OJD Week in Review: Feb. 11 – 15

Happy Friday.  This week we’ve got a new tip, but mostly deadline reminders.  Quite a few deadlines happening today actually…

Tip of the Week – Can I Ask for a Prosecutorial Deferral

Yes!  Prosecutors may dismiss a case with or without leave.  Note that AOC-J-430 provides space for conditions or other agreements in exchange for the dismissal.

confusion

Job Opportunities

Today is the last day to apply for the National Center for State Courts (NCSC)‘s Principal Court Management Consultant position.  This position would be based in one of NCSC’s offices (Denver, CO; Arlington, VA, or HQ in Williamsburg, VA), or possibly teleworking when not traveling.  NCSC is expanding its staff devoted to family and children’s issues and is hoping to get candidates with juvenile justice experience for this position.  To apply and see more details about this position, please check here.

Today will be the last day for electronic offers for the Office of Indigent Defense Services‘ Request for Proposals in Caswell, Person, Alamance, Orange, and Chatham counties.  The current contracts for adult noncapital criminal cases at the trial level and per session court cases in those districts will expire on May 31 and renew on June 1.  The RFP (RFP #16-0002R) seeks services for adult noncapital criminal cases at the trial level, juvenile delinquency, abuse/neglect/dependency and termination of parental rights, and treatment courts.  Please note that the RFP will not seek offers for potentially capital cases at the trial level, direct appeals or post-conviction cases.  Also, the juvenile delinquency RFP will only include Caswell, Alamance, and Person counties.  To access the RFP, please check here.

Training

On March 15, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., the UNC School of Government (SOG) will be hosting the first North Carolina Criminal Justice Summit in the the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Carolina Club.  The Summit will be lead by SOG’s own Professor of Public Law and Government Jessica Smith and will feature national and state experts with broad-ranging ideological perspectives who will discuss key issues capturing attention in North Carolina and around the nation, including bail reform, overcriminalization, and barriers to re-entry, such as fines and fees, the criminal record, and collateral consequences.  Join the conversation as they explore how these issues impact justice, public safety and economic prosperity in North Carolina, and whether there is common ground to address them.  This event will be free to attend, lunch will be provided, and it offers 5 hours of CJE and free CLE credit.  Attendees are responsible for their travel expenses, including a $14 event parking fee.  For those arriving the night before, state rate and discounted rooms at local hotels will be available.  To apply for this course and find more details, please visit here.  Applicants should be notified regarding acceptance by today.

The Office of the Juvenile Defender will be hosting a Juvenile Court Basics CLE on Feb. 27 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Cumberland County Courthouse.  Assistant Juvenile Defender Kim Howes will be discussing the role of counsel, how to communicate with juvenile clients, dispositions, capacity, appeals, and so much more.  Questions and concerns are welcome.  Four general CLE credit hours are approved for this training.   Please contact Marcus Thompson by email or call 919-890-1650 if you have questions.

From Around the Community

JLWOP PanelOn Monday, Feb. 11, at the Duke Law Building, Duke Law School Professor Brandon L. Garrett and the Duke Criminal Law Society presented their newest study, “Juvenile Life Without Parole in North Carolina”.  Along with a great panel, which included  Assistant Appellate Defender David AndrewsN.C. Prisoner Legal Services Staff Attorney Ben Finholt, and N.C. State Representative Pricey Harrison, the presentation engaged and enlightened the audience about the misuse of juvenile life without parole in N.C.  Garrett was awarded a grant from the Charles Koch Foundation to study evidence to inform criminal justice policy.  Through his research, Garrett prepared the report now available here.  To read our coverage of the event, please check out our blog post here.

And that is the end of the line for this week.  Please check us out on OJD’s Twitter and Facebook for posts throughout the week.

Duke Law Hosts JLWOP Panel

JLWOP Panel

On Monday, Feb. 11, the Duke Criminal Law Society and Duke Law Professor Brandon L. Garrett (pictured speaking at the lectern stand on the right) hosted a panel discussion regarding their newest study, “Juvenile Life Without Parole in North Carolina.”  The panel featured (seated from left to right) David Andrews of the Office of Appellate DefenderBen Finholt of N.C. Prisoner Legal Services,  and N.C. State Representative Pricey Harrison.

The event opened with an introduction of the panel by Garrett, before panelists presented their own perspectives on the issue of juvenile life without parole (JLWOP) and the study released by Garrett and his colleagues.

Harrison emphasized the negative economic impact JLWOP has on N.C.  She reinforced the argument that juveniles could contribute much more to society if given the opportunity to get an education and job, rather than being held in a facility on hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars for a lifetime.

Finholt pointed out the State’s abuse of JLWOP.  “So far, as far as we know with the data we have, there has not been a single JLWOP resentencing hearing where the option of LWOP was on the table and the State has consented to taking it off the table,” he said.  “In every single resentencing hearing where LWOP is an option, the State has sought LWOP.  Every single time.  And I don’t think that matches what the U.S. Supreme Court has told us is supposed to happen in Roper, Graham, Miller, Montgomery.  I think in the whole line, it’s pretty clear that this should be rare.  This should only be used in exceptionally bad circumstances, and I think that is generally the way it has not been handled.”

Andrews also touched on Miller and its implications, disproportionate minority contact, and reform.

“When we talk about juvenile life without parole, we are talking about Miller v. Alabama,” Andrews said.  “What I love about this report that we have now, from Professor Garrett and all the other authors, is that it gives us perspective…  What’s interesting to me is that there is a disproportionate impact that this sentence has on race.  Children of color, these are the individuals who get LWOP.  There is a disproportionate impact on children of color.  We also know from the report that once a county imposes JLWOP, it is more likely to impose that sentence again.  It becomes entrenched.”

Andrews said from the perspective of trial attorneys dealing with JLWOP cases, they should pursue school records, interviews with family members, DSS records, and experts in fields such as adolescent brain science to dissuade a judge from sentencing a child to LWOP.

Andrews posed the question that really hit the core of the issue at hand, asking “Do we really want to sentence kids to die in prison?”

After every panelist had the opportunity to speak and before engaging in a question and answer session with members of the audience, Garrett reiterated the issue.  He pointed out that in the study, one-third of the individuals sentenced to LWOP were not the killers or had no intent to kill, but were convicted under a felony murder theory.

In response to one question about the discussions between legislators regarding juvenile justice, Harrison stated, “There are legislators who are considering continued reforms.  I know that many of us felt like Raise the Age… was an important first step and it took us nearly 15 years to really get on that.  It still needs work and I think that there are legislators interested in that and other juvenile justice issues…  There’s a lot going on.  It’s a different climate right now, but it is a little more conducive to making some of these improvements.”

In regards to Raise the Age and the impact he thought this study could potentially have on possible reforms going forward, Garrett said, “To kind of fix that you need to solve this juvenile life without parole problem.  In some ways it’s about the past.  And I think fixing that problem is a money-saver, but also highlights this moral issue that there should be a possibility of redemption, of rehabilitation for all juvenile sentences…  In some ways it’s a completely different question to Raise the Age.  It’s not about adult court versus juvenile court.  It’s just that there should be meaningful review for long juvenile sentences, no matter what the circumstances.  I think that it’s just a sensible position for the State to have.  It’s the right moral position, it follows the science of juvenile brain development, and it’s not inflexible.”

Garrett stated that the JLWOP study was just one of the projects he and his students were working on, including a traffic court study, parole, and non-juvenile life without parole.  He said this just happened to be one of the first they presented publicly.  To read the report and more from Duke Law’s JustScience Lab, please go here.

OJD Week in Review: Nov. 26 – 30

Salutations and happy Friday to all!  This week we’ve got a decent haul of fresh updates and reminders for upcoming deadlines.  Of course, in the holiday season things will eventually slow down again, but we’ve got other content planned before the end of the year for you…

Job Opportunities

The Office of Indigent Defense Services (IDS) is currently seeking a full-time Project Attorney for a two-year contract position with the Office of the Juvenile Defender (OJD).  This is a federal grant-funded position meant to improve the training capabilities of OJD and prepare juvenile defense attorneys for the changes that will result from the Raise the Age legislation.  The Project Attorney’s duties will include planning and oversight of juvenile defense training statewide and recruitment of local trainers.  The selected candidate will report to the Juvenile Defender and IDS Contract Administrator.  The ideal candidate will have a minimum of three years of juvenile defense or appellate court experience, will be able to travel statewide, and possess experience in educating/training of professionals.  Applications will be accepted until Monday, Dec. 3, 2018.  For more information about the position, please check the post here.

IGotTheJob

The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS), the Massachusetts public defender agency, is currently seeking a director for its newly created Strategic Litigation Unit.  The Strategic Litigation Unit will be responsible for litigation aimed at achieving systemic and institutional reform in all of CPCS’s criminal and civil practice areas.  The Strategic Litigation Director will lead those efforts and will work with other attorneys, advocacy organizations, and clients to promote justice for and protect the rights of individuals who are parties in criminal and civil right-to-counsel proceedings.  The director’s responsibilities will include criminal and civil litigation and administrative advocacy.  Litigation will include both trial and appellate advocacy in state and federal court.  Depending upon the matter at issue, the director may serve as lead counsel, co-counsel, consultant, amicus curiae, or provide technical support.  The position will be posted until filled.  To find further information and to apply, please visit here.

Bay Area Legal Aid is currently seeking a Youth Justice Staff Attorney who will provide civil legal services designed to meet the individualized needs of delinquency-involved youth, with a particular focus on SSI cases for children with disabilities.  This position is based out of Alameda County, CA, but the position may include travel throughout the Bay Area.  The Youth Justice Attorney’s responsibilities include client interviews, negotiations with governmental agencies/opposing parties, research and writing, and representation at administrative and court proceedings.  The attorney is also expected to engage in outreach with probation, social services, law enforcement, youth service providers, and other community organizations.  Beyond SSI cases, the position may also include a smaller, mixed caseload in areas such as special education, health access, public benefits (e.g. foster care benefits, CalWORKs, and General Assistance), legal permanency, housing, and other work.  Clients served by this project experience high rates of sexual exploitation, abuse and neglect, and mental health-related issues which the attorney will be expected to navigated in providing legal assistance.  Review of applications will begin immediately and continue on a rolling basis, but applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.  For a full description of the job responsibilities and the application process, please check here.

From Around the Community

From the On the Civil Side blog, Professor Jacquelyn Greene discusses delinquency dispositional orders.  In this blog, Greene breaks down what factors need to be considered when deciding dispositional orders for juveniles.  You can read the full blog post here.

From the creators of the weekly public radio program This American Life, a spinoff podcast called Serial has an episode focused on youth at an Ohio juvenile correctional facility.  You can listen to the podcast here.  (Shout-out to David Andrews for bringing this piece to our attention!)

Training

i-love-training-trainings-my-favorite

From March 25- 29, 2019, at the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) will be hosting the Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice Certificate Program.  This is an intensive training  hosted in partnership with the Center for Children’s Law and Policy (CCLP) and designed to support local jurisdictions in their efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in their juvenile justice systems.   The training will allow participants to develop and implement a Capstone Project designed to reduce the disparate treatment in their communities.  CJJR will only accept a limited number of applicants, so please visit the website to view the curriculum and learn how to apply to the training.  Applications will be accepted through December 14, 2018.  For more information, please visit the training website.

On Dec. 7, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., the UNC School of Government will be hosting the 2018 Winter Criminal Law Update webinar.  This webinar will cover recent criminal law decisions issued by the North Carolina appellate courts and U.S. Supreme Court and will highlight significant criminal law legislation enacted by the North Carolina General Assembly.  School of Government criminal law experts Shea Denning and Phil Dixon Jr. will discuss a wide range of issues affecting felony and misdemeanor cases in the North Carolina state courts.  Participants will receive 1.5 hours of general CLE credit and this qualifies for NC State Bar criminal law specialization credit.  All public defenders, private attorneys who handle or are interested in pursuing indigent criminal defense work, and other court personnel who handle criminal cases are invited.  The registration fee for private assigned counsel, contract attorneys, and other non-IDS employees is $75.00.  There is no registration fee for IDS state employees.   Please visit here to register online and find additional information about the webinar.  Pre-registration is required; the deadline is 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 5.  As it is a live broadcast, the webinar is NOT subject to the State Bar’s 6-hour per year credit limit for computer-based CLE.  For more info, please contact Program Manager Tanya Jisa or call 919.843.8981.

That will be all for now.  If you have any articles, videos, or podcasts from around the community or even something personal related to juvenile justice that you would like to submit, please feel free to reach out!  We’re always happy to see more engagement and have more collaboration!  Until next time, enjoy the weekend!

 

OJD Week in Review: Aug. 6 – 10

Welcome back, everyone!  This week there are some great new stories to share from our site and around the Web.

From Around the Community

First, from the On the Civil Side blog, Austine Long discusses youth development centers (YDCs).  In her post, Long emphasizes the use of YDCs and the need for juvenile justice advocates to familiarize themselves with the facilities and requirements of committed youth.  Long also encourages attorneys to attend trainings about YDCs, including the annual Juvenile Defender Conference.  You can check out the full post here.

Dilemma of Duties

Earlier this week, our office had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Anne Corbin about her book, Dilemma of Duties: The Conflicted Role of Juvenile Defenders.  Through interviews with many juvenile defense attorneys across North Carlina, Corbin examines the role of juvenile defenders and the internal and external pressures experienced by defenders to divert from expressed-interest advocacy to best-interest advocacy.  We recorded the discussion for our next podcast, which we hope to share in the very near future, but in the meantime check out the book for yourselves!

Speaking of books, from the Sentencing Law and Policy blog, author Cara Drinan wrote a four-part series to discuss her book The War on Kids: How American Juvenile Justice Lost Its Way.  In her first post, Drinan addresses the question of how the U.S. became an international outlier in the severity of its juvenile justice practices, touching on the origins of the juvenile court system and drawing the line to the failures of the system today.  Her later posts also cover what the war on kids looks like, three Supreme Court cases that have significantly impacted the juvenile justice system, and post-Miller parole.  Drinan concluded the series of posts earlier this week, so be sure to read all four blog posts and check out the book!  You can read the beginning of her series here.  Shout-out to David Andrews for bringing these blogs to our attention!

Finally, if you haven’t already seen it, please take a moment to read our feature on Cindy Ellis, the new contract juvenile defender of Davie County.  Read the full post here.

Cindy Ellis pic

Training

Registration is now open for the 2018 Misdemeanor Defender Training, which will take place at the UNC-Chapel Hill campus from Sept. 18 – 21.  This training, cosponsored by the Office of Indigent Defense Services and the School of Government, will be an introductory program for attorneys who are new to handling misdemeanor cases and will offer 21.5 CLE credit hours, including one hour of ethics/professional responsibility credit and qualifies for criminal law specialization credit.  Attendees can expect sessions that will cover topics such as impaired driving, probation violations, ethical issues in district court, and much more.  The registration deadline will be 5 p.m. on Aug. 30 and the deadline for the hotel block will be Aug. 28.  There will be no onsite registration.  The fee for privately assigned counsel will be $560, but the program will be free for IDS state employees.  There is a new online registration system being used that will require first-time users to create an account, but if any issues should arise, please contact registration@sog.unc.edu/919.966.4414 or check the FAQ page.  For further questions contact either Tanya Jisa or Phil Dixon,Jr.

Save the Date!  The Bridging The Gap III Seminar will be in Winston-Salem September 20-21, 2018.  Participants in this seminar will be awarded 10.25 CLE credit hours, including 1.5 credit hours in ethics, professional responsibility and professionalism.  The registration fee is $115.00.  The focus of this seminar will be on client and family relations, and pretrial resolution.  Registration and hotel information will be published in early July.  A block of 40 rooms will be available once the registration is published.  For an attorney to attend he or she must have at least 7 years’ experience.  The “ gap” in Bridging The Gap describes lawyers who have never taken murder cases and are considering taking them on, and lawyers who have taken non-capital murder cases and are considering taking capital cases.  The seminar, hosted by the Office of the Capital Defender, focuses on issues relevant to both non-capital and capital murder cases.  If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Terry Alford.

Job /Funding Opportunity

The National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) is currently seeking a research manager.  The ideal candidate will have at least 5 years of experience, a commitment to advancing improvements in juvenile defense policy and practice, a love of research, writing, and critical thinking, and an eagerness to build a career at the intersection of youth justice and social change.  The selected candidate will be responsible for developing and executing research efforts to advance NJDC’s mission, and strengthening the empirical qualities and evaluating the impact of NJDC’s work on the community.  This position will remain open until filled.  For more information please check here.

The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) in Massachusetts is currently accepting applications for a Deputy Chief Counsel of the Private Counsel Division, who is a member of the senior management team that develops and implements fiscal, operational, human resource, and legislative policies.  The Private Counsel Division is responsible for delivering legal services to indigent clients through assigned private attorneys in criminal defense trial and post-conviction cases as well as commitment and registration cases for persons convicted of sex offenses.  Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.  For more info please check here.

That sums it up for this week!  The near-future for news in the juvenile defense community is looking good, so check back soon!

OJD Week in Review: Feb. 19-23

This week we’ve got plenty of important news to share, with updates on Raise the Age, a new podcast, and job and training opportunities.

JJAC Comes Back for Thirds

On February 20, the Juvenile Jurisdiction Advisory Committee (JJAC) met at the N.C. Division of Adult Corrections and Juvenile Justice for its third meeting since its creation.

JJAC

Co-chair Bill D. Davis called the meeting to order, greeting the members of the Committee and others in attendance, before approving the minutes of the previous meeting held in January, and moving onto the new business.

Heather Taraska, Assistant District Attorney of Mecklenberg County, presented the Legislative Revisions and Legal Issues Subcommittee recommendations.  The subcommittee first reported on the mandate in SB257 that the JJAC consider whether certain offenses allegedly committed by 16- and 17-year-olds should be excluded from juvenile jurisdiction once the law goes into effect.  Those offenses can be found under Section 16D.4(rr).  The subcommittee recommended that these offenses not be excluded from juvenile jurisdiction, arguing the impracticality of expecting law enforcement to determine whether juveniles should be charged in the juvenile or criminal system based on certain offenses.  Michelle Hall, Executive Director of the N.C. Sentencing and Advisory Commission, offered statistical data from a five-year period to point out that most felony convictions for certain offenses have actually been accompanied by other charges for juveniles.  The full Committee then voted and approved the subcommittee’s recommendations to include items in Section 16D.4.(rr) (1) through Section 16D.4.(rr)(10) in juvenile jurisdiction and amend the language of this section to read “Any H, I, or misdemeanor offense requiring registration as a sex offender pursuant to Article 27A of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes.”

Following this vote William Lassiter, Deputy Secretary of Juvenile Justice with the Department of Public Safety, presented on behalf of the Housing of Transfers Subcommittee.  The subcommittee’s recommendations included accommodating any child under the age of 18 exclusively in approved juvenile facilities prior to trial, more resources and training of transportation staff, and establishing a unified video conferencing system to allow communications between juvenile detention, adult detention facilities, and the courts.  There were some concerns voiced from the Committee about privacy between juveniles and their defense counsel in regards to the video conferencing recommendation and preparing juveniles to transition into the adult system if they are held in custody on their 18th birthday.  After suggestions were offered to address some of the issues members had with the recommendations in future discussions, the Committee passed these recommendations.

Juvenile Defender Eric Zogry also brought a recommendation to the Committee to fund an additional assistant juvenile defender position for the Office of the Juvenile Defender.  Zogry explained the position would help with training, delivery of services, and technical support needs upon implementation.  The Committee gave approval for the position.

Lassiter returned to offer the proposal for the final report due on March 1 to the Legislature.  The report is to include the approved recommendations from JJAC, timelines for potential stakeholder forums and community meetings, potential issues projected for the future, and milestones and progress to-date.  Implementation dates and funding requests for various aspects of the Raise the Age plan are also to be included.

Finally, Brad D. Fowler, Research, Policy, and Planning Officer of the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), and Judge Marion R. Warren, Director of AOC, presented AOC’s requests for funding, which included additional judgeships, assistant district attorneys, district attorney legal assistants, and deputy clerks for several different districts.  With a request to amend the language to the recommendations clarifying the methodology for determining the needs and acknowledging more resources may be needed after implementation, the Committee approved this as well.

The Committee adjourned the meeting and confirmed its next meeting for May 22.

 

Job/Fellowship Opportunities

The UNC School of Government is seeking a tenure-track full-time permanent assistant professor of juvenile justice and criminal law.  The selected candidate for this position will be expected “to write for, advise, plan courses for, and teach” public officials, including judges, magistrates, law enforcement, prosecutors and defenders.  Applications will remain open until the position is filled.  The expected starting date for the new hire will be July 1.  Please find the full details for the position and how to apply here.

The National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) is now accepting applications for its 2018-19 Youth Justice Leadership Institute.  This is an annual year-long fellowship program that selects 10 people of color working as professionals in the juvenile justice field to participate in a curriculum to develop their leadership and advocacy skills.  The fellowship can be completed with the fellows’ current employment, so those selected will not have to leave their jobs to participate in the Institute.  The fellowship will include two fully financed retreats, mentoring and frequent distance learning opportunities.  NJJN will be hosting two informational webinars, one on Mar. 8 and another on Apr. 2.  To register for one of these webinars, please visit here.  Applications for the Institute (found here) must be submitted by Apr. 23.

Heard About the New Juvenile Defender Manual?

David Andrews Profile Picture - SmallWe’ve updated our SoundCloud page with a new podcast!  In this segment, OJD Communications and Office Manager Marcus Thompson sits down for a Q&A with Assistant Appellate Defender David Andrews to discuss Andrews’ work on the updated juvenile defender manual.  Andrews not only talks about his experience co-writing the manual with Professor John Rubin, but also shares thoughts on Gault, Raise the Age, and some other important cases.  You can listen to the new podcast here, and as usual, we’d like to thank our friends at the Administrative Office of the Courts who have graciously assisted us with these recordings.

Events Around the Community

The North Carolina Bar Association Juvenile Justice and Children’s Rights Section will be holding a council meeting on March 22, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.  A networking reception will be held directly after the meeting at Whiskey Kitchen on 201 W. Martin St. and appetizers and a cash bar will be provided.  All section members and attorneys who could be members are welcome to attend and may RSVP here.

Training Reminders & Webinars

The National Institute of Justice will be hosting a webinar titled “Using Brief Interventions to Prevent Teen Dating Violence” on Feb. 26, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (EST).  The webinar will feature several researchers, policy advocates, and practitioners discussing methods to reduce teen dating violence in high-risk populations.  You can register for the webinar here.

Clean Slate Clearinghouse will be hosting a webinar on Feb. 28 titled “Juvenile Record Clearance — 2017 Legislative Reforms”  This webinar will focus on various state reforms to juvenile record clearance laws and will feature multiple state advocates.  To register for this webinar, please visit here.
yoda training

Registration is open for Higher-Level Felony Defense, Part I.  This training will take place April 9-10 and will offer 9.0 CLE credit hours.  Topics will include working with investigators and experts, building rapport with clients, investigation and discovery, the theory of defense, and third-party records.  Space is limited for only 36 participants, so please hurry if you are interested in participating!  Members of public defender offices should get approval from the Chief Public Defender to register and contractors and privately assigned counsel must receive a fellowship from IDS Director Tom Maher.  For more information on registration, the agenda, and hotel information please visit here.

The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform(CJJR) is accepting applications for its Youth in Custody Certificate Program, to be held June 11–15, 2018, at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.  This training is designed for juvenile justice system leaders and partners working to improve outcomes for youth in post-adjudication custody.  The curriculum covers critical areas, including culture change and leadership, addressing racial and ethnic disparities, family engagement, assessment, case planning, facility-based education and treatment services, and reentry planning and support.  Upon approval of a Capstone Project Proposal initiating or building on local reform efforts, participants receive an Executive Certificate from Georgetown University and join the CJJR Fellows Network of more than 850 individuals.  Applications will be accepted until March 2.

New Resource

This week we’ve added a new document from the Department of Adult Corrections and Juvenile Justice to our Raise the Age page, located under the “Information for Defenders” tab. This presentation from Deputy Secretary William Lassiter presents points on the history, the implementation plan, and the vision for what Raise the Age will do for N.C.  This document also offers suggestions to reduce recidivism, youth psychological development research, and other data.

That’s all there is to share this week.  Please be sure to check out our Facebook page and Twitter feed, and don’t be afraid to reach out if you would like to discuss something in the juvenile defense realm either through our podcast or on our blog.  We will be sharing more news you can use and other information here every week so be sure to check back again often!

 

OJD Week in Review: Jan. 15-19

Good afternoon N.C. Juvenile Defender Community.  It has been a rather eventful week, depending on where you are, and we hope everyone is still warm and safe.  This week we would like recap a few important things.

ICYMI

Earlier in the week, Assistant Appellate Defender David Andrews offered a great breakdown of the updated North Carolina Juvenile Defender manual, the first new edition since 2008.  The new manual offers defenders instruction based on changes to the Juvenile Code over the past decade, including sections on procedures for suppression motions and Raise the Age legislation, along with expanded sections on other topics covered in the original.  Andrews co-wrote the new manual along with John Rubin, Albert Coates Professor of Public Law and Government at the UNC School of Government.  Please take a moment to read David’s article here and access the new manual on the School of Government’s website.

RTA

Also, earlier in the week our office released our “2017 Year in Review”, highlighting some of the juvenile defense community’s biggest achievements in the past year, including the passage of Raise the Age and commemorating the 50th anniversary of In re Gault.  In our post we also provide our plan going forward to evaluate contracts and provide training in response to the increase in juvenile jurisdiction.  To read our brief on some of our successes and plans from 2017, please check out our article here.

Quick Reminders

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) will be supporting National Drug and Alcohol Facts week, sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.  From Jan. 22-28, these organizations will be supporting community events nationwide and beyond that bring people together, from adolescents to experts, to discuss alcohol and drug abuse.  The National Institute on Drug Abuse will be providing free booklets about how to deal with drug abuse, in addition to other educational resources.

OJJDP will also be accepting nominations for their 2018 National Missing Children’s Day awards until Jan. 24.  They are seeking nominees for their Missing Children’s Citizen Award and Missing Children’s Child Protection Award.  These awards are meant to recognize private individuals who helped to recover a missing/abducted child and professionals, such as law enforcement officers and child protective service agents, who have worked to protect children from abuse and victimization.  For further details and to submit your nominations, please check here.

That will be all for now, but warmer weather, better days, and more news are ahead!  Don’t forget to check back early and often and follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well.

 

“Introducing the 2017 Edition of the N.C. Juvenile Defender Manual” by Guest Blogger David Andrews

David Andrews Profile Picture - Small

Late last year, John Rubin of the UNC School of Government and I published the 2017 edition of the North Carolina Juvenile Defender Manual. This edition was three years in the making.  In addition, its publication coincided with a year-long initiative to commemorate the 50th anniversary of In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967), the Supreme Court decision that transformed the protections for juveniles in delinquency cases.

The new edition of the manual builds on the structure of the original 2008 edition and contains discussions of recent changes to the Juvenile Code, and analysis of case law from the past ten years. Here are some of the major changes to the manual:

  1. Appeals (Chapter 16): I handle juvenile delinquency appeals and so, naturally, one part of the manual that saw some significant changes was the chapter devoted to appeals. The primary change to this chapter involves a new section on transmitting appeals to the Appellate Defender, which is a process that is sometimes overlooked by attorneys, but can result in complications and delays. We also added new sections on appeals by the State and appeals involving the denial of a motion to suppress.
  1. Suppression Motions (Chapter 11): Prior to 2015, there were no procedures in the Juvenile Code for suppression motions. However, in 2015, the General Assembly enacted a law that provided specific procedures for suppression motions filed in juvenile delinquency cases. The new edition of the manual describes those procedures, as well as recent opinions on suppression issues, such as D.B. v. North Carolina, 564 U.S. 261 (2011), and State v. Saldierna, 369 N.C. 401 (2016).
  1. Registration of juveniles adjudicated delinquent for sex crimes (Chapter 13): The new edition of manual includes a lengthier discussion of state and federal registration requirements for juveniles adjudicated delinquent for certain sex crimes.
  1. Modifying dispositional orders (Chapter 13): The new edition of the manual provides an expanded discussion of motions in the cause under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-2600 and a discussion of two recent cases that shed light on the criteria for modifying dispositional orders.
  1. The juvenile’s right to access records (Chapter 10): In the chapter on discovery, John and I included a section on the juvenile’s right to access the clerk’s records for cases involving the abuse, neglect, or dependency of the juvenile; DSS records of cases in which the juvenile is under placement by a court or has been placed under protective custody by DSS; and records concerning the juvenile that are maintained by law enforcement and the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice.
  1. Raise the age legislation (Chapter 19): As John and I neared completion of the manual, the General Assembly enacted legislation to raise the age of jurisdiction for juvenile delinquency cases from 15- to 17-years-old. John and I added a short chapter that discusses portions of the legislation that went into effect in December 2017. We also provided a link to a primer by LaToya Powell on the changes that take effect in December 2019.

We hope that juvenile defenders around the state find the new edition of the manual useful. If you have questions or comments about the manual, please send them to David Andrews at david.w.andrews@nccourts.org or John Rubin at rubin@sog.unc.edu.

 

David W. Andrews is an Assistant Appellate Defender in the North Carolina Office of the Appellate Defender (OAD), a division of the Office of Indigent Defense Services. OAD staff attorneys represent indigent clients in criminal, juvenile delinquency, and involuntary commitment appeals to the Court of Appeals of North Carolina and the Supreme Court of North Carolina.

OJD Week in Review: Oct. 2-6

This week we want to remind everyone of some upcoming events/deadlines, an update to a Court of Appeals decision and an old-but-new addition to our materials for defenders.

LeandroOn Oct. 13, from 9:30 to 1 p.m., the the UNC Center for Civil Rights and the UNC Education Law & Policy Society, Black Law Students Association, and National Lawyers Guild are sponsoring “Leandro at 20: Two Decades in Pursuit of a Sound Basic Education.”  This event commemorates the 20th anniversary of Leandro v. State.  Registration is free, but space is limited, so be sure to sign up now!

Also, a brief reminder to recent law school grads (Class of 2017 or 2018), that applications for the NJDC Gault Fellowship are due by Oct. 30.  You can find further details about this opportunity and how to apply in our previous post from last month.  njdc logo

The Wake Forest University School of Law has just announced that registration is now open for their upcoming symposium.  This event, titled “The New Law and Order: Working Toward Equitable Community-Centered Policing in North Carolina”, will be hosted by the WFU School of Law Criminal Justice Program, NCCRED, and the Wake Forest Journal of Law & Policy on Nov. 3, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Four hours of CLE credit will be offered for attending.  You can register on their website here, and for further info on the symposium please check here.

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We also need to thank Assistant Appellate Defender David Andrews for reminding us that the Court of Appeals vacated the adjudication in In re T.K. on Sept. 29.  Andrews writes: “The basis of the opinion was that the juvenile petition was defective because the court counselor did not sign the petition and check the box on the petition indicating that it had been approved for filing.

“After the Court of Appeals issued its opinion, the State filed a petition for discretionary review in the Supreme Court of North Carolina.  [Last Friday], the Supreme Court issued an order denying the petition, which means that the Court of Appeals opinion in In re T.K. stands and will remain undisturbed.  So . . . keep scrutinizing petitions to make sure that they are proper!”

We would also like to bring it to everyone’s attention that we have the materials from this year’s Juvenile Defender Conference now available on our website.  Apologies for not having it added sooner, and big thanks to Austine Long for notifying us.  If you need a refresher or if you just happened to miss the conference and would like to see what was covered, the electronic copy of the materials are now ready and waiting for you in the “School of Government” section under the “Materials for Defenders” tab.

Juvenile defenders and others are still encouraged to share if there is anything you wish to discuss on our blog or our new podcast!  We are expecting more updates for other events in the coming months and we will also have other activities to share from our office as well, so be sure to check back frequently!

Reflections & Foresight on N.C.’s Journey for Juvenile Justice at Raise the Age Victory Celebration

On Thursday afternoon, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., advocates for Raise the Age from across the state of North Carolina (and probably beyond) assembled at Trophy Brewing in Downtown Raleigh for a victory party hosted by the Raise the Age Coalition to celebrate the passing of the new law extending the age of juvenile jurisdiction.  RTA Vic Party crowd

Representatives from many organizations, from Disability Rights N.C. to the state Legislature, were in attendance to celebrate the monumental occasion.  After struggling for more than a decade to make this necessary change to the juvenile justice system, the festivities were well-deserved.  Everyone present seemed to be in good spirits after finally seeing their diligence pay off, but the people who have supported this effort for so long understand that there is still more to be done.

“I believe this is a step in the right direction,” said Tyler Ford, research assistant to Senator Paul Lowe.  “The state can now focus on guiding juveniles in the right direction, but we definitely have a long way to go.”

In the middle of the event, Susanna Birdsong, state policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, called on multiple speakers to share their thoughts and words of encouragement with the crowd.

Brandy Bynum Dawson, associate director for Rural Forward NC, was the first of the speakers, addressing all of the long years of advocacy to make this moment possible in her speech.  “This win is for North Carolina’s youth!” Dawson said.  “Congratulations on never giving up!”

Dawson was followed by Sens. Marcia Morey and Duane Hall, who each spoke briefly about their work in the judicial system before coming to the Legislature.

“This is why I left the bench to go to the Legislature,” Sen. Morey said.  “This is about the kids.  This is about the thousands of kids I would have sentenced as a judge.”

The final speaker for the event, Ricky Watson, co-director of the Youth Justice Project, stated that until the law is fully implemented, the goal would be to increase diversion programs and try to keep kids out of the justice system in the first place, continuing to advance justice for youth in North Carolina.

RTA Vic party

Following the presentations from the selected speakers a few others present were kind enough share their thoughts on the new legislation and what it means going forward.

“This is a smart juvenile justice reform that is going to help a lot of kids in North Carolina,” said LaToya Powell, assistant professor of public law and government at the UNC School of Government.

Deana Fleming, assistant legal counsel for the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, stated, “I’m just happy to be able to put North Carolina youth on equal footing with the rest of the states.”

“This is only the beginning, there is still work to be done,” said David Andrews, assistant public defender for the N.C. Office of the Appellate Defender.

And while the work to improve the juvenile justice system continues, so do the celebrations for what has been achieved so far.  On Wednesday, August 2, the North Carolina Chamber will be holding its own reception in the Reynolds American Boardroom at 701 Corporate Center Drive, Suite 400 in Raleigh.  The reception will last from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.  Guests will need to RSVP with Kristy Kappel at kkappel@ncchamber.net.

 

“The Nuts and Bolts of Initiating a Juvenile Delinquency Appeal” by guest bloggers Danielle Blass and David Andrews

If you represent a juvenile client, it is your duty to advise your client of the right to appeal an adjudication and disposition and of the strengths and weaknesses of a potential appeal. It is also your duty to file notice of appeal for the juvenile. See North Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense Services, Performance Guidelines for Appointed Counsel in Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings at the Trial Level, Guideline 11.3 (2007).  This duty mirrors trial counsel’s duty to advise clients in adult criminal cases.

But it is also important to remember that the rules governing notice of appeal are different in juvenile delinquency matters than in adult cases. In addition, there are steps that counsel can take to ensure that the appeal has some practical benefit to the client and that the appeal moves forward as quickly as possible. Below are 12 tips for successfully initiating an appeal for a juvenile client.

  1. Timing. Trial counsel only has 10 days to enter notice of appeal in a juvenile matter. Pursuant to C. Gen. Stat. § 7B–2602, whichgoverns the appeal procedure in juvenile delinquency cases, “[n]otice of appeal shall be given in open court at the time of the hearing or in writing within 10 days after entry of the order.” In contrast, trial counsel has 14 days to give notice of appeal in adult criminal cases.
  1. If Adjudication and Disposition Are Split Up, When Do I File Notice of Appeal? Pursuant to C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-2602, if no disposition is made within 60 days after entry of the adjudication order, written notice of appeal of the adjudication may be given within 70 days after entry of the order. This means that if your juvenile client is adjudicated delinquent, but no disposition is ordered, trial counsel has a 10 day window to file notice of appeal that begins 60 days after the entry of the adjudication order. Thus, in the event that the trial court orders adjudication but continues disposition, the best practice is to calculate and enter two dates into your firm’s calendaring system: (1) the date that is 60 days after adjudication, when your notice of appeal window opens if disposition is not yet ordered, and (2) the date that is 10 days after that, and which represents the end of the notice of appeal window.
  1. The Trial Court Said It One Day But Wrote It Another Day, So When Does The 10 Day Clock Start Ticking? If the trial court ordered an adjudication and disposition at the hearing but did not file a written order until later, trial counsel has from the date of the hearing until 10 days after the written adjudication and disposition orders were filed, to file notice of appeal. See In re M.A.P., No. COA16-279, slip op. at 5 (N.C. Ct. App. Sep. 20, 2016) (unpublished) (holding, based on State v. Oates, 366 N.C. 264 (2012), that the juvenile had from the date of dispositional hearing until ten days after the dispositional order was entered to file written notice of appeal). Thus, there may be times when trial counsel gives notice of appeal after the trial court’s oral orders but before the trial court files the corresponding written orders. Please note that, regardless of the window of time statutorily permitted, once your client decides to appeal, you must not delay filing notice of appeal.
  1. Write it Down, Serve It, and File It. Pursuant to C. Gen. Stat. § 7B–2602, trial counsel may either (1) give oral notice of appeal in open court at the time of the hearing; or (2) give written notice within 10 days after entry of the order. While oral notice is permitted, the best practice is to file written notice for two reasons. First, written notice of appeal provides a written record that the appeal was timely filed. Second, as a practical matter, if there is a defect in the notice of appeal, the appellate defender is able to spot it faster if the notice is written, because the clerk of court forwards a copy of the court file to the appellate defender. If oral notice of appeal is given, an error would not be discovered by appellate counsel until the court reporter transcribed the hearing and sent it to appellate counsel.
  1. What Am I Appealing? The North Carolina Court of Appeals has held that when a juvenile appeals a dispositional order, “he also effectively appeals the underlying adjudication order.” In re A.J. M.-B., 212 N.C. App. 586 (2011). However, confusingly, the Court has also found a lack of jurisdiction where the juvenile did not appeal both the adjudication order and the disposition order. See In re A.L., 166 N.C. App. 276 (2004)(holding that the court had no jurisdiction over an appeal where the juvenile appealed the adjudication but not the disposition); see also In re M.B.B., No. COA06-1155, slip op. at 5 (N.C. Ct. App. May 1, 2007)(holding that where the trial court adjudicated the juvenile delinquent for simple affray and for simple assault and one disposition was subsequently ordered for both, the appellate court lacked jurisdiction over the simply affray adjudication because notice of appeal referenced only the simple assault adjudication and the joint disposition but did not mention the simple affray adjudication). Thus out of an abundance of caution, trial counsel should include each adjudication order and each dispositional order in the notice of appeal. (The only exception would be if the appeal is made within the 60-70 day window described in C. Gen. Stat. § 7B–2602because no disposition was ordered). A sample notice of appeal is available on the Juvenile Defender website.
  1. Get Your Client Out of Detention. There are two ways to seek release of your client while the appeal is pending.
  1. First, trial counsel should request release pursuant to C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-2605. The juvenile must be released under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-2605 unless the court enters a written order providing “compelling reasons” that custody or placement would be “in the best interests of the juvenile or the State.” See In re J.J. Jr., 216 N.C. App. 366, 376 (2011) (holding that the juvenile “should have been released” after giving notice of appeal because the trial court “failed to state any compelling reasons in writing why the juvenile should not be released pending his appeal”).  The best practice is to include the written request for release from custody in the written notice of appeal.
  1. Second, although not addressed in the Juvenile Code, trial counsel could file a motion for stay of disposition. Using this avenue, trial counsel would request that any dispositional alternatives involving confinement be stayed during the pendency of the appeal pursuant to Rule 8 of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure.
  1. These two avenues could apply for any type of confinement or placement outside of the home, including intermittent confinement under C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-2606(12), confinement at a juvenile detention facility under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-2606(20), and confinement in a Youth Development Center under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-2606(24).
  1. A sample notice of appeal with a request for release and a sample stay motion are both available on the Office of the Juvenile Defender website.
  1. Staying Non-Confinement Dispositions Pending Appeal. Trial counsel could also ask that any dispositional alternatives, such as probation, be stayed under Rule 8 of the North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure during the pendency of the appeal. Trial counsel must argue that there are potentially meritorious issues that would warrant relief on direct appeal and that failure to grant a stay would deprive the juvenile of the practical benefits of direct appeal. Meares v. Town of Beaufort, 193 N.C. App. 49, 63-64, 667 S.E.2d 244, 254 (2008); Abbott v. Highlands, 52 N.C. App. 69, 277 S.E.2d 820 (1981). For example, trial counsel may argue that the trial court committed reversible error by failing to issue written findings of fact regarding each of the factors outlined in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-2501(c), and subsequently failed to select “the most appropriate disposition” for the juvenile “that is designed to protect the public and to meet the needs and best interests of the juvenile.” N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-2501(c); In re V.M., 211 N.C. App. 389, 392, 712 S.E.2d 213, 215 (2011). Further, if a dispositional order included 12 months of probation, the probationary term would likely run before relief could be obtained via the appellate process. See State v. Corkum, 224 N.C. App. 129, 132, 735 S.E.2d 420, 422-23 (2012) (“[t]his nine-month duration is too short for an appeal to be decided”). Please note that a dispositional stay may be full or partial. The stay motion may also practically serve as a rare opportunity to explain to a trial judge what trial counsel believes to be unjust or incorrect about a court order after it is issued and could thus double as an educational exercise for all involved.
  1. Don’t Reinvent the Wheel! The juvenile defender has online templates for you to use! Use them. This will help to ensure that the notice of appeal is proper.
  1. Appellate Entries. Immediately after giving notice of appeal, the best practice is to complete the Appellate Entries form and provide it to the trial court to expedite the appointment of appellate counsel. To avoid delays in processing the appellate entries, counsel should identify a court reporter on the appellate entries before submitting the appellate entries to the clerk.  Counsel should ask the clerk if he or she knows which court reporter will be assigned to the case.  If the clerk does not know which court reporter to assign to the case, counsel should contactDavid Jester, Court Reporting Manager for the Administrative Office of the Courts. David Jester can be reached at (919) 831-5974. After counsel has submitted the appellate entries to the clerk, trial counsel should follow-up with the clerk to ensure that the appellate entries is signed by the district court judge and that the clerk sends copies of the appellate entries and the court file to the Office of the Appellate Defender in a timely manner.
  1. Transfer Orders. Pursuant to C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-2603(d), there are two things that need to happen before a juvenile can appeal a transfer order (an order transferring jurisdiction of the district court to the superior court) to the Court of Appeals. First, trial counsel MUST appeal the order to superior court before the order can be appealed to the Court of Appeals. G.S. 7B-2603(d); State v. Wilson, 151 N.C. App. 219, 222 (2002). Second, the juvenile MUST have been convicted after a trial. Id.
  1. Don’t Take the Clerk’s Word For It. It is trial counsel’s responsibility to obtain and review the court file to check for written adjudication and dispositional orders. If the clerk resists providing the court file, trial counsel must insist on obtaining and reviewing it. The written adjudication and dispositional orders may determine when the 10 day notice of appeal window runs. Trial counsel must make his/her own determination of the notice of appeal timeline and cannot rely on the clerk for determining that window.
  1. If You Aren’t Sure, Ask! Eric Zogry and Kim Howes at the Office of the Juvenile Defender, and David Andrews, at the Office of the Appellate Defender, are great resources. They are available to help you with any questions you may have regarding entry of notice of appeal in juvenile matters!

 

David Andrews is an Assistant Appellate Defender in the North Carolina Office of the Appellate Defender. He handles indigent appeals in criminal, juvenile delinquency, and involuntary commitment cases in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of North Carolina.  He can be reached by email at David.W.Andrews@nccourts.org.

Danielle Blass is the principal attorney at Blass Law, PLLC, where her focus is on criminal appellate defense in North Carolina state courts. Ms. Blass’s professional experience includes representing hundreds of clients on criminal charges with an emphasis on client dedication, zealous advocacy, and rigorous preparation. Prior to opening Blass Law, PLLC, she worked in education law for UNC’s Office of University Counsel, in general practice as an associate with DeWitt Law, PLLC, and in criminal trial and appellate defense as a partner with Gerding Blass, PLLC. She earned her B.A. from Duke University and a J.D. from UNC School of Law.