Articles Posted in Juvenile Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals granting a writ of habeas corpus to Appellee and ordering his immediate discharge from the Ross Correctional Institution. In his petition, Appellee, who was seventeen years old at the time of the offense for which he was convicted, argued that the general division of the common pleas court lacked jurisdiction to try him as an adult because the juvenile court had failed to meet the requirements of Ohio Rev. Code 2152.12(G) before transferring his case. Specifically, Appellee argued that the failure to notify his legal custodian, his grandmother, of the transfer hearing was a violation of the statute, and therefore, the common pleas court lacked jurisdiction over the matter. The court of appeals agreed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the juvenile court satisfied the statutory requirements by serving notice on Appellee’s biological mother. View "Turner v. Hooks" on Justia Law

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A juvenile who is bound over to adult court must wait to appeal until the end of the adult-court proceedings. D.H. was a juvenile at the time he was charged with robbery. The juvenile court determined that D.H. was not amenable to rehabilitation in the juvenile system and transferred jurisdiction to the adult court. D.H. then pled no contest to the charges in adult court. The court of appeals concluded that because the juvenile court had not articulated the reasons that D.H. was not amenable to rehabilitation in the juvenile system, the court erred in transferring D.H. On remand, the juvenile court once again found that D.H. was not amenable to rehabilitation. D.H. immediately appealed the juvenile court’s transfer orders rather than wait until the end of the adult-court proceedings. The court of appeals dismissed the appeal for lack of a final order. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding the the juvenile court’s orders transferring jurisdiction to the adult court are not final orders under Ohio Rev. Code 2505.02(B)(4). View "In re D.H." on Justia Law

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In this action alleging that D.S. allegedly engaged in acts of sexual contact with another boy, the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeal and reinstated the juvenile court’s order dismissing the complaint pursuant to Juv. R. 9(A) before a delinquency case against D.S. progressed to a formal court proceeding. The State charged D.S. with three delinquency counts of of gross sexual imposition pursuant to Ohio Rev. Code 2907.05(A)(4) for his conduct with another boy. Both boys were under the age of thirteen at the time of the offenses. The juvenile court dismissed the case, holding (1) section 2907.05(A)(4) was unconstitutional as applied to D.S.; and (2) dismissal was proper under Juv. R. 9. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion by dismissing the matter pursuant to Juv. R. 9(A). View "In re D.S." on Justia Law

Posted in: Juvenile Law

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When a juvenile whose parents are deceased appears at an amenability hearing, the juvenile is not required to ask for the appointment of a guardian ad litem (GAL). Rather, a GAL must be appointed as mandated by Ohio Rev. Code 2151.281(A)(1) and Juv. R. 4(B)(1). Further, the juvenile court’s failure to appoint a GAL in a delinquency proceeding is subject to criminal plain-error review if the juvenile does not object. After an amenability hearing, a judge concluded that Appellant, a juvenile, was not amenable to care and rehabilitation in the juvenile system and that Appellant was to be transferred to adult court. In common pleas court, Appellant pleaded guilty to one count of burglary, two counts of felonious assault, and one count of aggravated robbery, each including a firearm specification. On appeal, Appellant argued that the juvenile court committed plain error when it failed to appoint a GAL for his amenability hearing. The court of appeals concluded that the juvenile court erred in failing to appoint a GAL but that Appellant was unable to demonstrate prejudice. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant failed to show that the juvenile court’s error in failing to appoint a GAL at the amenability hearing affected the outcome of the proceeding. View "State v. Morgan" on Justia Law

Posted in: Juvenile Law

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The Supreme Court answered a question certified to it by the Second District Court of Appeals, holding that the general division of the court of common pleas must sentence a juvenile under Ohio Rev. Code Chapter 2929 for all offenses for which the juvenile is convicted in a case if, under Ohio Rev. Code 2152.121(B)(4), at least one offense for which the juvenile was convicted was subject to mandatory transfer. Appellee in this case was charged with being a delinquent child for action that would constitute multiple counts of both aggravated robbery and kidnapping if committed by an adult. The case was transferred from the juvenile court to the general division of the court of common pleas under the mandatory transfer provisions of section 2152.12(A)(1)(b)(ii). Appellee then pled guilty to some charges that were subject to mandatory transfer and some charges that were subject to discretionary transfer. The court of appeals ruled that the charges that were subject to discretionary transfer and resulted in convictions were also subject to the “reverse bindover” provisions of section 2152.121(B)(3). The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals and reinstated the sentence imposed by the trial court for the reasons set forth above. View "State v. D.B." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the appellate court affirming the nineteen-year prison sentence imposed on Defendant at resentencing for his involvement in the robberies of three individuals and the kidnapping of one of those individuals when Defendant was sixteen years old. Specifically, the court held (1) Defendant failed to show that the trial court imposed the sentence as a penalty for exercising his right to a jury trial instead of pleading guilty; (2) the sentence did not violate the Eighth Amendment because it did not involve the imposition of the harshest possible penalties for juveniles, it was proportionate, and there is no national consensus against imposing mandatory sentences on juveniles tried as adults; and (3) Defendant forfeited his argument that the mandatory sentencing scheme set forth in Ohio Rev. Code 2929 violates due process as applied to children. View "State v. Anderson" on Justia Law

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In State v. Aalim, __ N.E.3d __ (Aalim I), the Supreme Court declared that the Ohio Constitution requires that a juvenile who is subject to mandatory bindover receive an amenability hearing. Implicit in this holding was the conclusion that a juvenile-division judge has discretion in deciding whether to transfer to adult court a juvenile in a case where the juvenile is sixteen or seventeen years old and there is probable cause to believe that the juvenile committed an offense outlined in Ohio Rev. Code 2152.10(A)(2)(b). The Supreme Court then granted the State’s motion for reconsideration, holding that the decision in Aalim I usurped the General Assembly’s exclusive constitutional authority to define the jurisdiction of the courts of common pleas by impermissibly allowing a juvenile division judge discretion to veto the legislature’s grant of jurisdiction to the general division of a court of common pleas over a limited class of juvenile offenders. The court further held that the mandatory bindover of certain juvenile to adult court under Ohio Rev. Code 2152.10(A)(2)(b) and 2152.12(A)(1)(b) does not violate the due course of law clause or the equal protection clause of the Ohio Constitution or the analogous provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. View "State v. Aalim" on Justia Law

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After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of three counts of aggravated robbery, three counts of rape, and other offenses. Defendant was fifteen years old at the time he committed the crimes. The trial court sentenced Defendant to the maximum prison term for each count. The sentence totaled 141 years in prison. At issue before the Supreme Court in this appeal was whether, pursuant to Graham v. Florida, a term-of-years prison sentence that exceeds a defendant’s life expectancy violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments when it is imposed on a juvenile nonhomicide offender. The Supreme Court answered this question in the affirmative and remanded the cause to the trial court for resentencing, holding (1) Graham’s categorical prohibition of sentences of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for juveniles who commit nonhomicide crimes applies to juvenile nonhomicide offenders who are sentenced to term-of-years sentences that exceed their life expectancies; and (2) therefore, Defendant’s 112-year sentence violates the Eighth Amendment. View "State v. Moore" on Justia Law

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A complaint was filed in the juvenile court alleging that Appellant engaged in conduct that would be considered aggravated robbery if committed by an adult. Appellant was sixteen years old at the time of the alleged offense. The State filed a motion to transfer Appellant to the general division of the common pleas court to be tried as an adult pursuant to Ohio Rev. Code 2152.10(A)(2)(b) and 2152.12(A)(1)(b), which provide for mandatory transfer of juveniles to adult court in certain circumstances. After a hearing, the juvenile court automatically transferred the case. Appellant moved to dismiss the ensuring indictment charging him with two counts of aggravated robbery with accompanying firearm specifications and transfer his case back to juvenile court, arguing that mandatory transfer of juveniles is unconstitutional. The trial court overruled the motion. Appellant subsequently entered pleas of no contest to the two counts of aggravated robbery. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that mandatory transfer of juveniles to adult court without providing for the protection of a discretionary determination by the juvenile court judge violates juveniles’ right to due process. View "State v. Aalim" on Justia Law

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The State filed a complaint against D.S. in the juvenile court, alleging that D.S., who was seventeen years old, was delinquent for approaching a couple about to enter their home, brandishing a firearm, and robbing them of their possessions. At the time of the juvenile court’s disposition, D.S. had been held for more than nine months in detention. Defendant requested confinement credit, but the juvenile court denied the request. D.S. appealed. The State conceded that the juvenile court erred in not granting D.S. credit for the time he was confined prior to disposition. On appeal, the court of appeals affirmed the juvenile court’s order. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Ohio Rev. Code 2152.18(B) requires that predisposition confinement be credited to a juvenile. Remanded for further proceedings, including the proper calculation and award of preconfinement credit. View "In re D.S." on Justia Law

Posted in: Juvenile Law