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In re K.J.R.

Supreme Court of Montana

April 4, 2017

IN THE MATTER OF K.J.R., A Youth.

          ORDER

         On March 7, 2017, this Court affirmed an order of the Montana Ninth Judicial District Youth Court revoking the Youth's previously imposed commitment to the youth court for out-of-home placement and recommitting him to the Montana Department of Corrections for placement at a state youth correctional facility until age 18 or sooner released. In re K.J.R., 2017 MT 45, 386 Mont. 381, __P.3d__. In essence, the Youth asserted on appeal that the court unlawfully revoked his prior youth court placement based on alleged violations of conditions of probation not imposed by the Youth Court. Despite the parties' mischaracterization of the Youth's placement as probation under §§41-5-1513(1)(a) and -1512(1)(a), MCA, this Court comprehensively reviewed the correct character, process, and legal and factual bases for the Youth Court's revocation of the Youth's original youth court commitment under §§ 41-5-1513(1)(a) and -1512(1)(c), MCA, and subsequent recommitment to the Department for placement in a state youth correctional facility under §§ 41-5-1422(1) and -1513(1)(b), MCA. By petition filed March 14, 2017, the Youth now seeks rehearing on the asserted grounds that this Court's decision misstates facts material to the decision and further conflicts with §§ 41-5-1414, -1415, and -1502, MCA, and Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319, 96 S.Ct. 893 (1976) (due process requirement for meaningful opportunity to contest factual basis for deprivation of liberty).

         This Court generally will grant rehearing on appeal only if our initial decision:

(1) overlooked some fact material to the decision;
(2) overlooked a question presented that would have proven decisive to the case; or
(3) conflicts with a statute or controlling decision not addressed.

M. R. App. P. 20(1)(a). Here, the Youth first asserts that ¶ 8 of our original decision does not accurately reflect "what occurred at [the Youth's] adjudicatory hearing." However, upon review, we conclude that, as material to the issues presented and our dispositive analysis, ¶ 8 accurately summarizes that the Youth Court adjudicated alleged probation violations as true. The fact that ¶ 8 does not more precisely reflect that the State did not pursue, and thus the court did not adjudicate, all of the original allegations is not material to the Youth Court's authority and discretion under §§ 41-5-1422(1), -1513, and -1512, MCA, to proceed to consideration of whether to revoke the Youth's original youth court commitment on the adjudicated placement problems and to then recommit him to the Department for placement in a state youth correctional facility.

         The Youth further asserts that our decision conflicts with §§ 41-5-1414, -1415, and -1502, MCA, and, by extension, minimum procedural due process requirements. As a threshold matter, this Court generally will not consider on rehearing issues not originally raised on appeal. Mares v. Mares, 60 Mont. 36, 55, 199 P. 267, 272 (1921); Merchant's Nat'l Bank v. Greenhood, 16 Mont. 395, 461-62, 41 P. 851, 852 (1895). The sole issues originally raised by K.J.R. on appeal were whether the Youth Court "impose[d] a facially invalid sentence when it revoked [his] probation based on probation conditions" not ordered by the court and whether K.J.R.'s counsel was "ineffective for not objecting" to a revocation petition based on "non-existent probation conditions." K.J.R. raised no issue regarding the adequacy of his adjudicatory and dispositional hearings under the specific procedural protections of § 41-5-1414, -1415, and -1502, MCA (right to confront witnesses, inadmissibility of constitutionally defective evidence, and adjudicatory hearing process), or the minimum requirements of Fourteenth Amendment due process. Thus, K.J.R. may not raise these issues for the first time here.

         Nonetheless, our decision and the record manifest that K.J.R. received a formal adjudicatory hearing and opportunity to contest the most recent placement problem allegations that finally precipitated revocation of his originally imposed commitment for out-of-home placement. K.J.R., ¶ 8. Except for pointing out that the State did not pursue adjudication of all of its original petition allegations, K.J.R. has made no particularized showing that the State did not adequately prove the adjudicated allegations, that the adjudications were based on inadmissible evidence, or that K.J.R. did not have a full and fair opportunity to contest the adjudicated allegations. Our decision and the record further manifest that K.J.R. received a formal dispositional hearing and opportunity to contest the State's recommendation for revocation and recommitment to the Department for placement at a state youth correctional facility. K.J.R., ¶¶ 9-10. Our decision and the record reflect that K.J.R. did not dispute the long history of failed out-of-home placements that preceded revocation of his original youth court commitment and that the primary focus of his dispositional hearing was the ultimate exhaustion of adequate out-of-home placement alternatives. See K.J.R., ¶¶ 6-10 and 25.

         K.J.R. has further made no showing that our analysis and conclusions that the Youth Court "acted within its lawful authority without abuse of discretion or factual or legal error, " was incomplete or incorrect. Other than cursory assertion and seizing on our observation that the Youth Court Act currently "does not mandate a [particular] structured procedure for revision or revocation" of youth court commitments "under § 41-5-1512(1)(c), MCA, " K.J.R. has made no showing that our decision, or the underlying Youth Court proceedings, conflict with the specific procedural protections of §41-5-1414, -1415, and -1502, MCA, or the minimum requirements of Fourteenth Amendment due process. Thus, K.J.R. has made no adequate showing of entitlement to rehearing on any of the grounds specified by M. R. App. P. 20(1)(a).

         Therefore, IT IS ORDERED that KJ.R.'s Petition for Rehearing is hereby DENIED.

         The Clerk is directed to provide copies of this Order to ...


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