from the Madison Circuit Court The Honorable G. George
Pancol, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 48C02-1811-JD-390
Attorneys for Appellant Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Angela N. Sanchez Assistant Section Chief,
Criminal Appeals Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis,
Attorney for Appellee Leanna Weissmann Lawrenceburg, Indiana
Summary and Issue
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 State's 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 further
and Procedural History
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.
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
State's 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.
While the State's 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.
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 court's 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 to the case
5. M.C. [v]. State merely stands for the proposition
that the juvenile court lacks jurisdiction to enter an
adjudication against an adult over the age ...