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: 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: 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!

Intensive Juvenile Defender Training, March 4-5, 2020

From the UNC School of Government:

We are excited to announce that the 2020 Intensive Juvenile Defender Training, cosponsored by the School of Government and the Office of Indigent Defense Services, will be held on March 4-5, 2020 at the UNC School of Government.

It is designed for attorneys representing juveniles in delinquency proceedings for less than two years or who have not practiced in this area for a period of time. The course will include, among other topics, sessions on detention advocacy, pre-adjudication investigation and discovery, juvenile capacity, suppression, dispositions, and the impact of the Raise the Age legislation.

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

PARTICIPANTS: The Intensive Juvenile Defender Training is open to public defenders and private attorneys who represent juveniles in delinquency proceedings or attorneys who want to practice in this area.

TIMES: Check-in will be on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 from 8:30 am, and the program will begin at 9:00 am. The program ends on Thursday March 5, 2020 at 5:00 pm.

REGISTRATION: To register online, as well as to find directions and other program information, please visit: https://www.sog.unc.edu/courses/intensive-juvenile-defender-training

The registration fee for private assigned counsel is $310. Thanks to support from IDS, there is no fee for IDS employees. Pre-registration is required and space is limited; the online registration deadline is 5:00pm on wednesday Feburary 26, 2020. There is no onsite registration.

HOTEL INFORMATION: A block of rooms has been set up at the newly renovated Holiday Inn Express Chapel Hill with a rate of $84.00 plus tax. The rate includes a full deluxe hot breakfast and Wi-Fi. To reserve a room online please click the link  Intensive Juvenile Defender    To reserve a room by phone call the hotel at 919-489-7555 and provide the name Group Code “I J D”. To receive the discounted rate reservations must be made no later than February 14, 2020.

TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT – STATE EMPLOYEES ONLY: If you are an IDS employee, your eligibility for travel reimbursement at the state rate is contingent upon state rules and regulations. For all questions regarding travel reimbursement, please contact Elisa Wolper at 919-354-7243 or elisa.wolper@nccourts.org.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: We look forward to seeing you in March.  If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact me, Kate Jennings – Program Manager – at jennings@sog.unc.edu or Professor John Rubin at rubin@sog.unc.edu.

Week in Review: Dec 16-20

Happy Friday Readers! We’re back with another Week in Review and a great Raise the Age Tip for you. The office has been buzzing with questions regarding procedure and changes due to RTA. What are some things you’ve run into since its implementation? Share with us in the comments.

RAISE THE AGE TIP OF THE WEEK!

Where Is My Client Being Held?

All juveniles under the 18 shall be held in a juvenile detention center or in a facility approved by the Juvenile Justice Section of the Division of Adult Corrections and Juvenile Justice.  This also includes juveniles who have been transferred to superior court.  If a juvenile has been transferred to superior court and turns 18 while awaiting competition of the case, the juvenile is to be held in the custody of the sheriff where the charges arose.

Assistant Juvenile Defender Interviews

OJD has started the very hard processing of interviewing for our new Assistant Juvenile Defender. They’ll be positioned in the Western part of NC and will be working to establish a focal resource point for all things juvenile delinquency, community building and training. Can you tell we’re going to have a hard time choosing just one? Everyone is already amazing.

If you haven’t seen it already, take a look at Eric’s Holiday Video.

With less than a week away from Christmas, we hope you have all your shopping out the way. If not, be safe and grab a hot chocolate or two. Stay warm!

Week in Review: Dec 9-13

Happy Friday Readers! It’s been a quiet week for OJD as we prepare to interview our potential new Assistant Juvenile Defender! So many great candidates, this is going to be so tough! Good luck to everyone!

Defenders,

We have a new template motion available for you to use for your 16 & 17 year old clients who are in secure custody for an A-G felony petition. The motion may be used when requesting a secure custody hearing prior to the original 30 day review. You can find the motion here.

RAISE THE AGE TIP OF THE WEEK:

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.

Useful Resource Reminder:

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

Enjoy your weekend!!!