OJD Week in Review: June 10 – 14

new ids logoAnother welcome end to the week!  This week there is a new post to share from the On the Civil Side blog, a new tip, a new job post, a training update, and the normal reminders.  We would also like to mention that the Office of Indigent Defense Services has now joined the social media scene, so please be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube!  Also, please make sure to subscribe to the OJD blog if you haven’t already and head over to our OJD Twitter and Facebook pages as well to get updates, relevant articles, and other juvenile defense-related content throughout the week!

Tip of the Week – Was Your Client Properly Served?

N.C.G.S. §7B-1805 requires that both the juvenile and the parent be personally served.  It is not permissible for the juvenile’s summons to be given to the parent or another person.  If your client does not appear in court, make sure to check the court file for proper service.  If your client was not personally served (i.e. the parent is in court and was served with your client’s summons) advocate that the juvenile not be found to be responsible for failing to appear in court and request that the judge not enter a secure custody order because the juvenile was not properly served.

From Around the Community

From the On the Civil Side blog, Sara DePasquale has a new article announcing the new juvenile law bulletin on the UNC School of Government website.  In her post, titled “Extra!  Extra! Read All About it!  New Juvenile Law Bulletin – Delinquency and DSS Custody without Abuse, Neglect, or Dependency: How Does that Work?”, she discusses how a juvenile may end up in a county’s child welfare department and offers details and recommendations for how the new juvenile law bulletin can aid attorneys.  To view the blog post, please go here, or to go directly to the page to download the bulletin, check it out here.

On teh Civil Side


Job and Fellowship Opportunities

The deadline to apply for the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN)‘s executive director position will be Friday, June 21.  The executive director will be responsible for fundraising, strategic planning, communicating with board members, supervising staff, and ensuring that the organization adheres to its intersectional and anti-racist practices and principles in its internal operations.  To see the full job description, please go here.  To apply or if you have questions, please contact NJJN here.

Utah Juvenile Defender Attorneys (UJDA) is seeking applicants for an attorney to join their delinquency defense practice to assist in the representation of young people charged with delinquent offenses resulting in involvement in the juvenile justice system.  UJDA is a small firm whose attorneys collectively have more than 80 years of experience handling juvenile delinquency cases.  This is an excellent opportunity to join a sophisticated nationally recognized delinquency defense firm and work in a dynamic, expanding, and team-oriented atmosphere.  Qualified candidates should have general knowledge of delinquency law and/or criminal law with excellent written and oral communication.  They should also have working knowledge of advocacy techniques, principles of law and their applications, and criminal trial procedures and the rules of evidence.  Qualified candidates should be good standing members of the Utah State Bar.  UJDA values the strength of having a diverse and inclusive work environment, and strongly believes that everyone should feel welcomed and part of our community.  The application deadline is July 5, 2019.  Applications will be reviewed upon receipt, and the position is open until filled.  For more information about the position or the application process, please see details here or contact Monica Diaz by email.


Registration is now open for the 2019 Parent Attorney and Juvenile Defender conferences.  The Parent Attorney Conference will be held Thursday, Aug. 8 and the Juvenile Defender Conference will be held Friday, Aug. 9, and both would begin at 8:30 a.m. each day.  Both conferences, cosponsored by the School of Government and the Office of Indigent Defense Services, will be held at the School of Government on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, and offer approximately six hours of CLE credit.  The Parent Attorney Conference provides training for attorneys, who represent parents in abuse, neglect, dependency, and termination of parental rights proceedings.  The Juvenile Defender Conference provides training for attorneys who represent children in delinquency proceedings.  Please feel free to download the Juvenile Defender Conference agenda here and the Parent Attorney Conference agenda here.  If you have any questions, please contact Program Manager Kate Jennings, or if you have questions about the course content, please contact Program Attorney Austine Long.

The online registration deadline for the 2019 Defender Trial School, cosponsored by the School of Government and the North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services, will be June 25.  The event will be held Monday, July 8, through Friday, July 12, at the School of Government on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.  Defender Trial School participants will use their own cases to develop a cohesive theory of defense at trial and apply that theory through all stages of trial, including voir dire, opening and closing arguments, and direct and cross-examination. The program will offer roughly 29 hours of general CLE credit.  The Defender Trial School is open to public defenders and a limited number of private attorneys who perform a significant amount of appointed work.  IDS has expanded the number of fellowships available to cover the registration fee, but please note there is a limited number of fellowships.  If you have any questions or would like additional information, please email Kate Jennings or Professor John Rubin or call 919-962-3287/919-962-2498.  To register, find a fellowship application, see the agenda, or find any other information, please check out the course page here.

The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR)‘s Youth in Custody Certificate Program will be held July 22 – 26 at Georgetown University in partnership with Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators.  This training is designed to help juvenile justice system leaders and partners improve outcomes for youth in custodial settings, covering critical areas including racial and ethnic disparities, family engagement, assessment, case planning, facility-based education and treatment services, reentry planning and support, and culture change.

That’s all we have for now.  And until the close of applications on July 2, we want to remind attorneys who have not got involved and started specializing yet to please visit the N.C. State Bar Legal Specialization page and get your paperwork in to become an N.C. State Bar-certified juvenile defender!  We would love for you to join our N.C. juvenile defender family!  Enjoy weekend.

N.C. Bar Association Juvenile Justice and Children’s Rights Section Discusses Raise the Age in Annual Meeting

NCBA JJCR Section Group

On Thursday, May 10, 2018, the North Carolina Bar Association Juvenile Justice and Children’s Rights Section held its annual meeting and training.  The topic was Raise the Age: A New Era for Juvenile Justice in North Carolina.  Speakers and panels focused on the impact of raise the age, not only in juvenile delinquency court, but also on child welfare, education and mental health.  Discussions also included the impact of school justice partnerships, as well as what attorneys should do now in representing 16- and 17-year-olds.  The Section also recognized its 20th anniversary, and celebrated by awarding its inaugural Children’s Champion Award to Deana K. Fleming, for her outstanding service to youth and to the Section.


“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.

From NJDC: Probation Supervision Fees Trap Children and Families in Juvenile Court System


WASHINGTON, DC — Youth in 21 states can be charged fees for the cost of probation supervision, placing a tremendous burden on young people and their families, according to an issue brief and corresponding infographic released today by the National Juvenile Defender Center.

“These fees create a cycle of debt for families. Children are charged merely for being placed on probation, which exacerbates racial disparities and prolongs the length of time a young person is forced to stay in the system,” said Mary Ann Scali, executive director of the National Juvenile Defender Center.

The Cost of Juvenile Probation is based on interviews with juvenile defenders and probation officers in at least one jurisdiction in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Among the jurisdictions that reported charging fees, the costs vary from a flat fee of $10 to monthly fees that can add up to well above $2,000 — and that’s on top of numerous other fines and costs charged as a result of a delinquency case. If children or families do not have the means to pay the fees, the consequences can be devastating; among them, children are locked up, kept on probation indefinitely, or have civil judgments imposed on them and their families.

“When young people are charged supervision fees, families often must confront the impossible dilemma of covering the cost of their child’s freedom or affording household necessities, which only serves to perpetuate the criminalization of poverty,” said Scali. “In general, no formal process exists for a family to demonstrate they are unable to afford these fees and seek relief.”

The findings reveal an absence of uniform standards across or within states that determines how fees are assessed or whether they’re enforced, resulting in unequal access to justice. The issue brief urges state legislatures and juvenile courts to eliminate the use of supervision fees for juvenile probation. Recommendations also compel juvenile defenders to actively push for waiver of fees based on their incompatibility with the goal of youth success.

“Probation is the most common sentence young people receive in juvenile court, and yet by assessing supervision fees, courts distract from any genuine progress children make,” said Scali. “The fees also create unnecessary stress among family members, particularly when young people need the most support. It’s long past time to drop the use of supervision fees and focus on supporting children’s strengths.”

The National Juvenile Defender Center is dedicated to promoting justice for all children by ensuring excellence in juvenile defense. Through community building, training, and policy reform, we provide national leadership on juvenile defense issues with a focus on the deprivation of young people’s rights in the court system. For more information, please visit our website at www.njdc.info.

In re T.K. Show Court’s Indecision on Importance of Statutory Requirements by Jonathon Woodruff

Last month, the NC Court of Appeals in In the Matter of T.K. declined to extend the holding from In re D.S., 364 N.C. 184 (2010), in favor of a new holding placing some jurisdictional responsibility on Juvenile Court Counselors.


The principal issue in In re D.S. was the timing with which a delinquency petition was filed. An SRO filed two separate complaints based on the same set of facts. The first petition charged the juvenile’s conduct as a simple assault and was filed on the same day that the event occurred. The second petition charged the juvenile with sexual battery and was filed approximately 26 days later, 11 days beyond statutory requirements. The Juvenile Code requires that Juvenile Court Counselors shall complete the evaluation of a complaint within 15 days of receipt of the complaint, with a 15 day extension at the discretion of the Chief Juvenile Court Counselor (see N.C. Gen. Stat. 7B-1703(a)). On appeal, it was argued that it was error for the court to have adjudicated the juvenile for the second petition, because it arose from the same set of facts as the first and therefore was in essence the same petition. The fact that the second petition was filed beyond the statutory limit meant that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction. The juvenile claimed that the Juvenile Court Counselor should have investigated the initial complaint further and included sexual battery if it was appropriate.

The Court disagreed, explaining that the language of the statute intended for each separate complaint, as in the actual document that is alleging delinquency, to be considered by itself without reference to earlier complaints. The second petition was therefore filed within the statutory limit and was adjudicated properly. The Court went on to say that it is not the role of the Juvenile Court Counselor to conduct extensive investigations of the like which were suggested by the juvenile on appeal. Specifically, a Juvenile Court Counselor’s primary responsibility upon receiving a complaint is to determine whether they are strictly required to or prohibited from filing a petition based on the complaint. If neither of those apply, the Counselor is then to conduct an evaluation to decide whether or not a petition should be filed. The Court stated that the Counselor is neither expressly permitted nor obligated to investigate anything beyond the allegations in the complaint to find any and every offense that may apply. Additionally, the Counselor is expressly forbidden from conducting field investigations for the purpose of substantiating claims and providing supplementary evidence during the intake process. Therefore, the Court concludes, the Juvenile Court Counselor in this case did exactly what was supposed to be done. The Court also states that there is no basis for a finding that the statutory time limits have any bearing on jurisdiction anyway.


This holding would seem to be in contrast with the more recent holding of In the Matter of T.K. Here the court held that a Juvenile Court Counselor’s failure to sign a petition and to mark it “Approved for Filing,” as required by N.C. Gen. Stat. 7B-1703(b), was an error that cost the court any jurisdiction over the matter. Due to a lack of precedent on this issue, the court looked at Abuse/Neglect/Dependency cases to determine the matter. There is a consistent line of cases on this issue; the lack of signatures and verification on petitions in Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency court will result in a lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The Court of Appeals ruled accordingly in T.K. and held that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction in the case due to the lack of a Juvenile Court Counselor’s signature.

The difference between these two cases seems trivial. In one the court held that a statutory requirement had nothing to do with jurisdiction, and in the second the court held that jurisdiction turned on compliance with a different statutory requirement. For practitioners, it would be wise to always make sure that the statutory requirements are followed to the letter, and to preserve such issues for appeal if they are not. Do not let a lengthy amount of practice in this area blind you to discrepancies that can result in overturned adjudications.

Time to Apply for the Juvenile Delinquency Specialization Exams

Legal Specialization │ Apply now through June 30th for board certification in juvenile delinquency law.  The 2017 exam is scheduled in both Charlotte and Raleigh If you are a prosecutor, public defender or public service lawyer, you may qualify for an NC LEAF scholarship to cover the specialization application fee. Contact Denise Mullen at 919-719-9255 or dmullen@ncbar.gov for more information or access an application HERE.

You can also obtain more information about the standards for specialization and the program itself, please check here.