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In re C. M.

Court of Appeals of Georgia

March 5, 2015

In the Interest of C. M., a child

Delinquency. Polk Juvenile Court. Before Judge Monroe.

Judgment affirmed.

Mushiya Kabemba-Warren, for appellant.

Jack Browning, District Attorney, Dustin S. Strobel, Assistant District Attorney, for appellee.

PHIPPS, Chief Judge. Ellington, P. J., and McMillian, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 738

Phipps, Chief Judge.

This appeal arises from a disposition order of the Juvenile Court of Polk County placing C. M., then 14 years old, in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice (" DJJ" ) for an initial period of up to 36 months, with 12 months of the custodial period to be spent in restrictive custody in a facility managed by the Georgia Department of Corrections. C. M. contends that: (1) the juvenile court's decision to [331 Ga.App. 17] revoke a prior sentence of probation and to place him in restrictive custody was arbitrary and " precludes treatment and rehabilitation in a less restrictive setting" ; (2) his due process rights were violated when the court, in entering the disposition order, relied on a document that was " attached [to] and made a part of the decision, after the conclusion of the disposition hearing" ; and (3) the juvenile court violated his Fifth Amendment rights by commenting on his failure to testify or to deny that he had committed an offense. We affirm.

Viewed in favor of the juvenile court's order,[1] the record shows the following. On August 21, 2013, a petition was filed in the Juvenile Court of Polk County, alleging that on May 23, 2013, C. M. committed acts that, if committed by an adult, would have constituted the offenses of simple battery, obstruction of an officer, and disrupting a public school. Subsequently, on January 2, 2014, another petition was filed in the Juvenile Court of Polk County, alleging that between December 28, 2013 and December 29, 2013, C. M. was a runaway child and was ungovernable, and that on December 29, 2013, he committed an act that, if committed by an adult, would have constituted the offense of aggravated assault.[2]

On February 27, 2014, C. M. entered admissions to acts alleged in both the August 2013 and January 2014 petitions. Regarding the August 2013 petition, C. M. admitted that on May 23, 2013 he had committed an act that, if committed by an adult, would have constituted the offense of obstruction of an officer, in that he refused to comply with an officer's lawful command to " move" when the officer was attempting to escort him out of the school principal's office. The state dismissed the simple battery and disrupting public school allegations. Regarding the January 2014 petition, C. M. admitted that on December 29, 2013 he had committed an act that, if committed by an adult, would have constituted the offense of aggravated assault, in that he did " make an assault upon [his brother] with a deadly weapon, to wit: a pocket knife by pointing the knife at him and saying '[I] have something for you.' " [3] The state dismissed the runaway and ungovernable allegations of the January 2014 petition. The juvenile court entered a disposition of probation for 24 months, and noted that " [t]he State announced it did not wish to seek any restrictive custody on the Designated felony offense."

[331 Ga.App. 18] On March 24, 2014, a petition was filed in the Juvenile Court of Polk County, alleging

Page 739

that on March 7, 2014, C. M. committed three acts of violation of probation, three acts of contempt of juvenile court, and acts that, if committed by an adult, would have constituted the offenses of two counts of making terroristic threats. As to the latter charges, the petition alleged that C. M. " did threaten to commit aggravated assault a crime of violence, with the purpose of terrorizing [a teacher]," and that he " did threaten to damage, by shooting up, a residence, the property of [the teacher], with the purpose of terrorizing [the teacher]." When the petition was filed, C. M.'s whereabouts were unknown, and a warrant was issued for his arrest and detention; C. M. was placed in detention on March 18, 2014. The state subsequently filed a motion to revoke the disposition of probation previously entered on the delinquent act of aggravated assault, a class B designated felony act, and to resentence him on that charge.

On April 3, 2014, C. M. was adjudicated delinquent for committing on March 7, 2014 two acts of contempt of court, two acts of violation of probation, and for committing acts that, if committed by an adult, would have constituted the offenses of two counts of making terroristic threats. C. M. was acquitted of one act of violation of probation and of one act of contempt. The court continued disposition in order for a behavioral health evaluation to be completed, " to provide the juvenile court with information and recommendations relevant to the behavioral health status and mental health treatment needs" of C. M. The court ordered that C. M. would " remain in ...


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