P. R. v. State

Citation133 Ga.App. 346,210 S.E.2d 839
Decision Date18 November 1974
Docket NumberNo. 49562,No. 1,49562,1
PartiesP.R. et al. v. STATE of Georgia
CourtGeorgia Court of Appeals

Joseph M. Winter, Decatur, for appellants.

Kathryn Anne Workman, Sol., Decatur, for appellee.

Syllabus Opinion by the Court

CLARK, Judge.

Does our Juvenile Court Code empower the court to require restitution as a condition precedent for placing the offender on probation? That is the principal problem presented by this appeal.

Two brothers, then 16 and 13 years old respectively, were ruled delinquent at a joint adjudicatory hearing of theft by taking of publications valued at $25 from a self-service store. The principal witness was a female clerk who was alone in the place when these brothers and another younger lad had walked out of the establishment without paying for paper-back books and magazines which she testified had been hidden inside their shirts. Although she had not seen the actual purloining her accusation was based upon a bulge in their shirts and a glimpse of books. Being fearful of physical harm if she immediately accused them she permitted their departure and then notified the police. When the youngsters were shortly thereafter returned to the store she identified them as the culprits. No merchandise was found on them nor were the missing publications discovered during a neighborhood search. Although both brothers denied the charge they were ruled guilty, the judge regarding the circumstantial evidence as sufficient. Thereafter, at a joint dispositional hearing both appellants were sentenced to twelve months probation on condition that each pay $7.50 as restitution to the merchant whose goods were filched.

1. Our 1971 Juvenile Court Code resulted from extensive work by the Delinquent Offender and Juvenile Court Law Study Commission whose members are correctly described in the foreword to title 24A of the Annotated Code as being 'highly intellectual and practical persons.' Their work product was substantially adopted by the General Assembly. This salutary statute begins with a statement of the construction and purpose of the Juvenile Court Code. The specific legislative directive is that 'This Code shall be liberally construed to the end that children whose well-being is threatened shall be assisted and protected and restored, if possible, as secure law-abiding members of society . . .' Code Ann. § 24A-101. 'The objective that a child having been subjected to the juvenile process be treated or rehabilitated and returned to society to lead a useful life is . . . fundamental to the entire Code.' Clark, The New Juvenile Court Code of Georgia, 7 Ga.S.B.Jour. 409, 416.

Probation rather than penalization is one of the statutory methods provided for in § 24A-2302. There it is provided that if the result of the adjudicatory hearing is a determination that the child is found to be in need of treatment or rehabilitation, the court as one of the alternatives 'best suited to his treatment, rehabilitation, and welfare' may order '(b) Placing the child on probation under the supervision of the probation officer of the court or the court of another state as provided in Section 24A-3003, or any public agency authorized by law to receive and provide care for the child, . . . under conditions and limitations the court prescribes.' (Emphasis supplied.)

In discussing the emphasized Codal words counsel for the appellee has expressed views which we adopt as being applicable to this appeal:

'Certainly these 'conditions and limitations' must include the right to order restitution. This right is inherent in the power of the court, in what is, in effect, the burden upon the court, to make such disposition of a delinquent child as is 'best suited to his treatment, rehabilitation, and welfare,' Ga.Code Ann. Section 24A-2302.

'The paramount duty imposed upon the Juvenile Court both philosophically and statutorily is that of rehabilitating and treating the delinquent child so as to act in his own best interest and for his protection. It is incumbent upon the Juvenile Court to make the child before it aware that he has committed a wrongful act and to teach him why that act is wrongful and to restore him, if possible, as a secure and law-abiding member of society.

'It is impossible to attain this rehabilitation of the child unless the Juvenile Court has varied and liberal options available to it to reach the child. The purpose of the Juvenile Court Code, as stated in Ga.Code Ann. Section 24A-101, is to 'assist, protect, and restore' a child, and therein...

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  • State v. Harris
    • United States
    • New Jersey Supreme Court
    • July 13, 1976
    ...N.J.S.A. 2A:4--61, N.J.S.A. 2A:168--1, 2; the rules of court, R. 3:21--7, R. 5:9--9; case law, See, e.g., P.R. v. State, 133 Ga.App. 346, 210 S.E.2d 839, 841 (Ct.App.1974); In re Buehrer, 50 N.J. 501, 509, 236 A.2d 592 (1967); Adamo v. McCorkle, 13 N.J. 561, 563, 100 A.2d 674 (1953), Cert. ......
  • State v. M. D. J., 15245
    • United States
    • West Virginia Supreme Court
    • March 19, 1982
    ...can be made a condition of probation in juvenile cases. See B. G. v. State, 143 Ga.App. 725, 240 S.E.2d 133 (1977); P. R. v. State, 133 Ga.App. 346, 210 S.E.2d 839 (1974); M.J.W. v. State, 133 Ga.App. 350, 210 S.E.2d 842 (1974). The Georgia statute, however, provides that the trial judge ma......
  • M. J. W. v. State
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • November 18, 1974
    ...designed to achieve those ends. One of the methods provided in that statute is probation. Code Ann. § 24A-2303. In P.R. v. State of Ga., 133 Ga.App. 346, 210 S.E.2d 839 we made an exhaustive examination into this subject of probation conditions and concluded that a requirement of restitutio......
  • S.H., In Interest of, A95A2884
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • March 11, 1996
    ...secure law-abiding members of society, and the Code must be liberally construed to that end. OCGA § 15-11-1(1); P.R. v. State, 133 Ga.App. 346, 347(1), 210 S.E.2d 839 (1974). To promote this commendable purpose, the General Assembly created a comprehensive civil forum for treating and prote......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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