ILNews

Juvenile's DOC placement affirmed

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2008
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Addressing the issue for the first time, the Indiana Court of Appeals supported a juvenile court's decision to place an illegal immigrant juvenile delinquent with the Department of Corrections instead of deporting him back to his home country.

In J.S. v. State of Indiana, No. 15A01-0706-JV-276, J.S., a 15-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico, appealed his placement in the DOC. The boy, who had already once illegally entered the U.S. and was arrested in Kentucky for driving without a license and deported, was arrested in Lawrenceburg, Ind., for selling heroin within 1,000 feet of a school to a confidential informant working for the Dearborn County Sheriff's department. Instead of being placed with the DOC, J.S. wanted to be sent back to Mexico.

The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with the juvenile court's decision, finding if J.S. was deported back to Mexico, it was highly likely he would come back to the U.S. During his disposition hearing, his father testified by telephone from Mexico that he and his wife did not know where J.S. was until he was arrested.

Indiana Code Section 31-37-18-6 sets the factors a juvenile court must consider when entering a dispositional decree, including selecting the least restrictive placement in most situations as to not disrupt family life and autonomy. However, if the juvenile's actions and freedom interferes with the safety of the community and the best interest of the child, the juvenile court can decide on a more restrictive placement.

J.S. had already once snuck into the U.S. and been arrested, and returned illegally just one month later. If he had sold the heroin as an adult, he could have faced 20 to 50 years in prison. His placement with the DOC is in the best interest of J.S. and the community, which will allow him to pursue his education and attempt to change his life for the better, Chief Judge John Baker wrote.
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  1. As one of the many consumers affected by this breach, I found my bank data had been lifted and used to buy over $200 of various merchandise in New York. I did a pretty good job of tracing the purchases to stores around a college campus just from the info on my bank statement. Hm. Mr. Hill, I would like my $200 back! It doesn't belong to the state, in my opinion. Give it back to the consumers affected. I had to freeze my credit and take out data protection, order a new debit card and wait until it arrived. I deserve something for my trouble!

  2. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  3. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-attorney-illegally-practicing-in-florida-suspended-for-18-months/PARAMS/article/42200 When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  4. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  5. Different rules for different folks....

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