Select Page

Juvenile Law
University of Toledo School of Law
Parish, Dennis M.

Juvenile Law Outline: Juvenile Law, Professor Dennis Parish, Spring 2016
-First Class Basics:
-Felony- Facing prison time (1 year or more).
-Misdemeanor- Local time (Lucas county jail).
-A trial is an adjudication (what happened) and a disposition (what are we going to do about it).
-In juvenile court, the punishment is the same no matter what you plead to.  Negotiate the punishment first, then negotiate the charge.
-Juvenile Court- Actors; Acted Upon; Adults:
When a child commits an act that is against the law for an adult, the child is delinquent.
When a child commits an act that is not against the law for an adult, but is against the law for a child, the child is a status offender or considered unruly (truancy, smoking under 18, unruly in the sense that they will not obey their parents (ungovernable), runaways ).
Acted Upon:
Neglected (there is someone available to care for the child and they choose not to) (aren’t feeding them properly; child has head lice and the parent sends them to school anyway).
Abuse (can be physical, mental, or emotional) (someone is interacting inappropriately with a child).
Dependant (child has no one to care for them; not fault based).
Paternity (determining who the father of the child is) (Reasons for paternity tests- Want people to be responsible for their children; alleged father may want to know if the child is his so he can be in their life).
Custody (people who were never married and had a child together) *If the parents were married and had a kid, they would be going to domestic relations, but if not married then they would go through custody in a juvenile court).
When an adult commits a misdemeanor offense involving a child, the case can go to either municipal court or juvenile court.(ASK TT for what she had). Contributing to the delinquency of a child or contributing to the abuse of a child and interference with custody.
-Early History:
Historically, if under the age of 7, presumption is you cannot form criminal intent.
Between 7-14 years old, presumption is you cannot form criminal intent but the presumption is rebuttable.
Over 14 years old, the presumption is that you can form criminal intent.
1. Poverty is a sin.If you’re poor, there is something wrong with you.
2. A father’s rights are absolute.
3. Children are expected to be useful (must pull their weight, work, earn their keep).
= Children are chattels/possessions.They belong to their father.Parents have a property interest in their child.
= Parents have rights to their children.
Parental rights vs. best interest of the child.
If child broke the law, they were treated as adults.In a lot of cases, children received harsher punishments than adults.
Children faced capital punishment, corporal punishment (whippings, manual labor), and they were housed in adult prisons.
In cases of dependent, neglected, and abused children, the question was who is going to pay for this. Set up apprenticeships and stuff.
-In the 1800s, there was a reform movement.
Houses of Refuge emerged.
Concept was treatment instead of punishment.
Were made to replace poorhouses, prisons and the like as far as it related to children.
Still were like prisons.
-In Ex Parte Crouse (1839):
Parens Patriae- State (local government whatever) is the guardian or caretaker of the child.  The parents’ right to control or care for the child is recognized but the state may supersede that right for a compelling reason.
First case that upheld state’s right to intervene on behalf of a child.
-In People Ex Rel. O’Conelll v. Turner (1870):
Child was detained against the father’s wishes and filed a writ to have the child given back to his custody.
Standard for taking the child was based on the conduct of the father not being able to care for his kid.
When does interference with an individual’s liberty amount to punishment?Child could not be imprisoned because of misfortune.
Child was discharged to the father.
“It’s a school, not a prison.”B.S.!!! They’re all prisons!!
Juvenile proceedings are all civil proceedings (not a myth!) but to the parent and child, they feel like criminal proceedings. (Juveniles are never convicted, they are found delinquent).
“We rehab, we do not punish.”B.S.!!!
-*2 Goals of the criminal system: (1) Punish, (2) Protect Society
-*2 Goals in Juvenile Court: (1) Rehabilitate, (2) Reform
-The Refuge Movement led to a separate Juvenile Court System.
-Most Frequent Status Offenders: Runaways, Truants, Curfew violators, Incorrigible (Ungovernable), Alcohol/Tobacco users.
-In the old days, status offenders could be locked up with delinquents.  The standard today in most states though is this is not OK and they s

ear or 1.5 years all the way to life without parole)
-Misdemeanors: You face local time (in most states the maximum is 6 months to a year)
-In adult court, what you plead to will determine what your punishment is.
-In juvenile court there are usually 2 brackets of felony cases: Upper = F1, F2 (in Ohio maximum sentence is 1 year to age 21. F2. F3, F4 (maximum is 6 months to age 21).  All misdemeanors  M1-5 = maximum of 90 days. Don’t need a witness to get felony conviction on sex offense (?) but need a witness for the misdemeanor sex offense.
Civil Label
In In K.M.S. v. State (1973):
Minor claimed that based on Georgia criminal code, she could not form the appropriate mens rea required for the crime and therefore could not be adjudicated a delinquent for stabbing someone to death.
Court said that since juvenile court is a civil court and not a criminal court, mens rea is not attached to the case.Court said that she is not being convicted of a crime, rather she is being adjudicated a delinquent.The code is a defense when you are being charged in adult court.
-*2 major roles that you may find yourself in: (1) As an attorney for a child or as a (2) guardian ad litem.  Difference = attorney advocates for what the child wants; Guardian ad litem advocates for the best interest of the child.
Defenses: Common Law- Infancy
In In Re Robert M. (1989):
Issue: Could you set an arbitrary age for an infancy defense (age in which you couldn’t be culpable unless you reached it)?
Courts looked at maturity.That meant looking at every child individually.
Holding:Could not set an arbitrary age because every child is different and matures at a different rate.
Rule: When deciding mens rea you must look at every child individually.
Infancy defense:Too young to form the necessary intent.
Infancy defense didn’t work in this case because the minor intended to commit the offense.