March 7, 2016, the state filed a petition alleging A.C., at
the age of 14 years, committed the felony-grade delinquent
acts of aggravated rape of a victim under the age of 13
years, La.R.S. 14:42, and indecent behavior with a juvenile,
La.R.S. 14:81. That same day, A.C. appeared to answer the
petition and denied the allegations. Pursuant to La.Ch.C.
art. 877(B), the state had 90 days to commence the
adjudication hearing, which was until Monday, June 6, 2016.
The juvenile court set the adjudication hearing for Friday,
June 3, 2016.
date, the state made a motion to continue the hearing
alleging that the prosecutor and the family of the victims
had been out of town and witnesses had not been subpoenaed.
Counsel for A.C. objected and indicated that, as soon as the
90-day limit passed, counsel would file a motion to dismiss
the delinquency petition. The juvenile court found there was
not good cause to extend the 90-day period and additionally
dismissed the delinquency petition at that time. The state
objected and gave notice of its intent to seek supervisory
review in the court of appeal.
court of appeal granted the state's writ application and
reversed the ruling of the juvenile court, finding: "The
district court prematurely dismissed the [state's]
petition. See La.Ch.Code. art. 877." State
in the Interest of A.C., 16-1052 (La.App. 1 Cir.
10/7/16) (unpub'd). A.C. did not apply for rehearing in
the first circuit or seek supervisory review in this court.
October 13, 2016, A.C. moved again to dismiss the delinquency
petition, contending that the 90-day time limit had run, and
argued in the alternative that the time was not suspended
when the state sought supervisory review or, if the time was
suspended, it began to run again after the court of
appeal's ruling on October 7, 2016, and had now run out.
After the juvenile court denied A.C.'s motion to dismiss,
A.C. gave notice of his intent to seek supervisory review
from the court of appeal.
court of appeal granted A.C.'s writ application and
dismissed the delinquency petition for failure to timely
commence the adjudication hearing. The court of appeal found:
When a "child is not continued in custody, the
adjudication hearing shall commence within ninety days of the
appearance to answer the petition." La.Ch. Code art.
877(B). The mandatory time limitations provided in La. Ch.
Code art. 877 were set forth to ensure expedited adjudication
of children. See State v. Roberson, 2014-1996 (La.
10/14/15), 179 So.3d 573, 576. Through no fault of the
juvenile, the mandatory time limitation for the commencement
of the adjudication hearing has exceeded the ninety-day
requirement by six months. Accordingly, the district
court's ruling denying the juvenile's motion to
dismiss is reversed, and this matter is remanded to the
district court for further proceedings in accordance with
State in the Interest of A.C., 16-1492 (La.App. 1
Cir. 12/28/16) (unpub'd). One member of the appellate
I find the district court did not err in denying the
juvenile's motion to dismiss, filed on October 13, 2016.
This Court's decision in State of Louisiana in the
Interest of A.C., 2016-1052 (La.App. 1st Cir. 10/7/16)
(unpublished writ action) became final on October 21, 2016 in
accordance with La. Code Crim. P. art. 922(B). The motion to
dismiss the juvenile's petition, filed on October 13,
2016, was filed prematurely.
Id. (Pettigrew, J., dissenting). Implicit in the
dissent's view is a determination that the 90-day time
limit was suspended while the state sought supervisory
review. For the following reasons, we find the dissent's
view is correct. Children's Code article 877 provides:
A. When the child is charged with a crime of violence as
defined in R.S. 14:2(B) and the child is continued in custody
pursuant to Chapter 5 of this Title, the adjudication hearing
shall commence within sixty days of the appearance to answer
the petition. In all other cases, if the child is continued
in custody pursuant to Chapter 5 of this Title, the
adjudication hearing shall commence within thirty days of the
appearance to answer the petition.
B. If the child is not continued in custody, the adjudication
hearing shall commence within ninety days of the appearance
to answer the petition.
C. If the hearing has not been commenced timely, upon motion
of the child, the court shall release a child continued in