In Re Caitlin N.

Decision Date03 May 2010
Docket NumberNo. 1604 Sept.Term,2008.,1604 Sept.Term
Citation994 A.2d 454,192 Md.App. 251
PartiesIn re CAITLIN N.
CourtCourt of Special Appeals of Maryland

COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

Celia Anderson Davis (Nancy S. Forster, Public Defender, on the brief), Baltimore, MD, for Appellant.

Susannah E. Prucka (Douglas F. Gansler, Atty. Gen., on the brief), Baltimore, MD, for Appellee.

Panel: HOLLANDER, WOODWARD and KEHOE, JJ.

WOODWARD, Judge.

On April 22, 2008, an intake officer with the Department of Juvenile Services (the “Department”), filed a Petition for Continued Detention or Shelter Care concerning appellant, Caitlin N., in the Circuit Court for Talbot County, Maryland, sitting as a juvenile court, alleging that appellant may be a delinquent child. Following a hearing, the juvenile court granted the Department's petition for continued detention or shelter care and ordered that appellant remain in the care and custody of the Department. On May 7, 2008, appellant was conditionally released from detention, with electronic monitoring, into the custody of her mother, Suzanne N.

On May 13, 2008, the State filed a juvenile petition, alleging that appellant was a delinquent child for having attempted to possess marijuana. The juvenile court held an adjudicatory hearing on the State's petition on June 26, 2008, and found appellant involved in the delinquent act of attempted possession of marijuana. At the disposition hearing on July 17, 2008, the juvenile court held that appellant was a delinquent child, placed her in the custody of her older sister, Sara M., and also placed her on supervised probation under the supervision of the Department. Appellant timely appealed to this Court and presents the following three questions for our review:

1. Did the court below err in denying Appellant's Motion to Hold Adjudicatory Hearing within Sixty Days?”
2. Did the juvenile court err in ruling that the State was not required to provide the name of the chemist in discovery?
3. Was the evidence legally insufficient to sustain the finding that Appellant was involved in the delinquent act of attempted possession of marijuana?

For the following reasons, we shall affirm the judgment of the juvenile court.

BACKGROUND

On April 20, 2008, Patrolman First Class (“PFC”) George T. Larrimore, Jr., of the Easton Police Department, observed appellant with a group of other individuals at approximately 10:03 p.m. in the area of 12 North Washington Street in Easton, Maryland. During the course of his observations, PFC Larrimore heard appellant ask one Brandon Sinclair, “hey do you have any weed?” and “you should let me buy a gram from you. Will you let me buy a gram?” Appellant was then seen retrieving something from her pocketbook and attempting to hand it to Sinclair. Appellant and Sinclair were taken into custody and police recovered 1.8 grams of marijuana from Sinclair's person during a search incident to arrest.

On April 21, 2008, appellant was placed in emergency detention at the Waxter Children's Center. The next day, April 22, 2008, the Department filed a Petition for Continued Detention or Shelter Care in the juvenile court pending the possible filing of a juvenile petition. Following a hearing the same day, wherein the Department proffered the underlying bases for its petition, including that appellant attempted to possess a controlled dangerous substance, the juvenile court granted the Department's petition for continued detention at Waxter Children's Center or other secure detention facility. The court found that continued detention was necessary in order to “protect the child or the person and property of others,” and because “there appears to be no parent, guardian, custodian or other person able to provide supervision and care for the child and return the child to Court when required.” The juvenile court additionally found that appellant “has been [a] habitual runaway, has been implicated in substance abuse, and her mother is currently out of state [until] the weekend, thus there is no supervision and considerable concern for her safety if released[.] Appellant then was ordered into the care and custody of the Department.

That detention continued until May 7, 2008, when appellant was conditionally released with electronic monitoring to the custody of her mother. The juvenile court's order provided as follows:

Upon the matters presented before the Court in Hearing on the Petition of the State of Maryland, Department of Juvenile Services, for continued detention of [appellant] alleged to be a delinquent child, the Court finds that there is no parent, guardian, custodian or other person able to provide adequate supervision and care of and to the Respondent to the Court when required, without the assistance of electronic monitoring and compliance by respondent with the terms and conditions of a Conditional Release, but that with such monitoring and compliance, such supervision, care and return to Court can be provided by [ ] [appellant's] mother.

Following appellant's conditional release, on May 13, 2008, the State of Maryland filed a juvenile petition alleging that appellant was a delinquent child for having been involved with the attempted possession of marijuana, a controlled dangerous substance. The petition lists PFC Larrimore as the State's sole witness in support of the petition. The Office of the Public Defender entered an appearance in the juvenile court on behalf of appellant on May 22, 2008. The record additionally discloses that, although the petition was served on appellant's mother on May 23, 2008, an attempt to serve appellant with the petition that day was unsuccessful.

On June 10, 2008, after the State provided discovery, appellant's attorney filed a Demand for Presence of Chemist, Analyst, or Person in Chain of Custody, citing Maryland Code (1974, 2006 Repl.Vol.), § 10-1003 of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article (“C.J.”).1 Additionally, appellant's attorney filed a motion in the juvenile court, entitled Motion to Hold Adjudicatory Hearing within Sixty Days.” The motion requested that the adjudicatory hearing be set on or before June 20, 2008, for the following reasons:

1. On April 20, 2008 Respondent was arrested and ordered detained by an intake officer, pursuant to Maryland Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article, section 3-8A-15.

2. This Honorable Court, sitting as a Juvenile Court, obtained jurisdiction of the Respondent when the State filed a petition alleging that the Respondent is a delinquent child.

3. This Honorable Court then held a hearing on April 22, 2008 on the State's petition for continued detention. At that hearing, this Court authorized continued secure detention.
4. Also at this April 22nd hearing, Respondent received formal notice of the allegation contained in petition number J-08-5460.
5. Pursuant to Rule 11-114 of the Maryland Rules of Procedure, an adjudicatory hearing shall be held within 60 days after a juvenile petition is served on the respondent.
6. Respondent's scheduled adjudicatory hearing for petition number J-08-5460 is June 26, 2008, which is outside the 60-day time requirement mandated by Maryland Rule 11-114. At this time, Respondent has not waived her right to adjudication within 60 days.

On June 10, 2008, the State filed a response to this motion, stating:

1. The Petition in this case was filed on May 7, 2008 [sic].
2. The Respondent's attorney entered her appearance on May 22, 2008.
3. The Respondent has not yet been served with the Petition.
4. There was a Continued Detention Hearing on April 22, 2008.
5. Rule 11-114 of the Maryland Rules of Procedure provides that an Adjudicatory Hearing shall be held within sixty days after the juvenile Petition is served on the respondent.
6. Since the Petition has not been served, the currently scheduled date is not in violation of the sixty day time period.

On June 11, 2008, the juvenile court entered a written order denying appellant's Motion to Hold Adjudicatory Hearing within Sixty Days. Thereafter, on June 26, 2008, the adjudicatory hearing was held before the juvenile court. The record reveals that appellant was personally served with the petition at 9:00 a.m. that same day.

Prior to receiving evidence at the hearing, appellant's counsel renewed the motion to hold the adjudicatory hearing within sixty days. Appellant contended that, because the juvenile court had jurisdiction over appellant at the April 22, 2008 detention hearing, the adjudicatory hearing should have been held on June 20, 2008, and that there was no extraordinary cause to hold the hearing on June 26, 2008. Specifically, counsel stated, “without the extraordinary cause finding I don't believe that we can go forward today.” The State responded that the sixty day time period of Rule 11-114 did not begin to run until the petition was served. The State also argued that [a] continued detention hearing after the juvenile is arrested is not considered filing a petition. It's not considered a notice of the charges because the charges are not filed until the State's Attorney's Office signs the petition and files it with the Court.”

After the juvenile court confirmed that appellant actually was served with the petition the day of the adjudicatory hearing, her counsel argued that, pursuant to C.J. § 3-8A-15,

a child may be placed in detention for, to protect the child or others, or if the child is likely to leave. And then it talks about how continuation of detention under section (d) if they are not released then they shall immediately file petition to authorize detention and have a hearing. And I think that the rules contemplate at that hearing for continued detention as it's done in most jurisdictions, the petition is filed at that time. Otherwise I'm just not sure how the Court's getting to jurisdiction to authorize continued detention.

Noting that appellant was released on May 7th on electronic monitoring, and after agreeing with appellant's counsel's suggestion that this was still detention, the...

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