State v. Dugan, 44590

Decision Date12 October 1973
Docket NumberNo. 44590,44590
Citation297 Minn. 374,211 N.W.2d 876
PartiesSTATE of Minnesota, Respondent, v. David Lee DUGAN, Petitioner.
CourtMinnesota Supreme Court

Armstrong, Phleger, Reutiman & Vinokour, Ltd., Wayzata, for petitioner.

Gary W. Flakne, County Atty., Henry W. McCarr, Jr., Asst. County Atty., Minneapolis, for respondent.

Considered en banc.


Petitioner-defendant, David Lee Dugan, seeks a writ of mandamus directing the district court to transfer this case to the juvenile court pursuant to Minn.St. 260.115, subd. 1. The district court denied the defendant's motion to transfer the case. This court has issued a peremptory writ of mandamus with a provision that an opinion would follow.

The sole issue is whether the district court or the juvenile court has jurisdiction in this matter. At the time of the alleged offense, April 20, 1973, the defendant was 17 years of age. Shortly thereafter, on May 5, 1973, the defendant became 18 years of age. Effective June 1, 1973, the age of majority was changed from 21 years to 18 years. L.1973, c. 725, § 50; Minn. St. 260.015. The defendant was arrested on July 19, 1973, and made his first appearance in district court on July 20, 1973.

The juvenile court has original and exclusive jurisdiction 'in proceedings concerning any minor alleged to have been a delinquent * * * prior to having become eighteen years of age.' Minn.St. 260.111, subd. 1. Also, '* * * the jurisdiction of the court terminates when the individual is no longer a minor.' Minn.St. 260.181, subd. 4. Based on these statutes, facially at least, the juvenile court does not have jurisdiction as the defendant is no longer a minor. However, as to this defendant the statute changing the age of majority (L. 1973, c. 725, § 50) may be void if it is an ex post facto law prohibited by the United States Constitution and the Minnesota Constitution. U.S.Const. art. I, § 9; Minn.Const. art. 1, § 11.

This court in Starkweather v. Blair, 245 Minn. 371, 386, 71 N.W.2d 869, 879 (1955), with reference to Fletcher v. Peck, 10 U.S. (6 Cranch) 87, 138, 3 L.Ed. 162, 178 (1810), and Cummings v. State of Missouri, 71 U.S. (4 Wall.) 277, 18 L.Ed. 356 (1866), said:

'* * * An ex post facto law is one which renders an act punishable in a manner in which it was not punishable when it was committed.'

Under the laws in effect when the alleged offense was committed, the juvenile court had jurisdiction and could not adjudicate the alleged offense as a crime. Minn.St. 260.211, subd. 1, states, '* * * (N)or shall any child be deemed a criminal by reason of this adjudication, nor shall this adjudication be deemed a conviction of crime.' Furthermore, before the passage of the majority age change, the defendant had several advantages under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court:

1. No civil disabilities are imposed by adjudication upon the status of a child in the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. Minn.St. 260.211, subd. 1.

2. 'The disposition of the child or any evidence given by the child in the juvenile court shall not be admissible as evidence against him in any case or proceeding in any other court * * *.' § 260.211, subd. 1.

3. He is not disqualified from future civil service examination, appointment, or application. § 260.211, subd. 1.

4. Records of the juvenile court are not open to public inspection except by order of the court and in the best interests of the child. §§ 260.161, subd. 2, and 260.211, subd. 2.

5. Expert diagnosis is available for a child believed to have a physical or mental defect. § 260.092.

6. Several alternative dispositions are available to the juvenile court upon finding the defendant delinquent. Among these alternatives are to provide counseling, to place the delinquent child, under the supervision of a probation officer, in his own home or a foster group care facility, and to commit the child to the Youth Conservation Commission. § 260.185, subd. 1.

7. The court may require that needed treatment for the child's physical or mental health be furnished. § 260.185, subd. 1.

Clearly, the application of the 18-year-majority law would render the alleged offense punishable in a different manner by denying the defendant access to the juvenile court and the advantages of the dispositions available within the juvenile court. Therefore, defendant must be treated as a minor for the purposes of this prosecution.

As a minor, the defendant is subject to the jurisdiction of the juvenile court because the time of his alleged offense, not the time of arraignment, is the determining factor in establishing the juvenile court's jurisdiction. §§ 260.111, subd. 1, and 260.115, subd. 1.

The state in opposition to defendant's petition cites State v. Dehler, 257 Minn. 549, 556, 102 N.W.2d 696, 702 (1960), where we said:

'* * * (U)nder (Minn.St.1957) § 260.22, where an offense was committed prior to the time the accused reached 18 years, but his arraignment in municipal court or before a justice of the peace was not held until after he...

To continue reading

Request your trial
5 cases
  • Stuart v. State ex rel. Jannings
    • United States
    • Iowa Supreme Court
    • May 25, 1977
    ...the statute is to protect juveniles from acts committed when presumably they were not of mature mind and body." Cf. State v. Dugan, 297 Minn. 374, 211 N.W.2d 876, 878 (1973). Another well reasoned case holding to the same effect is P.H. v. State, 504 P.2d 837 (Alaska 1972). This is the cour......
  • State v. Ritter
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court
    • November 3, 1976
    ...sec. 902.02(1) Wisconsin Rules of Evidence.3 State ex rel. Knutson v. Jackson (1957), 249 Minn. 246, 82 N.W.2d 234; State v. Dugan (1973), 297 Minn. 374, 211 N.W.2d 876; State v. Dehler (1960), 257 Minn. 549, 102 N.W.2d 696; Note, Reference for Prosecution in Juvenile Court Proceedings (196......
  • Matter of Welfare of SV
    • United States
    • Minnesota Supreme Court
    • September 22, 1980
    ...added). Dehler would be directly applicable here but for certain amendments to the statutes since the decision. In State v. Dugan, 297 Minn. 374, 211 N.W.2d 876 (1973), the court noted that the statutes relied on in Dehler, which had referred to age at the time of prosecution, had been repe......
  • Welfare of C.A.N., In re
    • United States
    • Minnesota Court of Appeals
    • June 25, 1985
    ...before that individual was 18 years old. State v. Fleming, 302 Minn. 61, 64, 223 N.W.2d 397, 399 (1974). See also State v. Dugan, 297 Minn. 374, 211 N.W.2d 876 (1973). In Dugan, the supreme court enumerated advantages the legislature prescribed for alleged offenders in juvenile court, inclu......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT