Single order can have more than 1 disposition

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indiana Supreme Court has clarified juvenile caselaw, telling trial courts they can order a juvenile be committed to the Department of Correction and in the same order also require probation after release.

A unanimous decision came today in R.J.G. v. State of Indiana, No. 64S04-0809-JV-483, which originated in Porter Circuit's Juvenile Division and strikes at the how juvenile judges are able to craft sentences best suited for a particular child's case. R.J.G. was 15 years old in the spring of 2007 when he, after selling marijuana to a friend, pointed a loaded gun at that person. It accidentally discharged and shot that friend in the mouth. Police later recovered drugs and paraphernalia at his home, and he eventually pleaded guilty to felony criminal recklessness and misdemeanor marijuana possession.

Juvenile Judge Mary Harper concluded that he should be committed to the Indiana Boys School until age 18, followed by supervised probation that included counseling and community service until age 21. The juvenile appealed, arguing the juvenile court lacked jurisdiction to order both his DOC commitment and probation in the same order. The Court of Appeals affirmed that decision last year and held the juvenile court did have jurisdiction to order probation following commitment, despite its earlier decision in J.J.M. v. State, 779 N.E.2d 602, 607 (Ind. Ct. App. 2002). 

In J.J.M., the appellate panel decided that a juvenile court loses jurisdiction after ordering guardianship of a child to the DOC and it's not able to order probation on top of commitment.

"We think J.J.M. was incorrect on this point," Justice Ted Boehm wrote in this R.J.G ruling, finding that Indiana Code § 31-37-19-5 and 6 give juvenile courts the ability to order at least one disposition, potentially more. "Nothing prevents this from being accomplished in the same order. And there is no jurisdictional bar to ordering more than one disposition in the same order."


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Great observation Smith. By my lights, speaking personally, they already have. They counted my religious perspective in a pro-life context as a symptom of mental illness and then violated all semblance of due process to banish me for life from the Indiana bar. The headline reveals the truth of the Hoosier elite's animus. Details here: Denied 2016 petition for cert (this time around): (“2016Pet”) Amicus brief 2016: (“2016Amici”) As many may recall, I was banned for five years for failing to "repent" of my religious views on life and the law when a bar examiner demanded it of me, resulting in a time out to reconsider my "clinging." The time out did not work, so now I am banned for life. Here is the five year time out order: Denied 2010 petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): (“2010Pet”) Read this quickly if you are going to read it, the elites will likely demand it be pulled down or pile comments on to bury it. (As they have buried me.)

  2. if the proabortion zealots and intolerant secularist anti-religious bigots keep on shutting down every hint of religious observance in american society, or attacking every ounce of respect that the state may have left for it, they may just break off their teeth.

  3. "drug dealers and traffickers need to be locked up". "we cannot afford just to continue to build prisons". "drug abuse is strangling many families and communities". "establishing more treatment and prevention programs will also be priorities". Seems to be what politicians have been saying for at least three decades now. If these are the most original thoughts these two have on the issues of drug trafficking and drug abuse, then we're no closer to solving the problem than we were back in the 90s when crack cocaine was the epidemic. We really need to begin demanding more original thought from those we elect to office. We also need to begin to accept that each of us is part of the solution to a problem that government cannot solve.

  4. What is with the bias exclusion of the only candidate that made sense, Rex Bell? The Democrat and Republican Party have created this problem, why on earth would anyone believe they are able to fix it without pushing government into matters it doesn't belong?

  5. This is what happens when daddy hands over a business to his moron son and thinks that everything will be ok. this bankruptcy is nothing more than Gary pulling the strings to never pay the creditors that he and his son have ripped off. they are scum and they know it.