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
Darden, Senior Judge.
of the Case
D.M. appeals the juvenile court's disposition of his case
following a determination that he is a juvenile delinquent.
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
and Procedural History
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.
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.
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.
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. ...