FROM JUVENILE COURT ORLEANS PARISH NO. 2018-109-02-DQ-B,
SECTION "B" Honorable Tammy M. Stewart, Judge
Cannizzaro District Attorney Donna Andrieu Scott G. Vincent
DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE ORLEANS PARISH Assistant
Theodore Knatt ORLEANS PARISH JUVENILE COURT COUNSEL FOR
Felix LOUISIANA CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S RIGHTS COUNSEL FOR
composed of Judge Daniel L. Dysart, Judge Joy Cossich
Lobrano, Judge Tiffany G. Chase
COSSICH LOBRANO JUDGE
State of Louisiana ("State") appeals the June 13,
2019 judgment of the juvenile court that dismissed the
State's delinquency petition against G.S.
("Minor"), finding that the State failed to
commence the adjudication hearing within the required
statutory time period. For the reasons that follow, we
reverse the judgment and remand with instructions.
September 24, 2017, Minor was arrested for violating La. R.S.
14:56, simple criminal damage to property in an amount less
than $1, 000, a misdemeanor. Minor was thirteen years old at
the time of his arrest and was released from custody to the
care of Minor's aunt ("Aunt"), who provided an
address on Avalon Way in New Orleans, Louisiana, the location
of the alleged crime.
April 18, 2018, the State filed a delinquency petition
alleging that Minor violated La. R.S. 14:56. Aunt is listed
in the petition as Minor's guardian. The record reflects
that someone at the Avalon Way address told a process server
that Minor and Aunt had moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, but would
give them the message.
10, 2018, at a pre-hearing conference, the juvenile court
referred Minor's appointed attorney from the Louisiana
Center for Children's Rights ("LCCR") and the
State's attorney to find a current address on Minor and
his parent(s) and/or guardian(s). On June 21, 2018, a
possible address in Las Vegas was obtained by the juvenile
court. However, two attempts by certified mail to the Las
Vegas address were returned unclaimed.
3, 2019, more than one year after the delinquency petition
was filed, Minor's attorney moved to dismiss the petition
because the State failed to commence trial within one year
from the date of institution of the prosecution of the
misdemeanor pursuant to La. C.Cr.P. art. 578(A)(3), which
A. Except as otherwise provided in this Chapter, no trial
shall be commenced nor any bail obligation be enforceable:
* * *
(3) In misdemeanor cases after one year from the date of
institution of the prosecution.
response, the State argued that the statutory time was
interrupted citing La. C.Cr.P. art. 579(A)(2), which
A. The period of limitation established by Article 578 shall
be interrupted if:
* * *
(2) The defendant cannot be tried because of insanity or
because his presence for trial cannot be obtained by legal
process, or for any other cause beyond the control of the
13, 2019, after considering the motion, the juvenile court
dismissed the delinquency petition "pursuant to
Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Article 578." The
State appeals this judgment.
that the juvenile court erred in dismissing the delinquency
petition adhering to the following principles in guidance of
a comprehensive juvenile system was established by the
Louisiana Legislature to protect and rehabilitate juvenile
offenders and to "ensure that he shall
receive… the care, guidance, and control that will be
conducive to his ...