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Judges uphold inpatient treatment for juvenile

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Because the record shows that a juvenile’s placement at an inpatient treatment facility is consistent with the goals for the teen’s rehabilitation, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the juvenile court’s placement order. The judges also found they did not have jurisdiction to rule on the teen’s claim that the juvenile court violated his due process rights by accepting his conditional plea on a child molesting count.

D.A. was 13 when he was accused of touching a 3-year-old girl’s vagina. D.A. entered into a plea agreement where he admitted to Class B misdemeanor battery when committed by an adult in exchange for the state dismissing a Class B felony child molesting charge. D.A. also “conditionally” pleaded guilty to a Class C felony child molesting charge when committed by an adult; the juvenile court took his admission on that count under advisement and if he completed the terms of his probation successfully, the state would move to dismiss the count. If he violated his terms of probation, the court could proceed to disposition on the count.

At a hearing, D.A. admitted to touching the girl’s vagina, but the element of intent was never established. The juvenile court found sufficient factual basis to find the petition true. The probation department recommended formal probation with inpatient placement for sex offender counseling. D.A.’s attorney sought outpatient treatment. The juvenile judge ordered D.A. serve at the inpatient facility.

D.A. attempted to appeal the juvenile court’s acceptance of his conditional plea on the child molesting count, arguing that the evidence didn’t show his intent to arouse or satisfy his sexual desires, which is an element of the crime of child molesting. Because his plea on that count was conditional, it is equivalent to a withheld judgment and so there is no final judgment or appealable order from which to appeal, wrote Judge Edward Najam in D.A. v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1108-JV-692. Thus, the appellate court does not have jurisdiction to resolve that issue.

The judges also found that D.A. can’t show that the dispositional hearing violated fundamental fairness. Based on the facts, the COA cannot say that the court abused its discretion in placing D.A. in the inpatient facility.

 

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  1. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

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