from the Madison Circuit Court, The Honorable G. George
Pancol, Judge, Trial Court Cause No. 48C02-1811-JD-390
for Appellant: Curtis T. Hill, Jr., Attorney General of
Indiana, Angela N. Sanchez, Assistant Section Chief, Criminal
Appeals, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana
for Appellee: Leanna Weissmann, Lawrenceburg, Indiana
Summary and Issue
[¶ 1] The State filed a delinquency petition
alleging that N.B. had committed acts that, if committed by
an adult, would constitute child molesting, a Class B felony,
and also filed a petition to waive juvenile jurisdiction.
N.B. filed a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction due to his age, and the juvenile court granted
the motion. The State appeals and presents one issue for our
review, which we restate as whether the juvenile court had
subject matter jurisdiction to entertain the States
delinquency petition and request for waiver of juvenile
jurisdiction. Concluding the juvenile court had jurisdiction
to entertain the petition and determine whether N.B. should
be waived to adult criminal court, we reverse and remand for
and Procedural History
[¶ 2] In June 2018, T.C. informed her
therapist that her cousin, N.B., had fondled her vagina about
six years prior. T.C. stated that N.B. had been fifteen or
sixteen at the time of the offense and, at the time of her
disclosure, N.B. was twenty-one or twenty-two years old. Law
enforcement began investigating T.C.s allegations.
3] On November 5, 2018, the State filed a request
for authorization to file a petition alleging that N.B. is a
delinquent child for committing acts that, if committed by an
adult, would constitute child molesting. See States
Appendix of Appellant, Volume II at 13. The same day, the
juvenile court approved the request and the State filed its
petition alleging delinquency. On November 13, N.B. pleaded
guilty to criminal
confinement resulting in bodily injury, a Level 5 felony, in
an unrelated matter. The State subsequently filed a motion
for waiver of juvenile jurisdiction and the juvenile court
scheduled a hearing on the matter.
4] While the States motion was pending, on February
26, 2019, the State filed an amended motion for waiver of
juvenile jurisdiction asserting that N.B. was a child who had
been previously convicted of a felony - specifically, N.B.
had been convicted of criminal confinement resulting in
bodily injury, a Level 5 felony, on November 13, 2018.
See id. at 33. The State subsequently submitted a
brief in which it argued that, due to N.B.s prior felony
conviction, the juvenile court must waive N.B. to adult
criminal court pursuant to Indiana Code section
31-30-3-6. See id. at 48-49. The
scheduled waiver hearing was continued several times.
5] On May 24, 2019, N.B. filed a motion to dismiss
alleging that the juvenile court lacked jurisdiction over him
because he cannot be considered a "child" under the
delinquency statute as he was no longer under age twenty-one.
See id. at 66. Therefore, N.B. argued that the
juvenile court lacked personal jurisdiction over him and the
court "may not proceed in this matter and must dismiss
it with prejudice." Id. at 68. N.B. attached
to his motion a copy of this courts decision in M.C. v.
State, 127 N.E.3d 1178 (Ind.Ct.App. 2019), in which a
panel of this court agreed with the parties that the juvenile
court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to adjudicate a
twenty-two year old defendant delinquent and enter a
disposition. The State filed a response and argued the
4. [N.B.] cites the case of M.C. v. State as support
for his Motion to Dismiss which is inapplicable ...