STATE IN THE INTEREST OF G. P.
APPLICATION FOR SUPERVISORY WRITS FROM THE THIRTY-SIXTH
JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF BEAUREGARD, NO.
JC-2018-0005 HONORABLE MARTHA ANN O'NEAL, DISTRICT JUDGE
Jennifer Van Metre Office of Juvenile Justice COUNSEL FOR
STATE-APPLICANT: Office Of Juvenile Justice
composed of Elizabeth A. Pickett, Billy H. Ezell, and Candyce
G. Perret, Judges.
ELIZABETH A. PICKETT JUDGE.
State of Louisiana, Department of Public Safety and
Corrections, through the Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ),
has filed a writ application in this matter contesting the
district court's order that the juvenile, G.P., be held
in secure custody pending a review hearing scheduled for
September 25, 2018. OJJ's writ application fails to
discuss the procedural history in this matter.
Court Judge Martha O'Neal filed a per curiam with this
court. She noted that on January 26, 2018, G.P., who was
thirteen years old at the time, entered an admission and was
adjudicated delinquent of eleven felonies, which included
four counts of simple burglary, violations of La.R.S. 14:62;
four counts of simple criminal damage to property, violations
of La.R.S. 14:56; and three counts of simple arson,
violations of La.R.S. 14:52. G.P. was then placed in juvenile
[i]n an unsecured facility or in other placement with other
family members until his 18th birthday subject to
modification by the Court. The Court further explained to the
juvenile that in the event he should decide to leave the
unsecured facility, then he would be transferred to a secure
curiam indicates a review hearing was held on April 3, 2018,
and G.P. was ordered back into his mother's home after
his failure to make good choices at Boy's Village. On May
7, 2018, OJJ requested the matter be reviewed because
G.P.'s mother refused to comply with the conditions of
G.P.'s probation. At a review hearing held on May 15,
2018, OJJ requested, and the court ordered, that G.P. wear an
ankle bracelet until a review hearing fixed for October 16,
2018. On May 23, 2018, it was reported that G.P. removed the
ankle bracelet, took his mother's car, and absconded.
During a foot chase with police, G.P. broke into several
homes and was eventually apprehended by DeRidder City Police.
Thereafter, G.P.'s parents would not allow him to return
home. G.P. returned to court on May 25, 2018, for continued
custody and probation revocation hearings. His probation was
revoked, and he was ordered in unsecure placement. On June
12, 2018, a new petition for adjudication was filed in
district court docket number JC-2018-28. The judge received
notice via email from G.P.'s probation officer on July 6,
2018, that G.P. fled from a group home in Baton Rouge. On
July 9, 2018, the judge received information that G.P. was
apprehended and en route to Lake Charles for re-placement,
and G.P. was charged with an offense in East Baton Rouge
Parish. The judge received a report on August 1, 2018, that
the East Baton Rouge Parish charge had been dismissed, but
G.P. was scheduled for court in Calcasieu Parish on August
17, 2018. The judge was informed on August 14, 2018, that
G.P. ran away from Harbour House on August 12, 2018, and had
been apprehended. The judge noted G.P. had been off his
medication from July 5 through August 14, 2018. OJJ had made an
appointment for G.P. on August 16, 2018, to get
reauthorization and to refill his medication. On August 14,
2018, the judge ordered G.P. placed in secure custody. The
judge provides the following reasons for her order:
1. Rebecca Harmon, his probation officer, informed the Court
that he had a very important doctor's appointment that he
had to be present for in 2 days to be able to get back on his
2. The juvenile while in court discussed that he did not
intend to comply with any facility that he could leave and
threatened again to run away;
3. His mother stated that it takes approximately 30 days for
the juvenile to be maintained on his medication for them to
be effective and have the necessary overall effect desired.
probation revocation review, as well as the adjudication
hearing in an unrelated lower court docket number, is set for
September 25, 2018.
filed a notice of intent to seek review of and request for a
stay of the trial court's order of secure confinement on
August 21, 2018. The trial court set a return date of
September 13, 2018, and denied the request for stay.
OJJ's writ was filed with this court on August 31, 2018.
OJJ requests expedited consideration by this court or that a
stay be issued. For the following reasons, we deny the stay,
grant the request for expedited consideration, and deny
OJJ's application for supervisory writs.
contends the trial court erred in ordering it to place G.P in
a specific type of placement thereby circumventing the
agency's exclusive authority to determine the placement
of a youth in its custody without regard for the agency's
resources or appropriate examinations, tests, or evaluations
that must be conducted prior to such a determination.
relies on La.Ch.Code art. 908(A) and La.R.S. 15:901(D) to
support its argument that it has sole authority over
treatment, placement, and care of youth in its custody. OJJ
argues that a court is prohibited from dictating the use of
resources allocated to OJJ. Thus, any order that circumvents
this authority should be rendered void.
La.Ch.Code art. 102, which sets forth the purpose and
construction of the Children's Code, and La.Ch.Code art.
801, which addresses the purpose of the delinquency
provisions, state that in those instances when a juvenile is
removed from the control of his parents, "the court
shall secure for him care as nearly as possible equivalent to
that which the parents should have given him."
Children's Code Article 897 addresses disposition after
adjudication of a felony-grade delinquent act and states, in
C. Except as provided for in Article 897.1, the court may
commit the child to the custody of a private or public
institution or agency. When commitment is to be made to a
private institution or agency, the court shall:
(1) Select one that has been licensed under state law, if
licensure is required by law for such an institution or
(2) Whenever practicable, select an agency or institution of
the same religious faith as the child or his parents.
D. Except as provided in Article 897.1, the court may commit
the child to the custody of the Department of Public Safety
and Corrections, with or without a recommendation that the
child be placed in alternative care facilities through the
department's client placement process, or be referred to