From 2014-2017 18 states shifted their policies and disallowed the indiscriminate shackling of youth in juvenile court
  • 19 states still allow automatic shackling of youth in juvenile court

NJDC urges the remaining states that have yet to create a presumption against the automatic use of restraints to do so swiftly.

Strategies for Youth also released a press release about SROs in schools which SFY found that SROs are not adequately trained nor supervised through a survey of state laws, you can read the Executive Summary here.

A new blog post by Jacquelyn Green on the School of Government’s website is live and talking about Raise the Age. The blog contains answers to some of those commonly asked questions. You can read her post here.

THAT’S IT FOR THIS WEEK! THANKS FOR READING!!

Updated! A Week in Review with OJD: Sept 9-13

We missed last week, but we’re back with lots of information!

P.S. Some links were broken, so made a little update! Happy Friday!

Tip of the Week

All About The Records:

There is a universe of documented information about your client.  First, review and obtain copies of the clerks file, the official record of the court.  Get a copy of the NC Juvenile Online Information Network (NC-JOIN) file from the court counselor’s office.  You don’t need a court order for this (7B-3001(c)(1)) but we have a form to help expedite the request. Obtain a release form(s) from your client and the parent/guardian, and go hunting!  Educational records, mental health records, involvement with the Department of Social Service, placement records.  You may also consider housing or employment documentation if it helps your case.

CASE NOTES

There were two new published opinions last month, one from the NC Supreme Court and the other from the Court of Appeals. In the Matter of T.T.E., decided by the Supreme Court, the Court reversed the Court of Appeals decision vacating the juvenile’s adjudication and disposition orders of disorderly conduct. Justice Earls wrote a lengthy dissent, which is worth reading.

In the Matter of J.B., the Court of Appeals, in a divided opinion, reversed the trial court’s adjudication and disposition orders for second degree sexual exploitation of a minor, first degree forcible sexual offense, and an attempted larceny admission. The Court also addressed the juvenile’s right to confrontation, the commitment of the juvenile to YDC, and confinement pending appeal. You can find the summary for In the Matter of T.T.E. here, and In the Matter of J.B. here.

New Resources

Strategies for Youth, an organization bridging gaps and building relationships between law enforcement and youth, has a BRAND NEW website filled with information and resources on the intersection of police and youth. Visit their page, see the new updates and gain valuable information all at the same time.

National News

Liz Ryan recently published a Newsweek article regarding the impact of starting the conversation about juvenile justice in the ongoing political race. She writes

With strong leadership at the federal level, we can do more for the youth in our communities and finally end youth incarceration. And while many of the most prevalent issues on the debate stage are contentious, there’s widespread support for reforming our youth justice system. According to a national poll by GBA Strategies, Americans overwhelmingly support a shift away from our justice system’s reliance on youth prisons and instead support serving youth through community-based care.

Comment on this post and let us know your thoughts on how the juvenile justice system could benefit from a fight on the national stage. To read the full article, visit here.

DON’T FORGET!

The National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) recently released Juvenile Defense Resources, a mobile app available in the Apple Store and Google Play Store. Through the mobile app, juvenile defense attorneys can access sample motions, reports, issues briefs, policy statements, checklists, and other helpful tools to grow their legal, advocacy, and leadership skills, and to improve the practice of lawyers that represent young people. There’s also a policy brief on detention and money bail.

The National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) released a new toolkit, A Right to Liberty: Resources for Challenging the Detention of Children.

Ensuring a child or young person remains out of detention prior to trial safeguards their right to liberty and the presumption of innocence. The resources contained in this toolkit can be used to uphold and advance children’s liberty interests at the individual level and in policy advocacy.  Though NC does not have money bail for juveniles, the toolkit provides helpful strategies for arguing for your clients’ release from detention.

Included in the toolkit are:

  • A Right to Liberty: The Origin of Bail
  • Annotated Bibliography on Risks Associated with Incarceration
  • Sample Habeas Petition Challenging the Pretrial Detention of Children

This resource is accessible by clicking here. The Sample Habeas Petition is accessible by clicking here.

ONE LAST THING….

How do you like the new webpage? Want us to go back to the old color scheme? Have ideas for the website?

Comment and let us know!

OJD Week in Review: August 26-30

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School’s Back

As students return to school, defenders may want to check out the OJD website for tips on defending students charged at school.  Under Materials for Defenders you can find a list of Materials by Training Subject.  Check out “School Related Issues” and “Special Education” topics.

New Resources

NJDC App

njdc app

The National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) recently released Juvenile Defense Resources, a mobile app available in the Apple Store and Google Play Store, which provides juvenile defense attorneys with helpful resources to defend young people in delinquency cases. Through the mobile app, juvenile defense attorneys can access sample motions, reports, issues briefs, policy statements, checklists, and other helpful tools to grow their legal, advocacy, and leadership skills, and to improve the practice of lawyers that represent young people.

To access the mobile app, juvenile defense attorneys can search “Juvenile Defense Resources” or “National Juvenile Defender Center” in the search box within their respective application stores and install the app (see photo for reference). In order to sign up to access the app, prospective members must certify that they are currently representing youth in delinquency court, and will be directed to create a username and password unique to each member. You may sign up directly through the mobile app or through NJDC’s website, via the login button on NJDC’S homepage or directly at this link.

Please note that the mobile app is password protected and you will not be able to access the resources until your request for access has been approved. Please allow up to three (3) business days for your request to be approved.

Over the next few weeks, NJDC will continue to build the database of resources available through the mobile app. If you have any questions or run into any technical issues when trying to sign up or access the mobile app, or the resources contained within, please contact NJDC’s 2017-2019 Gault Fellow, Aneesa Khan, at akhan@njdc.info for assistance.

Detention Toolkit

njdc right to liberty (2)

The National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) has released a new toolkit, A Right to Liberty: Resources for Challenging the Detention of Children.

Ensuring a child or young person remains out of detention prior to trial safeguards their right to liberty and the presumption of innocence. The resources contained in this toolkit can be used to uphold and advance children’s liberty interests at the individual level and in policy advocacy.  Though NC does not have money bail for juveniles, the toolkit provides helpful strategies for arguing for your clients’ release from detention.

Included in the toolkit are:

  • A Right to Liberty: The Origin of Bail
  • Annotated Bibliography on Risks Associated with Incarceration
  • Sample Habeas Petition Challenging the Pretrial Detention of Children

This resource is accessible by clicking here. The Sample Habeas Petition is accessible by clicking here.

 

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

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.