D.M. v. State

Decision Date22 June 2011
Docket NumberNo. 49S02–1101–JV–11.,49S02–1101–JV–11.
Citation949 N.E.2d 327
PartiesD.M., Appellant (Respondent below),v.STATE of Indiana, Appellee (Petitioner below).
CourtIndiana Supreme Court

949 N.E.2d 327

D.M., Appellant (Respondent below),
STATE of Indiana, Appellee (Petitioner below).

No. 49S02–1101–JV–11.

Supreme Court of Indiana.

June 22, 2011.

[949 N.E.2d 331]

Lisa M. Johnson, Ann Sutton, Brownsburg, IN, Attorney for Appellant.Gregory F. Zoeller, Attorney General of Indiana, Angela N. Sánchez, Michael Gene Worden, Deputy Attorneys General, Indianapolis, IN, Attorneys for Appellee.SULLIVAN, Justice.

A juvenile challenges the admissibility of his confession in a delinquency proceeding on grounds that he was not afforded an opportunity for meaningful consultation with his mother and that the waiver of his rights was not knowing and voluntary. We conclude that there was substantial evidence of probative value to support the juvenile court's decision to admit the confession. We also conclude that the juvenile waiver form used by the police in this case should be clarified.


On Wednesday, January 13, 2010, thirteen-year-old D.M. and his friend, C.W., entered firefighter Brian Braunagel's residence without permission while no one was home and took several items of Braunagel's personal property. They entered the house by using the garage-door code they had obtained from Braunagel's sons, with whom they had a recent disagreement.

Braunagel was notified of the apparent break-in while he was at work. He left work immediately and called the police at approximately 1:50 p.m., while en route to his house. When the police arrived, they were given information that implicated D.M. and C.W. in the break-in. Two uniformed officers went to C.W.'s house sometime after 2:00 p.m., arrested D.M. and C.W., and brought them to the Braunagel residence.

Shortly after 3:00 p.m., a uniformed officer went to D.M.'s residence and informed D.M.'s mother (“Mother”) that her son had been arrested. She went down the street to the Braunagel residence where D.M. was being held in a police cruiser. According to Mother, D.M. attempted on several occasions to speak with her through

[949 N.E.2d 332]

the window of the police car, but the police officers on scene told her that she could not speak to him until the detective arrived because they did not want the investigation impaired. Mother also testified that she was told by the officers that she would not be permitted to speak to D.M. until she signed a waiver form. Furthermore, Mother alleged that there were several firefighters on the scene who were glaring at her and making hostile comments.

Around 4:00 p.m., Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Detective Mark Quigley arrived at the Braunagel residence and was introduced to D.M. and Mother. He spoke briefly with Mother, who advised him that D.M. would make a statement. Quigley then took D.M. and Mother to his car and advised them of D.M.'s rights. He read the rights to them from the “Juvenile Waiver” form and then had D.M. and Mother read the form. After D.M. and Mother signed the top part of the form acknowledging that they had been advised of and understood D.M.'s rights, Quigley told them that he was going to give them some time to talk alone and that they could have “as much time as they wanted.” Tr. 42. He returned several minutes later and asked if they were done talking; “[Mother] said yes.” Id. at 43. Quigley then had them read the waiver-of-rights section at the bottom of the waiver form, and they both signed it. D.M. then confessed in detail and told Quigley where he had hidden one of the stolen items.

On January 14, 2010, the State filed a petition in Marion Superior Court, Juvenile Division, alleging D.M. to be a delinquent child for committing acts that would constitute Class B felony burglary 1 and Class D felony theft 2 if committed by an adult. At the factfinding hearing on April 1, 2010, D.M.'s confession was admitted over objection, and the juvenile court found that the allegations in the petition were true. At a dispositional hearing on April 29, 2010, the juvenile court placed D.M. on probation until October 28, 2010, with special conditions.

The Court of Appeals affirmed in a 2–1 unpublished memorandum decision. D.M. v. State, No. 49A02–1005–JV–551, 2010 Ind.App. Unpub. LEXIS 1575, 2010 WL 4546660 (Ind.Ct.App. Nov. 12, 2010). Over the dissent of Judge Mathias, the majority held that D.M. had been given an opportunity for meaningful consultation with Mother and that D.M.'s waiver was voluntary under the totality of the circumstances.

D.M. sought, and we granted, transfer, D.M. v. State, 949 N.E.2d 327 (Ind.2011) (table), thereby vacating the opinion of the Court of Appeals, Ind. Appellate Rule 58(A).

Additional facts will be provided where necessary.


The Fifth Amendment,3 the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,4 and Article I, Section 14, of the Indiana Constitution 5 protect the privilege

[949 N.E.2d 333]

against self-incrimination and ensure that only a person's voluntary statements can be used against that person in a criminal prosecution. E.g., Dickerson v. United States, 530 U.S. 428, 432–34, 120 S.Ct. 2326, 147 L.Ed.2d 405 (2000); Ajabu v. State, 693 N.E.2d 921, 927–34 (Ind.1998). The privilege applies not only in court proceedings but also when law enforcement interrogates a suspect who is in custody—i.e., custodial interrogation. See, e.g., Bram v. United States, 168 U.S. 532, 542, 18 S.Ct. 183, 42 L.Ed. 568 (1897); Ogle v. State, 193 Ind. 187, 191–93, 127 N.E. 547, 548–49 (1920). The privilege also prohibits the use of compelled statements in juvenile delinquency proceedings. 6 In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1, 42–55, 87 S.Ct. 1428, 18 L.Ed.2d 527 (1967); see, e.g., J.D.B. v. North Carolina, 564 U.S. ––––, 131 S.Ct. 2394, 180 L.Ed.2d 310 (2011); J.D.P. v. State, 857 N.E.2d 1000 (Ind.Ct.App.2006); see also I.C. § 31–32–2–2.

In 1972, this Court responded to the U.S. Supreme Court's admonition that “special caution” be used in the context of juvenile confessions, In re Gault, 387 U.S. at 45, 87 S.Ct. 1428; see also Fare v. Michael C., 442 U.S. 707, 728–30, 99 S.Ct. 2560, 61 L.Ed.2d 197 (1979) (Marshall, J., dissenting), by holding that Indiana law requires the use of procedural safeguards in addition to those required by Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 445–67, 478–79, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694 (1966), when a juvenile is subjected to custodial interrogation. Lewis v. State, 259 Ind. 431, 439–40, 288 N.E.2d 138, 142 (1972). In an opinion written by Justice DeBruler, we held that, as a precondition to using a juvenile's statements from a custodial interrogation against him or her in court, both the juvenile and his or her parent or guardian must be advised of the juvenile's Miranda rights and they must be afforded an opportunity for meaningful consultation with each other to discuss privately whether the juvenile should waive or invoke his or her rights. Id. We reasoned that “[h]aving a familiar and friendly influence present at the time the juvenile is required to waive or assert his [or her] fundamental rights assures at least some equalization of the pressures borne by a juvenile and an adult in the same situation.” Id. at 440, 288 N.E.2d at 142.

The General Assembly subsequently codified our holding in Lewis. 7 Pub.L. No. 136–1978, § 1, 1978 Ind. Acts 1196, 1232 (codified as amended at I.C. § 31–32–5–1). The current statute provides, in relevant part, that any of a juvenile's rights under the federal or state constitutions, or under any other law, may be waived only:

(2) by the child's custodial parent, guardian, custodian, or guardian ad litem if:

(A) that person knowingly and voluntarily waives the right;

(B) that person has no interest adverse to the child;

(C) meaningful consultation has occurred between that person and the child; and

(D) the child knowingly and voluntarily joins with the waiver

I.C. § 31–32–5–1(2).

In Indiana, there are thus four requirements that must be satisfied before a

[949 N.E.2d 334]

juvenile's statements made during a custodial interrogation 8 can be used in the State's case-in-chief. First, both the juvenile and his or her parent 9 must be adequately advised of the juvenile's rights. Miranda, 384 U.S. at 444–45, 467–74, 478–79, 86 S.Ct. 1602; Lewis, 259 Ind. at 439, 288 N.E.2d at 142. Second, the juvenile must be given an opportunity for meaningful consultation with his or her parent. I.C. § 31–32–5–1(2); Lewis, 259 Ind. at 439, 288 N.E.2d at 142. Third, both the juvenile and his or her parent must knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waive the juvenile's rights. I.C. § 31–32–5–1(2); Miranda, 384 U.S. at 475–76, 86 S.Ct. 1602. Finally, the juvenile's statements must be voluntary and not the result of coercive police activity. Colorado v. Connelly, 479 U.S. 157, 167, 107 S.Ct. 515, 93 L.Ed.2d 473 (1986).


D.M. challenges the juvenile court's denial of his motion to suppress on two fronts.10 First, he contends that he was deprived of an opportunity for meaningful consultation with Mother. Second, he contends that the waiver of his rights was not knowing, intelligent, and voluntary.

The State bears the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the juvenile received all of the protections of Indiana Code section 31–32–5–1, Brown v. State, 751 N.E.2d 664, 670 (Ind.2001), and that both the juvenile and his or her parent knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waived the juvenile's rights,11

[949 N.E.2d 335]

Stewart v. State, 754 N.E.2d 492, 494–95 (Ind.2001). Cf. Douglas v. State, 481 N.E.2d 107, 111–12 (Ind.1985) (procedural safeguards judged by same standard as voluntariness). In reviewing a court's denial of a motion to suppress a confession, we do not reweigh the evidence but instead examine the record to determine whether there is substantial evidence of probative value to support that decision. Willsey v. State, 698 N.E.2d 784, 789 (Ind.1998). We consider any conflicting evidence in a light most favorable to the juvenile court's decision, Brown, 751 N.E.2d at 670, along with any substantial uncontested evidence, Dougl...

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