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!

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!

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 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: 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!

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!