from the Marion Superior Court, Juvenile Division Trial Court
Cause No. 49D09-1601-JD-8 The Honorable Marilyn Moores,
Judge, The Honorable Geoffrey Gaither, Magistrate, The
Honorable Gary Chavers, Magistrate
Attorney for Appellant Elizabeth A. Houdek Indianapolis,
Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Ellen H. Meilaender Deputy Attorney General
K.G. appeals from his adjudication as a delinquent for
committing an act that would constitute Class A misdemeanor
theft if committed by an adult. Relying upon Ind. Code §
31-37-11-2(b), K.G. argues that he was entitled to discharge
because the fact-finding hearing was not commenced within
sixty days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays,
of the petition being filed.
& Procedural History
On January 4, 2016, the juvenile court approved the filing of
a delinquency petition alleging K.G. to be a delinquent child
for committing an act that would constitute theft if
committed by an adult. That same day, K.G. was released to
home confinement, which was changed to unsupervised release
on January 26, 2016. K.G. and his family live in Kentucky.
The fact-finding hearing was originally scheduled for
February 23, 2016. Over K.G.'s objection, the juvenile
court granted the State's motion for continuance on
February 22. During a pre-trial conference on March 1, the
fact-finding hearing was rescheduled for March 29.
Immediately thereafter, the State learned that one of its
witnesses - a detective - would be unavailable on that date.
Accordingly, on March 2, the State sought another
continuance. On March 3, the juvenile court granted the
motion, again over K.G.'s objection, and instructed the
parties to find a mutually agreeable date for the
fact-finding hearing. The court also set another pre-trial
conference for March 22.
K.G. filed a motion for discharge just prior to the pre-trial
conference on March
22, arguing that a trial date held beyond March 30 would
violate I.C. § 31-37-11-2(b) and require dismissal.
After hearing argument, the court denied the motion and set
the fact-finding hearing, over K.G.'s objection, for
April 11. At the April 11 hearing, K.G. renewed his objection
to the hearing being held outside the statutory sixty-day
period. The juvenile court, however, entered a true finding
against K.G. at the conclusion of the hearing. Thereafter, at
the dispositional hearing on May 16, the court closed the
case and waived fees and costs. K.G. now appeals.
K.G. contends, as he did below, that he was entitled to
dismissal because the fact-finding hearing was held beyond
the time limits set forth in I.C. § 31-37-11-2(b). The
State does not dispute the fact that the hearing was held
more than sixty days (excluding weekends and legal holidays)
after the filing of the delinquency petition on January 4,