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D.M. v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

August 8, 2018

D.M., Appellant-Respondent,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Petitioner.

          Appeal from the Marion Superior Court The Honorable Marilyn Moores, Judge The Honorable Gary Chavers, Magistrate Trial Court Cause No. 49D09-1710-JD-1487

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Deborah Markisohn Marion County Public Defender Agency Indianapolis, Indiana

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Jesse R. Drum Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

          Darden, Senior Judge.

         Statement of the Case

         [¶1] D.M. appeals the juvenile court's disposition of his case following a determination that he is a juvenile delinquent. We affirm.

         Issue

         [¶2] D.M. raises one issue, which we restate as: whether the juvenile court committed fundamental error by its failure to specifically ask D.M. whether he wanted to address the court to make a statement in allocution at the dispositional hearing.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶3] On October 19, 2017, the State submitted to the juvenile court a petition alleging that seventeen-year-old D.M. was a delinquent child for committing an act that, if committed by an adult, would have amounted to battery by bodily waste, a Level 6 felony. The State alleged that D.M. threw a cup of urine at an employee of the juvenile facility where he was being detained. The juvenile court found probable cause to support the State's petition and approved it for filing.

         [¶4] Next, the parties executed an admission agreement, wherein, D.M. agreed to admit that he committed the act described by the State in the delinquency petition. The parties further agreed that final disposition of the matter would be left to the discretion of the juvenile court, with both sides free to present argument. The juvenile court accepted the admission agreement and determined that D.M. was a juvenile delinquent.

         [¶5] The juvenile court then held a dispositional hearing on November 3, 2017. Both the State and the probation department recommended to the juvenile court that wardship of D.M. be granted to the Indiana Department of Correction (DOC). By contrast, D.M., through his attorney, asked that D.M. be released to probation as the least restrictive and most safe environment, and to remain with his family. D.M.'s attorney further submitted a proposed community supervision plan and argued for the juvenile court's approval.

         [¶6] At that point, D.M.'s attorney stated, "I'll defer to any comments today your Honor for - that [D.M.] or his family may have." Tr. Vol. II, p. 7. The juvenile court specifically asked D.M.'s mother if she wanted to make a statement, and she declined. The juvenile court did not specifically ask D.M. if he wanted to make a statement. Rather, the juvenile court then announced its disposition, granting wardship of D.M. to the DOC for a period of time up to his twenty-first birthday, unless released earlier by the DOC. The juvenile court further stated that it would recommend that the DOC release D.M. ...


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