A.B. v. State, 22A-JV-894

Case DateSeptember 15, 2022
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

A.B., Appellant-Respondent,

State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

No. 22A-JV-894

Court of Appeals of Indiana

September 15, 2022

Pursuant to Ind. Appellate Rule 65(D), this Memorandum Decision shall not be regarded as precedent or cited before any court except for the purpose of establishing the defense of res judicata, collateral estoppel, or the law of the case.

Appeal from the St. Joseph Probate Court The Honorable Graham C. Polando, Magistrate Trial Court Cause Nos. 71J01-1703-JD-85 71J01-2108-JD-265 71J01-2202-JD-72

Attorney for Appellant

Mark F. James ANDERSON, AGOSTINO & KELLER, P.C. South Bend, Indiana

Attorneys for Appellee

Theodore E. Rokita Attorney General of Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana

Sierra A. Murray Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana




[¶1] A.B. appeals his placement in the Indiana Department of Correction ("DOC") following his latest adjudication as a delinquent. A.B. asserts the juvenile court abused its discretion by placing him in the DOC because it was not the least restrictive placement available. In light of A.B.'s history of delinquent behavior, the prior placements that have not modified his behavior, and the recommendations of his probation officer, we find no abuse of discretion in A.B.'s placement in the DOC. Accordingly, we affirm.

Facts and Procedural History

[¶2] On March 15, 2017, under cause number 71J01-1703-JD-85 ("JD-85"), the State alleged A.B. was a delinquent for committing an act that would be Level 3 felony child molesting if committed by an adult.[1] At his initial hearing, A.B. admitted the allegation, and after a dispositional hearing, the court placed A.B. on "Strict and Indefinite Probation" and ordered he be placed in Bashor Children's Home. (App. Vol. II at 28.)

[¶3] On August 30, 2018, the probation department filed a modification report. Following a hearing on September 4, 2018, the court ordered A.B. be unsuccessfully discharged from Bashor Children's Home and placed in the Youth Opportunity Center ("YOC"). While at YOC, A.B. "struggled to maintain consistent behavior on the unit" and "displayed argumentative and


aggressive behaviors with staff and peers." (Id. at 51.) He threatened staff, he was physically aggressive to peers, and he attempted to destroy property. On November 12, 2019, A.B. stabbed a pencil in the ear of a YOC staff member, so on November 13, 2019, the court determined A.B. should be detained at the St. Joseph County Juvenile Justice Center ("JJC") as "an emergency [placement] required to protect the health and welfare of the child." (Id. at 49.) A.B.'s behavior problems continued at the JJC, so in 2020 the court placed A.B. in the custody of the DOC.

[¶4] On March 31, 2021, probation filed a petition for modification that reported A.B. successfully completed treatment at the DOC and would be released on April 19, 2021. Probation accordingly asked the court to continue A.B.'s probation and place him on home detention for ninety days. The court held a hearing, and on April 20, 2021, ordered A.B. returned to probation with several special conditions imposed. On May 25, 2021, the court ordered additional conditions requested by the probation department but continued A.B. at home.

[¶5] Less than three months later, while living at home, A.B. headbutted his mother's partner, breaking her nose and causing a concussion, which required hospital intervention. On August 23, 2021, under cause number 71J01-2108-JD-265 ("JD-265"), the State filed a delinquency petition that alleged A.B. committed an act that, if A.B. were an adult, would be Class B misdemeanor


disorderly conduct.[2] A.B. admitted committing disorderly conduct, and the court ordered the preparation of a predispositional report. On September 21, 2021, in both JD-85 and JD-265, the court ordered A.B. placed at Bashor Children's Home for not more than sixty days, after which he was to be released to the custody of his mother and placed on home detention. On November 16, 2021, A.B. was released to home detention.

[¶6] On December 1, 2021, A.B. smashed cameras at his mother's house, and on February 18, 2022, A.B. smashed a mirror at his mother's house. On February 25, 2022, under cause number 71J01-2202-JD-72 ("JD-72"), the...

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