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Justices grant transfer in three juvenile, young adult cases

March 13, 2019

The Indiana Supreme Court chose to grant transfer to three cases during the past week, including commitments to the Indiana Department of Corrections. The court also granted transfer and decided a case granting relief to a deported “Dreamer.”

Justices granted transfer in C.S., Jr. v. State of Indiana, 18A-JV-862. In that case, a troubled Elkhart County juvenile was admitted to the Department of Corrections in December 2017 after committing what would be Class A misdemeanor dangerous possession of a firearm if committed by an adult. An Indiana Court of Appeals panel found the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in placing C.S. Jr. in the DOC, despite comments that he was “going to make the staff’s life miserable.” It also found his rights were not violated when he testified at his disposition hearing via video conference rather than in person.

The high court also agreed to hear argument in a memorandum decision case, Z.T. v. State of Indiana, 18A-JV-1656. Struggling with a history of mental health issues, the teenager was admitted to a juvenile detention center after he struck an officer in the eye upon refusing to let them take him home. After several failed attempts to make any progress at the detention center, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a decision to commit him to the DOC. The appellate panel unanimously concluded that Z.T. was not denied due process during his modification hearing, and that he was not improperly placed in the DOC.

Lastly, justices granted transfer and decided Angelo Bobadilla v. State of Indiana, 19S-PC-128. In a 3-2 ruling, the court held Angelo Bobadilla, a Mexican immigrant living in the United States under the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals policy, was prejudiced when his trial counsel failed to warn him of the risk of deportation that would accompany his guilty plea. The dissenting justices noted Bobadilla’s own lawyers have called the relief granted “meaningless” due to uncertainty of the defendant’s whereabouts.

The high court denied 23 other cases for the week ending March 8, which can be found here.

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