Saturday, August 30, 2014

Violation of extended juvenile juridiction terms does not mandate adult sentence

Michael J. Bartee won in In re A.M.M.-H., No. 109,355 (Kan. Aug. 8, 2014), reversing the imposition of an adult sentence in a Johnson County extended juvenile jurisdiction prosecution.  The KSC confronted two questions:  (1) does violation of a conditional release contract imposed by KJCC equivalent of a violation of the juvenile sentence and (2) does such a violation require mandatory imposition of the adult sentence?  The KSC answered the first question in the affirmative but that answer led it to find that the statute should not be interpreted to require mandatory imposition of the adult sentence (as had been found by the COA in another case):
The first sentence of the governing statutory subsection is permissive. When an extended jurisdiction juvenile has violated a condition of his or her sentence, a district judge "may revoke" the stay without notice and "direct that the juvenile offender be immediately taken into custody and delivered to the secretary of corrections." Once notice of the allegations supporting revocation are served on the juvenile and the juvenile's attorney of record, the juvenile may challenge the allegations. If no challenge is asserted, the statute is silent. If a challenge is asserted, a hearing is held. After such a hearing, if the district judge finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the juvenile violated a condition of his or her sentence, then the punishment for the violation is no longer permissive. Rather, the district judge "shall revoke" the stay of the adult sentence originally pronounced unless the State and the defense agree to a modification of that sentence. Under the plain language of the statute, the preponderance finding triggers automatic termination of the extended jurisdiction of the juvenile court and endows the adult court with ongoing jurisdiction for any adult sanction other than prison.
In short, K.S.A. 2013 Supp. 38-2364(b) requires a mandatory execution of the adult sentence only if the juvenile has requested a hearing and the court has found a violation by a preponderance of the evidence. The statute does not specifically address the situation before us here, where the district judge apparently scheduled a hearing on the State's motion to revoke before the juvenile asserted any challenge to the allegations of violation. We hold that in such a situation, the district judge retains discretion to determine whether a particular violation warrants revocation of the stay of the adult sentence just as he or she does if no notice has been provided to the juvenile at all.

Because the district court thought it had to impose the adult sentence, the KSC remanded for reconsideration.

No comments: