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Court upholds juvenile placement with DOC

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The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld placing a juvenile with the Indiana Department of Correction over his objections that there was a less restrictive alternative available. The judges found the minor’s instant adjudications, behavior while in detention, and history of inappropriate sexual conduct justified placing him with the DOC.

In 2009, R.H. stole a pair of sunglasses and on another occasion grabbed a classmate’s breast. He was adjudicated a juvenile delinquent for committing what would be Class B misdemeanor battery and Class A misdemeanor conversion if committed by an adult. He was held in custody until a December hearing, during which he had many disciplinary problems. After his hearing, he removed his ankle monitor and left his house. He also was detained several times while on electronic monitoring.

R.H. believed he should have been placed in a less restrictive facility instead of put in the custody of the DOC, but the appellate court found his placement to be justified. Chief Judge John Baker in R.H. v. State of Indiana, No. 71A03-1003-JV-206, said R.H. “has certainly exhibited behaviors of a very troubled young man” and noted his attempts to skip school, the windows he broke at home out of anger, his behavior problems while he was in detention, substance abuse, and his history of inappropriate sexual conduct. He claimed to have been a victim of molestation, and to have had sexual contact with his four-year-old cousin as well as his brother and half-brother.

Chief Judge Baker also noted that his parents are “at best merely enablers and at worst complacent in their son’s inappropriate and unlawful behavior.” His father didn’t see anything wrong with grabbing the student’s breast and believed it was “accepted” behavior and his mother became so angry with school officials about the incident that she withdrew R.H. from school.

R.H. also argued because he was a victim of molestation, he should not have been placed in the Pendleton Juvenile Correction Facility, which was listed in a Department of Justice report as one of the 13 juvenile facilities in the country that had a high sexual victimization rate.

“While the Report tends to indicate that Pendleton has issues with sexual victimization of the juveniles who are detained there, it fails to establish that the juvenile court abused its discretion by awarding guardianship of R.H. to the DOC. To be sure, it is the DOC, rather than the juvenile court, which determined where R.H. would be placed,” wrote the chief judge.

In a footnote, Chief Judge Baker wrote “We do not intend for our conclusion to imply that victimization in a juvenile facility could never be grounds to challenge placement in that facility. We recognize that the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects individuals who are confined by the State from being held in unsafe conditions. … However, R.H. does not allege that he has been victimized or threatened, and as stated above, it is the DOC, not the juvenile court, that is responsible for his placement. Moreover, it is our hope that the Executive Department is as concerned with this unchallenged revelation as we are.”
 

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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