Meek, In Interest of, No. 2--58065

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtHeard by MOORE; REES; All Justices concur except McCORMICK; McCORMICK
Citation236 N.W.2d 284
PartiesIn the Interest of Harry James MEEK, a child.
Docket NumberNo. 2--58065
Decision Date17 December 1975

Page 284

236 N.W.2d 284
In the Interest of Harry James MEEK, a child.
No. 2--58065.
Supreme Court of Iowa.
Dec. 17, 1975.

Page 286

William D. Martin, Cedar Rapids, for appellant.

Richard C. Turner, Atty. Gen., Lorna Lawhead Williams, Sp. Asst. Atty. Gen., Stephen P. O'Meara, Asst. Atty. Gen., Des Moines, and Daryl E. Roberts, County Atty., Independence, for appellee State of Iowa.

Heard by MOORE, C.J., and LeGRAND, REES, REYNOLDSON and McCORMICK, JJ.

REES, Justice.

This case had its genesis in the filing on October 31, 1974, of a petition alleging the juvenile, Harry James Meek, was a delinquent child as defined by chapter 232 of the Code of Iowa, 1973. Harry was adjudicated a delinquent by order of the juvenile court on November 15. On April 4, 1975, he was ordered committed to the Director of the Bureau of Family and Children's Services of the Iowa State Department of Social Services for placement in the Iowa State Training School for Boys until he attained age 18 or was sooner released as provided by law. The juvenile now appeals, complaining of a number of alleged irregularities in juvenile court proceedings, of his detention during the pendency of the proceedings and of his ultimate commitment to the Iowa State Training School for Boys. We modify and affirm.

Harry James Meek was 16 years of age at the date of the filing of the petition alleging delinquency on October 31, 1974. In its order adjudicating him to be a delinquent entered November 15, 1974, the court specifically found Meek had made a telephone call to the high school in Independence on the previous September 16, informing the school authorities a bomb had been planted in the school and that the premises should be vacated within an hour. The court permitted him to remain at home with his mother and stepfather under the supervision of the county juvenile probation officer until he attained age 18 or until further order of court.

On the night of November 15, the same date on which Meek was adjudicated a delinquent, a fire seriously damaged the Middle School in Independence. On December 12 the probation officer and the county attorney met with the juvenile court and related certain alleged violations of the terms of Meek's supervision. The court thereupon ordered Meek admitted to the Mental Health Institute in Independence for evaluation.

During his stay at the Mental Health Institute, Meek was granted furloughs to go home. He apparently had one disagreement with another patient, and received no tutoring or schooling while he was in the Institute.

A report of the evaluation of Meek at the Institute was filed with the court on January 6, 1975. Two days later the juvenile was released from the Institute and confined in the Buchanan County jail. The January 6 report embraced a recommendation that 'the boy be considered for referral to the Boys Training School at Eldora where he can receive treatment in a structured program which will offer him the needed supervision and direction.' On January 13 an order was entered setting hearing on the matter for the following January 17.

On January 16 the probation officer filed a follow-up report, to which were attached statements of two witnesses, which directed the court's attention to Harry's involvement in the alleged arson at the Middle School on November 15, 1974, and an alleged arson at a garden near Jefferson School in Independence, on November 27, 1974. Also attached was a memorandum from the Iowa Department of Public Safety with regard to incidents in which Harry was involved while he was a resident of Linn County.

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On the date set for hearing, January 17, no court reporter was available, and the hearing was postponed until February 7. In its order the court provided that the juvenile should be transferred to the training school in Eldora until the time for hearing. Despite such order, it appears from the record the juvenile remained in the county jail at Independence until January 26, at which time he was taken to the hospital in Cedar Rapids for surgery. He was returned to the county jail on February 3, following his hospitalization.

On February 5, 1975, the juvenile, joined by his mother and stepfather, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in which they alleged Harry was being detained illegally in the county jail pursuant to the December 12 order in violation of due process of law.

Hearing was held on February 7 and on February 10. Following the first day's hearing, the court ordered the youth held during the pendency of the then present proceedings.

Subsequent to the hearing on February 10, the court entered its order dated February 11 finding Harry did in fact participate in the breakin and arson at the Middle School, and also caused a garden fire near Jefferson High School to be set, irrespective of the fact that the latter fire did not occasion damage. The court further found that prior to a disposition of the case, further information and evaluation of Harry should be accomplished at the Iowa State Training School for Boys. Harry's custody was then placed with the county probation officer for purposes of the evaluation at the training school and a social history was ordered prepared. Harry was temporarily placed in the custody of his mother and stepfather until an appointment could be arranged for his evaluation at the training school.

In its order, the court further found 'the Juvenile is not being held under any of the Orders that were questioned under the Writ of Habeas Corpus and that at this time said Writ is moot and (the court) makes no ruling on the same.'

Harry remained at the home of his mother and stepfather until February 27, when he was transported to Eldora for evaluation. He was later returned to his home pending a hearing to be held on April 4. Following such hearing, Harry was ordered committed to the Director of the Bureau of Family and Children's Services of the Iowa Department of Social Services for placement in the Iowa State Training School for Boys until he attained the age of 18 years or was sooner released as provided by law.

The juvenile now appeals 'from all adverse rulings of the Juvenile Court and from the Orders and Decrees of Court, rendered and entered in this proceedings, which order was dated February 11, 1975, and was entered of record on or about February 14, 1975, and from each adverse order and ruling of the Court therein.'

In this appeal the juvenile states the following issues for review:

(1) Juvenile court erred in issuing an ex parte order which deprived Harry of his liberty and provided for confinement at the Mental Health Institute and the county jail without notice or hearing, without the juvenile's presence to confront witnesses at the hearing and without representation of counsel.

(2) Juvenile court erred in failing to give notice of the hearing to Harryhs parent notice of the hearing to Harry's parent period of time.

(3) Juvenile court erred in permitting the detention of the juvenile for more time than is permitted by law, since no formal pleading was presented to the court and no determination, after hearing, was made by the court that the juvenile be required to remain in custody.

(4) The juvenile was unlawfully detained in the county jail from January 8 until January 26 and from February 3 until February 7 without the protection of complete separation from adults in an adult facility,

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without continued supervision and without competent medical care and schooling.

(5) Juvenile court was prejudiced by certain statements and reports in its hands before, during and after the hearings of February 7 and 10 and April 4.

(6) Juvenile court erred in permitting Bill Meister, a 17-year old witness at the February hearings, to testify to his own complicity in the arson at the Middle School without effectively advising the witness of his right to the benefit of counsel.

(7) The evidence adduced was insufficient and incompetent to support a finding Meek committed the arson at the Middle School.

I. In the first...

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18 practice notes
  • Interest of Thompson, No. 3--58727
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • April 14, 1976
    ...to district court for retrial excluding the confession. However, our review is De novo. Section 232.58, The Code; In Interest of Meek, 236 N.W.2d 284, 289 (Iowa 1975); In re Henderson, 199 N.W.2d 111, 116, 124 (Iowa 1972). We formerly held when a delinquency charge is based on an alleged pu......
  • State v. Dowell, No. 62727
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • September 17, 1980
    ...back to "square one." Similarly, a dismissal and arrest on refiling would render the habeas corpus action moot. See In Interest of Meek, 236 N.W.2d 284, 288-89 (Iowa 1975); State v. Sefcheck, 261 Iowa 1159, 1165, 157 N.W.2d 128, 132 (1968). Habeas corpus plainly provides no solution to a re......
  • First Judicial Dist. Dept. of Correctional Services v. Iowa Civil Rights Commission, No. 65774
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • January 20, 1982
    ...review was de novo and sufficient evidence existed apart from confession to affirm adjudication of delinquency); In Interest of Meek, 236 N.W.2d 284, 290 (Iowa 1975) (rule that prejudice presumed where improper evidence admitted at trial is inapplicable in de novo review of delinquency adju......
  • In re MT, No. 00-0886.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • April 25, 2001
    ...contested issue] has become academic or nonexistent.'" In re Interest of D.C.V., 569 N.W.2d 489, 494 (Iowa 1997) (quoting In re Meek, 236 N.W.2d 284, 288 (Iowa 1975)). "The test is whether the court's opinion would be of force or effect in the underlying controversy." Id.; see also Iowa Mut......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • Interest of Thompson, No. 3--58727
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • April 14, 1976
    ...to district court for retrial excluding the confession. However, our review is De novo. Section 232.58, The Code; In Interest of Meek, 236 N.W.2d 284, 289 (Iowa 1975); In re Henderson, 199 N.W.2d 111, 116, 124 (Iowa 1972). We formerly held when a delinquency charge is based on an alleged pu......
  • State v. Dowell, No. 62727
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • September 17, 1980
    ...back to "square one." Similarly, a dismissal and arrest on refiling would render the habeas corpus action moot. See In Interest of Meek, 236 N.W.2d 284, 288-89 (Iowa 1975); State v. Sefcheck, 261 Iowa 1159, 1165, 157 N.W.2d 128, 132 (1968). Habeas corpus plainly provides no solution to a re......
  • First Judicial Dist. Dept. of Correctional Services v. Iowa Civil Rights Commission, No. 65774
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • January 20, 1982
    ...review was de novo and sufficient evidence existed apart from confession to affirm adjudication of delinquency); In Interest of Meek, 236 N.W.2d 284, 290 (Iowa 1975) (rule that prejudice presumed where improper evidence admitted at trial is inapplicable in de novo review of delinquency adju......
  • In re MT, No. 00-0886.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • April 25, 2001
    ...contested issue] has become academic or nonexistent.'" In re Interest of D.C.V., 569 N.W.2d 489, 494 (Iowa 1997) (quoting In re Meek, 236 N.W.2d 284, 288 (Iowa 1975)). "The test is whether the court's opinion would be of force or effect in the underlying controversy." Id.; see also Iowa Mut......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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