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Appellate court affirms juvenile committed theft, burglary

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There was sufficient evidence to support the findings that a teenage girl committed what would be burglary and theft if committed by an adult, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday. The judges overturned the finding she carried a handgun without a license and ordered that the juvenile court correct its dispositional order.

In K.F. v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-1103-JV-290, K.F. challenged the findings she committed burglary, theft and carried a handgun without a license, arguing that she couldn’t have committed theft or burglary because she was accused of breaking into her own home and stealing items. K.F. ran away from home, so her mother and her mother’s boyfriend changed the locks and garage code, but didn’t change the alarm code. K.F.’s mother put a bag of K.F.’s clothes in the garage. When the two were at work, the house was broken into and electronics, video games, jewelry, firearms and the bag of clothes were taken.

The bag of clothes was later discovered at K.F.’s friend’s house. When K.F. was found by police and taken to the police station, she met in a room alone with her mother before speaking to police. In the room, K.F. admitted that she went to her house on the day of the burglary but said the door was already open, although nothing had been taken. She claimed she went there just to get her belongings.

At a denial hearing, the juvenile court allowed testimony from the police officer who responded to the burglary, where he recounted what the mother had told him about the burglary and items missing. The juvenile court also allowed the mother to testify as to what K.F. told her in the room at the police station.

The appellate court upheld the findings she committed theft and burglary, rejecting K.F.’s arguments that she couldn’t be found to have committed the acts because they involved her own home. The judges did reverse the finding she committed what would be carrying a handgun without a license because the evidence didn’t show she had actual or constructive possession of a gun.

Turning to the admittance of her mother’s testimony, the appellate court affirmed, finding the juvenile waiver statute to be inapplicable because K.F. wasn’t subject to an interrogation when she spoke to her mother. The mother’s statements to police, as testified by the officer, should not have been allowed because they were hearsay, but the admission was a harmless error.

The COA remanded with instructions for the juvenile court to correct the Feb. 23, 2011, dispositional order and chronological case summary entry to accurately reflect the true findings that were entered by the court.

 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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