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C.J. v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

April 11, 2017

C.J., Appellant-Respondent,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Petitioner.

         Appeal from the Marion Superior Court The Honorable Marilyn A. Moores, Judge The Honorable Gary Chavers, Magistrate Trial Court Cause No. 49D09-1409-JD-2319

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Corey L. Scott Indianapolis, Indiana

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Christina D. Pace Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

          Najam, Judge.

         Statement of the Case

         [¶1] C.J. appeals from the juvenile court's order modifying a dispositional decree following his adjudication as a delinquent child for battery, as a Class A misdemeanor when committed by an adult. C.J. presents a single issue for our review, namely, whether the juvenile court abused its discretion when it placed him with the Department of Correction ("DOC"). However, because C.J. has been released from the DOC since he initiated this appeal, we dismiss the appeal as moot.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶2] On September 18, 2014, then fourteen-year-old C.J. and three of his friends battered A.A. outside the entrance of a Family Dollar store in Indianapolis. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers arrested C.J., and, on October 9, after C.J. admitted the allegations in the State's delinquency petition, the juvenile court adjudicated him a delinquent for committing battery, as a Class A misdemeanor when committed by an adult ("JD-2319"). At the dispositional hearing on November 6, the juvenile court placed C.J. on probation.

         [¶3] In the meantime, on October 22, the State filed a delinquency petition against C.J. alleging that he committed what would be armed robbery, as a Level 3 felony if committed by an adult; battery, as a Level 5 felony if committed by an adult; criminal recklessness, as a Level 6 felony if committed by an adult; dangerous possession of a firearm, a Class A misdemeanor if committed by an adult; carrying a handgun without a license, as a Class A misdemeanor if committed by an adult; and resisting law enforcement, as a Class A misdemeanor if committed by an adult. On November 6, C.J. admitted to having committed what would be armed robbery, as a Level 3 felony if committed by an adult, and dangerous possession of a firearm, a Class A misdemeanor if committed by an adult. The State dismissed the other charges. The juvenile court entered true findings and placed C.J. on probation with suspended commitment to the DOC ("JD-2566"). The court also ordered C.J. to participate in the "Cross System Care Coordination program" and placed him at Transitions Academy. Appellant's App. Vol. III at 94.

         [¶4] After spending five months at Transitions Academy, shortly after his release C.J. was arrested for an incident that "involved a gun[.]" Tr. at 37. The State filed a delinquency petition, but it ultimately dismissed the charges stemming from that incident.

         [¶5] Following two failed drug screens, the State filed its fourth petition to modify disposition requesting that the juvenile court place C.J. in the DOC. Following a hearing on that petition, on April 14, 2016, the juvenile court issued its dispositional order stating in relevant part as follows:

         IV. ORDERS.

A. Respondent is awarded to the Guardianship of the Indiana Department of Correction for housing in any correctional facility for children until the age of 21, unless sooner released by the Department of Correction. The respondent is detained pending transfer. The Court recommends the respondent be committed for a period of 12 months. The Court recommends the respondent complete ...

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