Articles Posted in Juvenile Law

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B.C. (a juvenile) was fourteen years of age when she was arrested for shoplifting merchandise from "Claire's," a discount jewelry store in the Rockingham Mall. She was transported, in handcuffs, to the Salem Police station. The arresting officer telephoned the juvenile's mother to pick her up. While in the booking room, the juvenile asked if she could use the bathroom. An officer allowed her to use the bathroom in one of the holding cells. Another officer observed her via a closed circuit monitor in the supervisor's office flush the toilet. The arresting officer asked the juvenile "what she had flushed down the toilet." The juvenile told the arresting officer "that it was a necklace that she had taken and . . . had concealed in her pants." The officer did not inform the juvenile of her Miranda rights before questioning her or at any other time. The juvenile remained at the police station until her mother picked her up. After she admitted to flushing the necklace down the toilet, the juvenile was charged with falsifying evidence. After a hearing in August 2011, she was found delinquent. During the merits hearing, she moved to suppress her admission on the ground that it was the product of custodial interrogation and that she was not advised of her Miranda rights before making it. The court denied her motion, and the juvenile appealed. The State appealed the circuit court's grant of the juvenile's motion to suppress. But finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed. View "In re B.C. " on Justia Law

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Juvenile Trevor G. was arraigned on a delinquency petition alleging he had endangered the welfare of a minor. He moved to dismiss the petition because none of the State's witnesses against him were present, and therefore the State could not proceed with its case. The State acknowledged none of its witnesses were present and did not object to the motion, but requested leave to file for reconsideration if it learned there was a good reason why its witnesses did not show. The case was dismissed for lack of prosecution, and the State did not move for reconsideration. A few months later, the State refiled its petition. Trevor moved to dismiss, arguing that the adjudicatory hearing was outside the statutory time limit. The court again held a hearing, and again the witnesses did not show. The Court denied Trevor's motion, finding that because Trevor initiated the dismissal, the State was not barred from re-filing. The Supreme Court granted the trial court's request for interlocutory appeal. The issue before the Court was whether the trial court erred in its conclusion that the statutory time limits for the State to re-file its delinquency petition for lack of prosecution was not violated because the dismissal was initiated by the juvenile. The Supreme Court concluded that the trial court erred in its interpretation, and reversed the order denying Trevor's motion to dismiss. View "In re Trevor G." on Justia Law

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"Cody C." (a juvenile) challenged the Sixth Circuit Court's jurisdiction over him until his eighteenth birthday. Cody had been adjudicated delinquent on several occaisons; shortly before his seventeenth birthday, the State moved to extend the court's jurisdiction until his eighteenth birthday. After review, the Supreme Court upheld the circuit court's retention of jurisdiction. View "In re Cody C." on Justia Law

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Anthony F. appealed an order by the Derry District Court that denied his motion to suppress evidence that supported a child delinquency petition against him. The juvenile was stopped by school officials as he was leaving campus one morning in 2008. He refused to return, stating he did not feel well. Assistant principals escorted him back to the school where he was searched. One assistant principal asked the juvenile if he had "anything on [him] that [he] shouldn’t have on school property." The juvenile eventually handed over a small bag of marijuana that he retrieved from inside his sock. Subsequently, a delinquency petition was filed. The juvenile moved to suppress the marijuana evidence, arguing that the search was unconstitutional under the New Hampshire and Federal Constitutions. The State countered that there was no search under the law, but even if a search occurred, it was constitutionally valid. Upon review, the Supreme Court concluded that the facts of this case did not support a finding of reasonable grounds for suspecting that a search of this juvenile would turn up contraband. The assistant principals searched the juvenile because it was school policy to search all students who return to school after leaving an assigned area. The record reveals, however, that the juvenile was leaving the school, not returning. It was school officials who forced his return. The Court held that the search was "suspicionless" and as such, illegal. The Court reversed the decision in this case and remanded the case for further proceedings. View "In re Anthony F. " on Justia Law

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Defendant Luis Lopez was convicted in 2007 on felony child endangerment charges. On appeal to the Supreme Court, Defendant argued that there was insufficient evidence presented at trial to convict him. The child’s mother found sexually suggestive images of her daughter on Defendant’s cell phone and called police. At issue on appeal was whether Defendant requested the child pose for him when the record revealed the child, when at play, liked to imagine herself as a runway model and "pose" for Defendant. The Supreme Court found that a "rational trier of fact" could have concluded that Defendant solicited the child for the suggestive images. The Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction. View "New Hampshire v. Lopez" on Justia Law

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Petitioners Daniel and Lisa B. appealed the decision of the New Hampshire State Board of Education (Board) that upheld a thirty-four day suspension imposed on their daughter Keelin B. Keelin opened an email account under another studentâs name, and then sent sexually suggestive, lewd and threatening email messages to the principal of her school and one teacher. When the deception was discovered, the Board âsentencedâ Keelin to a thirty-four day suspension. Keelinâs parents appealed to the School Board, but the Board upheld the suspension. Upon review, the Supreme Court found that Keelinâs âsentenceâ exceeded the Boardâs maximum allowable suspension under these kinds of circumstances. The Court reduced Keelinâs suspension to twenty days, but affirmed the Boardâs decision in all other respects.