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State ex rel. J.E.

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

February 25, 2015

STATE OF LOUISIANA IN THE INTEREST OF J.E

APPEAL FROM JUVENILE COURT ORLEANS PARISH. NO. 2013-288-03-DQ-F, SECTION " F" . Honorable Mark Doherty, Judge.

Leon A. Cannizzaro, Jr., District Attorney, J. Bryant Clark, Jr., Assistant District Attorney, Parish of Orleans, New Orleans, LA, COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT/STATE OF LOUISIANA.

David R. Katner, Director, Catherine R. Filippi, Student Attorney, Reese B. Mitchell, Student Attorney, Tulane Juvenile Law Clinic, New Orleans, LA, COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE/DEFENDANT.

(Court composed of Judge Roland L. Belsome, Judge Rosemary Ledet, Judge Sandra Cabrina Jenkins).

OPINION

Page 1066

[2014-0850 La.App. 4 Cir. 1] Roland L. Belsome, Judge.

The State appeals the juvenile court's judgment granting the defendant's motion to dismiss the petition. For the following reasons, we affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The juvenile defendant, J.E., was charged with one count of domestic abuse battery against her mother in violation of La. R.S. 14:35.3. She appeared to answer the petition and entered a denial of the allegations. Thereafter, defense counsel filed a motion to challenge competency, due to various emotional and mental issues. Initially, the juvenile court deemed the defendant incompetent, and ordered that competency restoration services were to begin immediately. While the competency evaluations were still underway, defense counsel filed a motion to dismiss the charges on the grounds that the victim, J.E.'s mother, did not wish to pursue charges due to her daughter's fragile mental condition and that dismissal was required under the Children's Code. After the defendant successfully completed the competency restoration program, she was re-evaluated and deemed competent by the juvenile court. Before the adjudication hearing commenced, the juvenile court heard and granted the defendant's motion to dismiss the petition. This appeal followed.

[2014-0850 La.App. 4 Cir. 2] MOTION TO DISMISS THE APPEAL

As a preliminary matter, the defendant has filed a motion to dismiss the State's appeal with this Court for its failure to file a timely brief. The State opposed the motion and filed a brief, asserting that the briefing schedule did not indicate that it was the State's appeal; therefore, it mistakenly believed that it was the appellee. The State further indicated that it normally reviews the criminal district court docket master to confirm its appeals; however, this was not possible in this juvenile proceeding. The State argues that dismissal would not be a commensurate sanction for the infraction.

Uniform Rules for Court of Appeal, Rule 2-12.12 states: " If the brief on behalf of

Page 1067

any party is not filed by the date that the brief is due, the party's right to oral argument shall be forfeited. The court may also impose other sanctions including, but not limited to, dismissal of the appeal when the appellant does not file a brief as provided for in Rule 2-8.6." [1] Rule 2-8.6 provides for the dismissal of an appeal, if a brief has not been ...


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