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Case Summaries 2001

Incident report involving juvenile suspect not subject to disclosure under Public Information Act even if the name of the juvenile is withheld [OR2001-6133] (02-1-14).

On December 31, 2001, the Attorney General ruled in a Public Information Act letter that an incident report involving a car allegedly stolen by a juvenile is not subject to disclose even if the name of the juvenile is withheld.

Jurors in sexual assault on a child criminal trial not disqualified because they agreed to donate jury fees to a juvenile program [Farr v. State] (02-1-13).

On December 18, 2001, the Dallas Court of Appeals held that six members of a jury that served in an sexual assault on a child trial were not disqualified from service for implied bias because they checked off a form donating their daily jury fees to the juvenile department and to purchase Christmas gifts for foster children.

Attorney General says that 300 feet of school property provision in mandatory removal section does not apply to mandatory expulsion for a felony [JC-0446] (02-1-12).

On December 27, 2001, the Attorney General opined that the provision in the mandatory removal section of the Education Code reaching conduct that occurs within 300 feet of school property does not apply to the provision mandating expulsion for a drug or alcohol felony.

Evidence was sufficient to support a TYC commitment in an assault on a teacher case [In re V.S.] (02-1-11).

On December 19, 2001, the El Paso Court of Appeals held that the evidence was legally and factually sufficient to support the juvenile court’s decision to commit the respondent to the TYC although he had no prior juvenile referrals and inflicted no bodily injury on the victim.

Evidence was factually sufficient to support TYC commitment for sexual offenses against a child [In re D.W.A.] (02-1-10).

On December 13, 2001, the Houston Fourteenth District Court of Appeals held that the evidence was factually sufficient to support the juvenile court’s decision to commit a respondent to TYC who had committed indecency with a child and aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Information about death of resident of juvenile detention facility not public [OR2001-5795] (02-1-09).

On December 12, 2001, the Attorney General ruled in a Public Information Act opinion that information about the death of a juvenile in a detention facility cannot be disclosed because of the child abuse investigation provision of the Family Code.

El Paso Court of Appeals holds that removal from home findings of section 54.04 must also be used in modifications under section 54.05 [In re L.R.] (02-1-08).

On December 13, 2001, the El Paso Court of Appeals held, contrary to the holdings by other courts of appeal, that the removal from home findings required by section 54.04 to be made in disposition proceedings must also be made when a child is removed from his home in a modification proceeding under section 54.05.

Service of modification summons on guardian ad litem not required when respondent’s mother was served and appeared at the hearing [In re R.M.R.] (02-1-07).

On December 6, 2001, the Houston First District Court of Appeals held that it was not reversible error for the juvenile court to proceed with a hearing to modify disposition when the respondent’s mother was served and present at the hearing. Failure to serve a guardian ad litem who had been appointed at the detention hearing was not error, or if it was, not preserved for appellate review.

Criminal court lacked jurisdiction over uncertified juvenile offense under pre-1996 procedure [Ex parte Waggoner] (02-1-06).

On December 5, 2001, the Court of Criminal Appeals held that under the procedure in place before 1996, the criminal court lacked jurisdiction over an offense committed by applicant while a juvenile that had not been certified to criminal court. No pre-trial objection in the criminal court was required under the pre-1996 procedure.

County is liable for the wrongful discharge of a juvenile detention center employee [Dallas Co. v. Holmes] (02-1-05).

On December 5, 2001, the Dallas Court of Appeals upheld an award of $100,000 in damages against Dallas County for the wrongful discharge of an employee of the Dallas County Juvenile Detention Center.

Attorney General says counties may give money to non-profit organizations that serve children [JC-0439] (02-1-04).

On December 3, 2001, the Attorney General stated in an opinion that counties may expend public funds for the public purpose of child welfare and services by granting such funds to non-profit organizations to provide those services. It is for the commissioners courts to decide whether the expenditures are in the public interest.

Entering an unnegotiated plea of guilty in criminal court waives appellate review of any errors in the juvenile court certification process [Faisst v. State] (02-1-03).

On November 30, 2001, the Tyler Court of Appeals held that when the juvenile entered an unnegotiated plea of guilty in criminal court she waived appellate review of any errors in the juvenile court certification proceedings because the criminal judgment of conviction was independent of any such errors.

Motor vehicle accident report involving a juvenile must be disclosed under the Public Information Act [OR2001-5578] (02-1-02).

On November 30, 2001, the Attorney General ruled in a Public Information Act opinion that a motor vehicle accident report involving a juvenile must be disclosed upon request under a Transportation Code amendment enacted in 2001.

Certified juvenile is not entitled to necessity, self-defense or provocation instructions in prosecution for murder of step-father [Contreras v. State] (02-1-01).

On November 27, 2001, the Amarillo Court of Appeals, writing on remand from a reversal of its previous judgment by the Court of Criminal Appeals, held that a certified juvenile’s claim of sexual abuse of herself and her younger sister by her step-father did not require the criminal court judge to instruct the jury on the defenses of necessity or self-defense in her trial for murder of the step-father, nor did it require the court to instruct the jury at penalty on the provocation mitigation to murder as a second degree felony.

Gang database information not available under the Public Information Act [OR2001-5349] (01-4-55).

On November 16, 2001, the Attorney General ruled in a Public Information Act opinion that information in the DPS gang database is not subject to disclosure as public information.

Juvenile has no right under the Public Information Act to see a law enforcement incident report that deals with him [OR2001-5316] (01-4-54).

On November 16, 2001, the Attorney General ruled in a Public Information Act opinion that a juvenile has no right to see a law enforcement incident report that names him as a suspect.

No error in charging burglary with intent to commit assault following certification for aggravated assault [Jones v. State] (01-4-53).

On November 15, 2001, the El Paso Court of Appeals upheld a conviction for burglary with intent to commit aggravated assault in a case that was certified from the juvenile court for aggravated assault.

There was no fatal variance since the same transaction was the subject of both the certification order and the indictment. Detour to recover stolen property on way to juvenile processing office violates Family Code and requires exclusion of testimony about property [Roquemore v. State] (01-4-52).

On November 14, 2001, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals held that when a juvenile taken into police custody volunteered a confession and offered to take the officer to recover property stolen in the offense, the officer should not have detoured to recover the stolen property en route to the juvenile processing office.

Judge of court not designated as juvenile court may sit for judge of court designated as juvenile court to hear a case filed in latter court [In re C.G.] (01-4-51).

On November 14, 2001, the San Antonio Court of Appeals held that the judge of a court that may not have been designated by the juvenile board to hear juvenile cases may sit for the judge of a court that has been designated a juvenile court in order to hear a juvenile case filed in the latter court.

Certified case was properly transferred from one district court to another under local administrative rule [Bishop v. State] (01-4-50).

On November 1, 2001, the Amarillo Court of Appeals held that a juvenile case certified to one district court was properly transferred to another district court under a local administrative plan for random filing of criminal cases in district courts.

An untimely notice of appeal was not corrected by showing a late notice of the order appealed from [In re M.M.] (01-4-49).

On October 31, 2001, the San Antonio Court of Appeals held that a late notice of appeal was not corrected by an effort to show that counsel did not receive timely notice of the revocation order appealed from.

Records of certifications in the possession of TJPC are confidential under the Public Information Act [OR2001-4990] (01-4-48).

On October 31, 2001, the Attorney General ruled in a Public Information Act opinion that records of certifications to criminal court in the possession of the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission are confidential under the Public Information Act.

Curfew records are not public under the juvenile confidentiality provision of and judicial exception to the Public Information Act [OR2001-4901] (01-4-47).

On October 26, 2001, the Attorney General ruled in a Public Information Act opinion that records of juvenile curfew cases are not public. Law enforcement records of curfew violations are confidential under the Family Code juvenile confidentiality provision and judicial records in Municipal Court of the same violations come within the judicial exception to the Public Information Act.

State did not justify delay in seeking certification of 18 year old [Webb v. State] (01-4-46).

On October 25, 2001, the El Paso Court of Appeals held that the State did not justify its delay in seeking certification of an 18-year-old respondent, that the defect is jurisdictional, and that a showing of harm is not required.

Incident report identifying child crime victim is not confidential under juvenile confidentiality provision [OR2001-4867] (01-4-45).

On October 25, 2001, the Attorney General ruled in a Public Information Act opinion that a law enforcement incident report identifying a child crime victim is not confidential under the juvenile confidentiality provision

Attorney General says that juvenile confidentiality rule does not apply to children younger than 10 [OR2001-4805] (01-4-44).

On October 23, 2001, the Attorney General ruled in a Public Information Act letter that the juvenile confidentiality provision does not apply to a law enforcement incident report about conduct by an individual while younger than ten years of age because such a person is not a child as defined by Section 51.02 of the Family Code.

Respondent waived disposition jury in writing before adjudication hearing [In re C.P.] (01-4-43).

On October 25, 2001, the Dallas Court of Appeals held that the respondent waived her right to a jury at disposition in writing before the adjudication hearing began, thereby mooting a possibly defective oral admonition given at the beginning of the adjudication hearing.

Juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in transferring respondent from TYC to TDCJ under the determinate sentence act [In re D.V.] (01-4-42).

On October 24, 2001, the San Antonio Court of Appeals held that the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in transferring a respondent from TYC to TDCJ in view of the numerous disciplinary violations committed by respondent and his refusal to participate in programs offered to him.

Child Protective Services is not entitled to see a juvenile law enforcement incident report [OR2001-4788] (01-4-41).

On October 22, 2001, the Attorney General in a Public Information Act opinion ruled that Child Protective Services is not entitled to see a law enforcement incident report concerning a juvenile.

Evidence was legally and factually sufficient to support adjudication for aggravated assault; oral removal from home dispositional findings not required (01-4-40).

On October 18, 2001, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals held that the evidence was both legally and factually sufficient to support an adjudication for aggravated assault in a drive-by shooting setting. The court also held that when there are adequate written removal from home findings there is no need for an oral recitation of those same findings.

Failure of juvenile court to include two removal from home findings in dispositional order corrected on appeal by reforming judgment to include those findings from the court’s oral recitation of them [In re M.R.L.] (01-4-39).

On October 18, 2001, the Houston Fourteenth District Court of Appeals held that the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in committing a respondent adjudicated for aggravated robbery of a bank to TYC for five years. It also reformed the dispositional order to reflect the court’s oral findings on the three mandatory removal from home findings.

Failure of counsel to object to omission of juvenile record admonition was ineffective assistance of counsel but no prejudice to respondent shown [In re T.D.S.] (01-4-38).

On October 4, 2001, the Texarkana Court of Appeals held that the failure of defense counsel to object to the juvenile court’s not admonishing the respondent as to the admissibility of a juvenile record in criminal proceedings was ineffective assistance of counsel. However, the respondent failed to prove that but for that ineffective assistance he would not have plead true and would have gone to trial.

Law enforcement officer may arrest a TYC escapee without a warrant [Martinez v. State] (01-4-37).

On October 17, 2001, the San Antonio Court of Appeals held that an arrest of a TYC escapee without a warrant was lawful under a provision of the Human Resources Code. Consequently, a subsequently obtained confession was admissible in evidence following certification to criminal court.

Law enforcement report about conduct by a 17-year-old suspect is not confidential under the Family Code [OR2001-4680] (01-4-36).

On October 16, 2001, the Attorney General stated in a Public Information Act opinion that an incident report dealing with conduct by a 17-year-old is not confidential under the Family Code because the suspect is not a juvenile.

Attorney General says that juvenile records lose their confidentiality when the respondent is certified to criminal court [OR2001-4660] (01-4-35).

On October 15, 2001, the Attorney General stated in a Public Information Act opinion that juvenile records lose their confidentiality once the juvenile is certified to criminal court for prosecution as an adult. The opinion dealt with the law prior to its amendment in 1995.

Delay in taking the juvenile to a processing office was justified by the need to secure the scene of the arrest [In re J.D.] (01-4-34).

On October 10, 2001, the San Antonio Court of Appeals held that a delay to secure the scene of the arrest was justified before the respondent was taken to a juvenile processing office; that the designation of the office was not too general; and that the respondent was not detained beyond the statutory maximum period.

Warrantless search of juvenile’s home justified as an emergency [In re J.D.] (01-4-33).

On October 10, 2001, the San Antonio Court of Appeals held that police officers were justified in conducting a warrantless search of a juvenile’s home in the belief that they were dealing with a burglary in progress. Evidence seized was admissible even though there was no burglary.

Counsel was not ineffective in aggravated assault trial [In re J.V.] (01-4-32).

On October 4, 2001, the El Paso Court of Appeals held that defense counsel did not render ineffective assistance in the trial of an aggravated assault case.

Attorney General says juvenile is entitled to see alcohol blood tests results but others are not [OR2001-4438] (01-4-31).

On October 3, 2001, the Attorney General said in a Public Information Act opinion that a juvenile, through his attorney, is entitled to see alcohol blood test results, but others are not entitled to see those results.

Attorney General says that parent who filed a runaway report with police is not entitled to see it [OR2001-4486] (01-4-30).

On October 5, 2001, the Attorney General in a Public Information Act opinion said that a parent who filed runaway reports on her son is not entitled to see those reports that were filed before January 1, 1996.

Evidence legally and factually sufficient to support indecency with a child adjudication [In re P.M.S.] (01-4-29).

On October 4, 2001, the Austin Court of Appeals held that the evidence was legally and factually sufficient to prove that the respondent touched the child complainant with the required intent.

Under Human Resources Code, peace officer may arrest TYC escapee without a warrant [Martinez v. State] (01-4-28).

On September 28, 2001, the San Antonio Court of Appeals upheld the arrest of a juvenile without a warrant because he was reported to be a TYC escapee.

Court of Appeals threatens attorney with disciplinary sanctions for not citing contrary authority and for pursuing frivolous appeal [In re R.D.W.] (01-4-27).

On September 28, 2001, the Dallas Court of Appeals threatened to impose disciplinary sanctions against the attorney for the juvenile respondent for failure to cite authority contrary to the position he was espousing and for pursuing a frivolous appeal.

Requiring sex offender registration without requiring a finding of danger to society is constitutional [In re R.M.] (01-4-26).

On September 26, 2001, the San Antonio Court of Appeals held that due process of law is not violated by requiring a juvenile sex offender to register without also requiring a finding that he poses a danger to society.

Juvenile records maintained by a municipal court prosecutor are excepted from disclosure [OR2001-4231] (01-4-25).

On September 20, 2001, the Attorney General ruled in an Public Information Act opinion that juvenile records created by a municipal court but maintained by the city attorney are not public records because they are made confidential by Family Code Section 58.007(b).

Parents are not entitled under the Public Information Act to see a police incident report about their son [OR2001-4279] (01-4-24).

On September 24, 2001, the Attorney General ruled in a Public Information Act letter that a parent is not entitled to see a police incident report concerning his or her child. Parents have no special right to such information under the Act.

Attorney General explains informer’s privilege exception to Public Information Act [OR2001-4297] (01-4-23).

On September 23, 2001, the Attorney General ruled in a Public Information Act letter that information concerning juvenile police informants is excepted from disclosure. The AG also explained the litigation exception to the Act.

Double jeopardy was not violated by placing juvenile in boot camp following expulsion and in adjudicating him for burglaries of vehicles committed at about the same time [In re T.W.] (01-4-22).

On September 20, 2001, the Houston Fourteenth District Court of Appeals held that double jeopardy principles were not violated when the respondent, on probation, was placed in a residential boot camp following school expulsion and later was adjudicated for four burglaries of vehicles that occurred at about the same time. The boot camp placement was for the behavior that led to expulsion not for the vehicle burglaries.

Evidence was sufficient for a false alarm adjudication for an angry threat made in the hall to burn down the school; TYC commitment for offense [In re C.R.K.] (01-4-21).

On August 9, 2001, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals held that evidence that the respondent, after being denied permission to leave school early, walked into the hall and shouted angrily that he would burn down the school was sufficient to support an adjudication for false alarm and a TYC commitment.

Personal use of a deadly weapon is not required for an adjudication that the juvenile was a party to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon [In re S.R.C.] (01-4-20).

On September 13, 2001, the Austin Court of Appeals held that it is not necessary to find that the respondent personally used the deadly weapon to adjudicate him delinquent for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Unlike the deadly weapon finding under the determinate sentence act, personal use is not required; party liability is sufficient.

Motion for new trial not needed to preserve a factual sufficiency claim for appellate review [In re J.L.H.] (01-4-19).

On September 13, 2001, the El Paso Court of Appeals said that, contrary to what the Texas Supreme Court held in 1993, a motion for new trial is not needed to preserve a claim of factual sufficiency for appellate review. In the years since 1993, the El Paso Court of Appeals believed, the juvenile system has been transformed from a benevolent civil system into a punitive criminal system. This change justified using the criminal rule, which does not require a motion for new trial.

The juvenile court has no duty to order a fitness hearing without a motion to do so [In re E.M.R.] (01-4-18).

On August 31, 2001, the Corpus Christi Court of Appeals held that the juvenile court under Family Code Section 55.31 has no duty to order a fitness to stand trial hearing in the absence of a motion from a party requesting it.

Parental notification requirement does not apply to the questioning of a juvenile at the station who is not in custody [In re E.M.R.] (01-4-17).

On August 31, 2001, the Corpus Christi Court of Appeals held that when a juvenile is taken to the station for interrogation but is not in police custody, the requirement of parental notification does not apply.

Visitation and other records maintained by the juvenile probation department are not subject to disclosure under the Public Information Act [OR2001-3866] (01-4-16).

On August 31, 2001, the Attorney General ruled in a Public Information Act opinion that juvenile probation department records concerning visitation with a named juvenile who was in detention are not public records under the Act.

Tape of 9-1-1 call about school shooting is excepted from disclosure under the Public Information Act as juvenile information although the juvenile is dead [OR2001-3350] (01-4-15).

On August 1, 2001, the Attorney General ruled in a Public Information Act opinion that the tape of a 9-1-1 call is excepted from disclosure as juvenile information although the juvenile in question is dead.

A juvenile probation department is required by the Public Information Act to disclose most of the requestor’s personnel file [OR2001-2777] (01-4-14).

On June 28, 2001, the Attorney General ruled in a Public Information Act opinion that the litigation exception to the Act did not apply to excuse disclosure of information in the requestor’s juvenile probation department personnel file.

Incident reports involving juvenile misconduct and tapes of 9-1-1 call are excepted from disclosure requirements of Public Information Act [OR2001-1347] (01-4-13).

On April 4, 2001, the Attorney General ruled in a Public Information Act opinion that incident reports that identify juvenile suspects are excepted from disclosure under the Act and that the tape of a 9-1-1 call is excepted from disclosure because disclosure would impeded an ongoing investigation.

Common law privacy, pre-1996 juvenile information, motor vehicle information, and social security information exceptions to disclosure requirements of Public Information Act explained [OR2001-1190] (01-4-12).

On March 27, 2001, the Attorney General ruled in a Public Information Act opinion that certain information requested is excepted from disclosure by the common law privacy rule, the pre-1996 juvenile information rule, the motor vehicle information rule and may be excepted under the post-1990 social security information rule.

Law enforcement incident report identifying a juvenile as a witness or complainant is not confidential under juvenile law [OR2001-1088] (01-4-11).

On March 20, 2001, the Attorney General ruled in a Public Information Act opinion that a police incident report that names an adult suspect but also names a juvenile witness and complainant is not confidential under the juvenile records provision.

Parents of a juvenile are not entitled under Public Information Act to disclosure of a law enforcement incident report regarding their own child [OR2001-0804] (01-4-10).

On March 2, 2001, the Attorney General ruled in a Public Information Act opinion that the confidentiality restrictions of juvenile law enforcement records apply even to a request to see a record made by the parents of the juvenile who is named in the record.

Police offense report retains juvenile confidential status even after the juvenile is certified to criminal court and convicted as an adult [OR2001-0779] (01-4-09).

On March 1, 2001, the Attorney General ruled in a Public Information Act request that an incident or offense report concerning a juvenile offense retains its non-public status even after the juvenile is certified to criminal court and convicted as an adult.

Juvenile probation department records come within judiciary exception to Public Information Act; juvenile’s parents not entitled to law enforcement juvenile information about child [OR2001-0528] (01-4-08).

On February 12, 2001, the Attorney General ruled in a Public Information Act opinion that all filed maintained by a juvenile probation department are excepted from required disclosure by the judiciary exception to the Act. The AG also ruled that a juvenile and his or her parents have no special rights to law enforcement information concerning the juvenile.

Police file of internal affairs investigation into arrest of a juvenile is not required to be disclosed under the Public Information Act [OR2001-0354] (01-4-07)

On January 30, 2001, the Attorney General ruled in Public Information Act opinion that police department records of an internal affairs investigation into the arrest of a juvenile are not required to be disclosed under the Act. However, information in a civil service file concerning the same investigation must be disclosed.

A law enforcement incident report involving conduct by a 17 year old is subject to disclosure under the adult, not juvenile, provisions of the Public Information Act [OR2001-0197] (01-4-06).

On January 18, 2001, the Attorney General stated in an Public Information Act opinion that a police incident report involving a 17 year old is subject to disclosure under adult rules, which means that basic “front page” information must be disclosed.

Incident reports of minor traffic accidents involving juveniles are not excepted from disclosure under the Public Information Act [OR2001-0160] (01-4-05).

On January 16, 2001, the Attorney General ruled in a Public Information Act request that police incident reports of minor traffic accidents involving juveniles are not exempt from disclosure by the juvenile records exception to the Public Information Act.

In criminal trial, not error to preclude defense from cross-examining child complainant about pending juvenile case [Carrillo v. State] (01-4-04).

On August 21, 2001, the Amarillo Court of Appeals held that in a criminal trial for sexual assault of a child it was not error for the trial judge to preclude defense counsel from cross-examining the child about an unrelated juvenile case currently pending against her.

No error in commitment to TYC as modification despite testimony as to desirability of other placement alternatives [In re B.N.] (01-4-03).

On August 30, 2001, the Austin Court of Appeals held there was no abuse of discretion in commitment to TYC as a modified disposition despite testimony from the treatment providers that an alternative placement would be preferable.

Evidence factually sufficient to support adjudication for indecency with a child and aggravated sexual assault [In re J.M.M.] (01-4-02).

On August 30, 2001, the Austin Court of Appeals held that the evidence was factually sufficient to support adjudications for indecency with a child and aggravated sexual assault.

Indecency with a child adjudication reversed for erroneous admission of hearsay as outcry testimony [In re Z.L.B.] (01-4-01).

On August 29, 2001, the Dallas Court of Appeals reversed an adjudication of delinquency for indecency with a child because testimony was admitted as outcry testimony even though there was proof that the outcry witness was not the first person to whom the victim had reported the incident.

Information in F.B.I. National Crime Information Center database is not subject to disclosure under the Texas Open Records Act [OR2001-1859] (01-3-36).

On May 7, 2001, the Attorney General rules in an open records decision that information in the NCIC may not be disclosed under the Texas Open Records Act. The AG also ruled that driver’s license information may not be disclosed and that some social security information may not be disclosed.

Law enforcement record relating to investigation of child abuse or neglect not subject to disclosure under open records act [OR2001-1735] (01-3-35).

On April 27, 2001, the Attorney General ruled in an open records opinion that a law enforcement record that deals with the death of a child under circumstances that might have constituted abuse or neglect is exempt from disclosure under the open records act by virtue of a confidentiality provision in Title 5 of the Family Code.

Criminal history records not subject to disclosure under common law privacy right and runaway children reports not subject to disclosure under Section 58.007 [OR2001-1704] (01-3-34).

On April 26, 2001, the Attorney General ruled in an open records opinion that criminal history information in the possession of a law enforcement agency is not subject to disclosure because of the common law right of privacy and that reports of runaway children are not subject to disclosure under Section 58.007 of the Family Code.

Juvenile incident reports between 1/1/1996 and 9/1/1997 must be disclosed if statute of limitations has run [OR2001- 1644] (01-3-33).

On April 24, 2001, the Attorney General ruled in an open records opinion that a law enforcement report concerning a juvenile for an incident that occurred on or after January 1, 1996 but before September 1, 1997 is not confidential under juvenile law. If the statute of limitations for the offense being investigated has run, as in these cases, then the record is not protected from disclosure by the law enforcement privilege and must be released.

Tape recording of school board executive session must under FERPA be disclosed to parent of children being discussed [OR2001-1581] (01-3-32).

On April 20, 2001, the Attorney General ruled in an open records decision that although Texas law makes tapes of school board executive sessions confidential, federal law requires that the portion of the tape in which a requestor’s children are being discussed must be disclosed.

Public housing authority not entitled to a juvenile incident report under the Open Records Act [OR2001-1563] (01-3-31).

On April 19, 2001, the Attorney General opined that a public housing authority is not entitled to receive under the Open Records Act a law enforcement incident report involving a juvenile. The report is made not subject to disclosure by Section 58.007 of the Family Code.

Identity of victim of aggravated sexual assault who was named in an offense report is excepted from open records disclosure by common law privacy principles [OR2001-1430] (01-3-30).

On April 10, 2001, the Attorney General ruled that the identify of a victim of an aggravated sexual assault who was named in an offense report is excepted from disclosure under the open records act by principles of common law privacy.

Juvenile offense report sent to Crime Victims’ Compensation Program is not a public record [ORD2001-1373] (01-3-29)

On April 5, 2001, the Attorney General ruled that an offense report in which the subject is a juvenile that was sent by a police department to the Crime Victims’ Compensation Program of the Attorney General’s Office remains confidential under Family Code Section 58.007.

Court of Appeals holds that three adjudications are required before misdemeanor probation can be revoked [In re A.N.] (01-3-28).

On August 16, 2001, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals held that to revoke misdemeanor probation it is necessary that the adjudication for which probation was given must be preceded by at least two misdemeanor or felony adjudications. It, therefore, agrees with the opinion of the Beaumont Court of Appeals in Q.D.M., Juvenile Law Newsletter 01-3-20.

Revocation of probation for failure to attend school and for school rules violations affirmed [In re T.R.B.] (01-3-27).

On August 16, 2001, the Texarkana Court of Appeals held that the juvenile court did not err in revoking probation for failure to attend school and for school rules violations.

Outcry statement properly admitted despite inconsistencies as to circumstances of its making; four-year-old competent to testify [In re A.R.S.] (01-3-26).

On August 16, 2001, the Houston Fourteenth District Court of Appeals upheld the admissibility of an outcry statement by a four-year-old child despite inconsistencies as to whether it was the result of questioning by the outcry witness; the Court of Appeals upheld the juvenile court’s determination that the four-year-old complaining witness was competent to testify.

Statement was involuntary because the judge giving the magistrate’s warnings gave incorrect punishment range for offense [Diaz v. State] (01-3-25).

On August 8, 2001, the San Antonio Court of Appeals held that a criminal conviction for aggravated robbery must be reversed because the judge who warned the juvenile told him the offense carries a possible one year term while it really is punishable by life or 99 years. The resulting confession should not have been admitted into evidence.

Juvenile certification records were properly filed in criminal court and made part of the appellate record [Rushing v. State] (01-3-24).

On August 1, 2001, the Waco Court of Appeals denied a motion for rehearing in a case in which the claim was made that juvenile certification records could not be considered by the Court of Appeals in an appeal from a criminal conviction because they were from a different case than the case being appealed. The records were properly transferred to and made a part of the criminal trial record, which permits their consideration as part of the appellate record in an appeal from that trial.

Notice of appeal filed more than 30 days after disposition signed not timely; remand for dispositional and removal from home findings [In re M.N. and H.N.] (01-3-23).

On August 26, 2001, the Houston Fourteenth District Court of Appeals held that a notice of appeal filed more than 30 days after the disposition order was signed in an indecency with a child case was untimely and required that the appeal be dismissed for want of jurisdiction. On the merits of a consolidated appeal of an aggravated sexual assault adjudication, the Court of Appeals abated the appeal and remanded the case to the juvenile court for it to enter the findings required for disposition and for removal from home.

Cannot claim no service of adjudication petition and summons in an appeal from revocation of probation [In re B.J.E.] (01-3-22).

On July 26, 2001, the Austin Court of Appeals said that a juvenile cannot in an appeal from a revocation probation that he was never served with a summons in the proceedings leading to his adjudication. Such an appeal must be filed within 30 days of the original disposition.

Transfer hearing under old determinate sentence law was timely [In re A.M.] (01-3-21).

On July 25, 2001, the Dallas Court of Appeals held that a transfer hearing that began more than 30 days before the juvenile’s 18th birthday was timely even though the hearing was not concluded before the 30 day period.

Oral statements made to juvenile probation officer by juvenile while in detention are admissible because there was no interrogation [Rushing v. State] (01-3-20).

On July 11, 2001, the Waco Court of Appeals held that a juvenile’s oral statements concerning a capital murder made to a juvenile probation officer while in detention are admissible in a criminal trial because the officer did not interrogate the juvenile.

Waco Court of Appeals declares CCP art. 4.18 unconstitutional in violation of separation of powers [Rushing v. State] (01-3-19).

On July 11, 2001, the Waco Court of Appeals held that article 4.18 of the Code of Criminal Procedure requiring a timely trial objection to present a claim to an appellate court that the defendant was not or could not be waived from juvenile court is unconsititutional in violation of the separation of powers clause of the Texas Constitution. However, since a record supplementation showed that the case was transferred, the Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction.

Juvenile court under Civil Procedure Rule 329b(d) for 30 days had plenary power to change probation term set by it previously [In re M.A.W.] (01-3-18).

On July 18, 2001, the Amarillo Court of Appeals held that because the juvenile court corrected the term of probation it had set within 30 days of the original action, it had plenary power under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure to do so.

Failure to object to admission of unadjudicated juvenile offenses at criminal sentencing not ineffective assistance [Giddens v. State] (01-3-17).

On July 18, 2001, the Texarkana Court of Appeals held that failure to trial counsel to object to the admission before the jury of evidence of a defendant’s juvenile arrests did not constitute ineffective assistance of counsel because of lack of proof of prejudice from the admission of the evidence.

Court of Appeals abates appeal to allow juvenile to show indigency regarding costs of appeal [In re L.P.] (01-3-16).

On July 12, 2001, the Houston First District Court of Appeals abated a juvenile appeal to permit the juvenile to prove that he is indigent and should therefore be excused from advance payment of costs of appeal.

Abatement of appeal to determine why no brief was filed results in dismissal [In re R.H.] (01-3-15).

On July 12, 2001, the Houston First District Court of Appeals dismissed a juvenile’s appeal because at the juvenile court’s hearing on abatement to determine why no brief had been filed, the juvenile, his attorney and parent wished the appeal to be dismissed.

Evidence was legally and factually sufficient to support adjudication for indecency with a child [In re R.L.] (01-3-14).

On June 29, 2001, the Austin Court of Appeals found there was sufficient evidence to support the jury verdict for the offense of indecency with a child despite the fact that the juvenile court judge set aside the verdict of aggravated sexual assault of a child. There was evidence to support a finding of indecent touching but the judge could have entertained a reasonable doubt as to the penetration element of the other charge.

Fifty minute delay to secure murder scene not unnecessary under Section 52.02 so confession admissible [Contreras v. State] (01-3-13).

On June 27, 2001, the Court of Criminal Appeals held that a delay of 50 minutes to secure a murder scene, during which time the juvenile was placed in a patrol unit, was not unnecessary so the juvenile’s later written confession should not have been excluded on delay grounds. It reversed a court of appeals decision that had set aside the murder conviction.

Expunction venue is county where certification occurred not county in which juvenile was taken into custody [Quertermous v. State] (01-3-12).

On June 21, 2001, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals held that since a juvenile is taken into custody, not arrested, the arrest county venue for criminal expunction proceedings is the county in which the juvenile court certified the child to criminal court, not the county in which the juvenile was initially taken into custody.

Evidence was sufficient to support an adjudication for criminal trespass to a vacant apartment [In re. D.G.] (01-3-11).

On June 21, 2001, the El Paso Court of Appeals upheld an adjudication for criminal trespass in an apartment that was vacant. Whether a space is a habitation as defined in the criminal trespass law is a question of fact under all the circumstances.

Evidence was factually and legally sufficient to support an adjudication for aggravated sexual assault [In re M.L.C.] (01-3-10).

On June 20, 2001, the Dallas Court of Appeals upheld an adjudication for aggravated sexual assault over a challenge for factual and legal sufficiency. It also held that a motion for new trial is not required to make a factual sufficiency claim about an adjudication in a nonjury trial.

Court of Appeals requires three adjudications for commitment to TYC on misdemeanor probation revocation [In re Q.D.M.] (01-3-09).

On June 14, 2001, the Beaumont Court of Appeals held that the 1999 amendments to Section 54.05 requires that there be three separate adjudications to enable misdemeanor probation to be revoked and the child committed to TYC. It refuses to recognize that a probation violation can substitute for the third adjudication.

No improper extraneous offense evidence of drug dealing presented in adjudication hearing for drug possession [In re R.J.T.] (01-3-08).

On June 13, 2001, the San Antonio Court of Appeals held that there was no improper evidence of drug dealing in respondent’s adjudication hearing for drug possession.

Conditional threat sufficient for terroristic threat adjudication [In re A.C.] (01-3-07).

On June 7, 2001, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals held that a conditional threat of death was sufficient to prove the offense of terroristic threat. There is a dissenting opinion.

Respondent cannot appeal non-jurisdictional defects in discretionary transfer proceedings after criminal conviction for offense committed in 1995 [Wright v. State] (01-3-06).

On June 6, 2001, the San Antonio Court of Appeals held that a juvenile respondent certified to criminal court for an offense committed before January 1, 1996 cannot wait until after criminal conviction to appeal non-jurisdictional defects in the certification proceedings.

Seriousness of the offense and age difference between respondent and victim were sufficient statement of reasons for removal from home [In re S.S.] (01-3-05).

On June 6, 2001, the San Antonio Court of Appeals affirmed a disposition after remanding the case to the juvenile court for a specific statement of reasons for the disposition removing the respondent from his home. The Court of Appeals then approved the juvenile court’s statement that the serious nature of the offense and the age differential between the respondent and the victim justified removal.

Questioning by assistant principal about handgun on campus was not custodial [In re. V.P.] (01-3-04).

On May 31, 2001, the Austin Court of Appeals held that questioning by an assistant principal about reports of a handgun on campus was not custodial interrogation and did not require rights warnings or other legal formalities.

Removal from home findings of Section 54.04 not required for TYC commitment upon probation revocation [In re D.R.A.] (01-3-03).

On May 31, 2001, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals held that the juvenile court did not err in revoking probation and that the removal from home findings required by Section 54.04 do not apply in modification proceedings under Section 54.05.

Probable cause shown in discretionary transfer hearing that respondent committed aggravated robbery as a party [Faggins v. State] (01-3-02).

On May 30, 2001, the Dallas Court of Appeals reviewed the point made in the respondent’s brief filed pro se following an Anders claim by his appellate lawyer that the juvenile court erred in finding probable cause in a discretionary transfer hearing that he committed aggravated robbery. There was sufficient evidence that he committed the offense under the law of parties.

Inability of reporter to transcribe audio tape of modification hearing requires new hearing [In re Martinez] (01-3-01).

On May 30, 2001, the Amarillo Court of Appeals held that the inability of the court reporter to transcribe testimony from audio tapes of the modification hearing requires that the revocation of probation be reversed and the case remanded for a new modification hearing.

Error in introducing minor in possession adjudication at criminal penalty phase not preserved by proper objection [Light v. State] (01-2-26).

On May 21, 2001, the Dallas Court of Appeals refused to address the claim that admission of a minor in possession adjudication at the penalty phase of a criminal case was erroneous because that offense does not carry jail time was not preserved because there was not proper objection at trial.

Mailed notice of appeal timely filed [In re L.R.] (01-2-25).

On May 10, 2001, the El Paso Court of Appeals held that a notice of appeal mailed by certified mail on the last day for giving timely notice of appeal was timely given under the so-called mailbox rule.

Capital murder confession excluded from evidence because of delay in notifying parents of taking juvenile into custody and lack of knowledgeable waiver of rights [Hill v. State] (01-2-24).

On May 9, 2001, the Tyler Court of Appeals reversed a conviction for capital murder following certification from juvenile court because of mistakes in obtaining the confession. The delay of over 4 hours in notifying the juvenile’s mother that he was in custody was too long. In addition, the tape recorded administration of juvenile warnings by the magistrate showed that the juvenile did not understand his rights and did not therefore voluntarily waive them.

Inaudible tape of modification hearing leads the Court of Appeals to remand for a hearing to determine whether to grant a new trial [In re Martinez] (01-2-23).

On May 8, 2001, the Amarillo Court of Appeals abated an appeal and remanded the proceedings to the juvenile court for it to determine whether an accurate record of a modification hearing can be made from a defective electronic recording of the hearing. If not, then the juvenile receives a new trial.

Notice in court of time and place of hearing to consider transfer to TDCJ under determinate sentence act complies with statute [In re J.L.S.] (01-2-22).

On May 2, 2001, the Waco Court of Appeals held that notice given orally by the juvenile court judge in court when continuing a hearing on a motion to transfer to TDCJ complied with the requirements of notice to the juvenile imposed by Family Code Section 54.11.

Failure of court to instruct jury it must find extraneous offenses beyond a reasonable doubt results in reversal of disposition and remand for new hearing [In re M.O.M.] (01-2-21).

On May 3, 2001, the Houston First District Court of Appeals held that the juvenile court erred in a determinate sentence disposition hearing in failing to instruct the jury under Article 37.07 of the Code of Criminal Procedure that it must find beyond a reasonable doubt that the respondent committed extraneous offenses in order to take them into account.

Juvenile Court’s admonition as to adult record was defective, but harmless error [In re J.W.](01-2-20).

On March 15, 2001, the Houston Fourteenth District Court of Appeals held that an admonition that the proceedings could create a lifetime record was not in compliance with law, but that the deficiency was harmless error.

Juvenile court did not err in ordering restitution for decrease in value of car when child adjudicated for unauthorized use of motor vehicle [In re. R.M.Z.] (01-2-19).

On April 24, 2001, the San Antonio Court of Appeals held that the juvenile court was empowered to order restitution for the decrease in value of an automobile stolen when the juvenile was adjudicated merely of unauthorized use. The Court of Appeals reasoned that the unauthorized use was the motivation for the alteration in the vehicle that diminished its value.

Juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in modifying disposition and committing child to TYC [In re J.D.B.] (01-2-18).

On April 25, 2001, the Amarillo Court of Appeals upheld the sufficiency of the evidence to support a modification of disposition and held that the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in committing the child to the TYC.

Error, but not reversible, to admit juvenile record in penalty phase of criminal trial [Counter v. State] (01-2-17).

On April 23, 2001, the Dallas Court of Appeals held that it was error to admit the defendant’s juvenile record into evidence at the penalty phase of his criminal trial for aggravated robberies. However, in view of the circumstances of the offenses, the error was harmless in its effect on the punishments imposed.

Evidence was sufficient to prove possession of cocaine in the car by the driver [In re. J.P.W.] (01-2-16).

On April 18, 2001, the San Antonio Court of Appeals held that there was sufficient evidence to prove the unlicensed driver of his father’s car was in possession of cocaine found in plain view in the pocket compartment in the driver’s side door.

Evidence supports juvenile court findings necessary for a TYC commitment [In re D.L.] (01-2-15).

On April 12, 2001, the Austin Court of Appeals held that the evidence supports the juvenile court’s findings that were required by law to authorize removal from the child from home and commitment to the TYC.

Juvenile court loses jurisdiction to revoke probation when juvenile turns 18 [In re D.C.] (01-2-14).

On April 11, 2001, the San Antonio Court of Appeals held that the juvenile court loses jurisdiction over probation revocation proceedings when the probationer becomes 18 years of age.

Revocation of probation on court’s own oral notice without petition okay; case remanded for written statement of reasons for TYC commitment. (01-2-13)

On April 11, 2001, the San Antonio Court of Appeals held that a revocation of probation without a written petition or motion was authorized under Section 54.05 on the court’s own oral notice to the parties; the Court of Appeals abated the appeal and remanded the case for a written statement of reasons.

Father ordered to make restitution for damage to mobile home; civil standard of restitution not applicable [In re A.C.W.F.] (01-2-12)

On April 5, 2001, the Dallas Court of Appeals upheld the juvenile court’s restitution order against the father of a child who vandalized a mobile home. The Court of Appeals refused to require proof of the condition of the home before it was vandalized as would have been required in a civil lawsuit as a measure of damages.

Police officer speaking to juvenile between written confessions did not invalidate the final statement [Moorhead v. State] (01-2-11).

On April 4, 2001, the San Antonio Court of Appeals held that a police officer telling a juvenile that his written statement that simply said “I confess” was not detailed enough did not invalidate a subsequent detailed written confession.

Modification of disposition for violation of rules of boot camp upheld [In re B.D.D.](01-2-10).

On March 26, 2001, the Dallas Court of Appeals upheld a modification of disposition and commitment to the TYC for violation of the rules of a boot camp.

Retaliation statute is not overbroad or vague [In re C.B.L.] (01-2-09).

On March 22, 2001, the El Paso Court of Appeals upheld the adjudication of a juvenile for threatening to kill a teacher against a claim that the retaliation statute was overbroad and vague.

Restitution may be ordered for vehicle damage in accident when the respondent is adjudicated for failure to stop and give information [In re C.T.] (01-2-08).

On March 15, 2001, the Corpus Christi Court of Appeals upheld an award of $2000 in restitution for vehicle damage from an accident when the respondent was adjudicated for failure to stop and give information. The restitution award was logically related to the accident element of the offense, so was authorized.

Criminal trial court’s finding that defendant was an adult at the time of the offense was upheld on disputed evidence [Chanthachone v. State] (01-2-07).

On March 15, 2001, the Houston First District Court of Appeals, in a case arising before the effective date of article 4.18 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, upheld the criminal trial court’s determination in a motion for new trial hearing that the appellant was an adult at the time of the offense.

Eyewitness testimony was not inadmissible because the witness had before the adjudication hearing identified the respondent from a one photograph display [In re I.M.] (01-2-06)

On March 14, 2001, the San Antonio Court of Appeals held that in court identification of the respondent in a burglary case was admissible despite the witness having identified the respondent from a one photo display because the witness had even earlier identified the respondent based on a chance encounter.

Appeal from determinate sentence transfer to TDCJ affirmed on ground it was frivolous [In re T.H.](01-2-05).

On March 14, 2001, the San Antonio Court of Appeals affirmed a juvenile court transfer order to TDCJ under the determinate sentence act. It did so on the advice of defense counsel that the appeal was frivolous.

Juvenile court erred in admitting sexual assault tape without making a finding of no unfair prejudice, but the error was harmless [In re J.D.R.](01-2-04).

On March 8, 2001, the El Paso Court of Appeals held that the defense attorney in a sexual assault on a child trial opened the door to admission of a sexual assault interview videotape but that the juvenile court erred in admitting the tape over defense objection that it had not found no unfair prejudice under Rule 403 of the Rules of Evidence. However, the error, in light of the other evidence and the arguments in the case, was harmless.

Assistant Principal can be owner of school in criminal trespass case; no fatal variance in proof of owner’s name [In re. A.I.] (01-2-03).

On March 8, 2001, the Austin Court of Appeals held that an assistant principal of a high school can be named the owner for a criminal trespass case. The Court of Appeals also held that an error in spelling the assistant principal’s name did not give rise to a fatal variance at trial.

Attaching birth certificate to criminal notice of appeal showed appeal was for jurisdictional defect [Ramirez v. State] (01-2-02).

On February 21, 2001, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals reinstated an appeal it had earlier dismissed because the appellant had attached a copy of his birth certificate to the original notice of appeal. Because that certificate showed he was a juvenile at the time of the offense, the notice of appeal to which it was attached implied that the appeal was being taken for jurisdictional defect and was therefore a valid notice of appeal.

Visiting judge at discretionary transfer hearing should have recused himself on respondent’s demand [In re M.A.V.] (01-2-01).

On January 31, 2001, the San Antonio Court of Appeals held that a visiting judge presiding over a discretionary transfer hearing should have recused himself as demanded by the juvenile respondent under his right as provided in the Government Code.

Defense counsel was not ineffective in aggravated sexual assault trial [In re J.M.B.] (01-1-22).

On February 22, 2001, the Houston First District Court of Appeals held that defense counsel was not ineffective in her representation of the respondent in an aggravated sexual assault trial.

Appeal dismissed because notice of appeal not filed within 30 days of disposition [In re G.C.F.] (01-1-21).

On February 22, 2001, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals held that a notice of appeal filed more than 30 days after disposition does not perfect an appeal.

Criminal sentence enhanced by juvenile felony adjudication and commitment [Franklin v. State] (01-1-20).

On February 21, 2001, the Texarkana Court of Appeals held that a juvenile felony adjudication and commitment to TYC were properly used in a criminal trial to enhance punishment from a second to a first degree felony.

Oral statements were inadmissible because given while in custody, but admission was harmless in light of other statements [Jeffley v. State] (01-1-19)

On February 15, 2001, the Houston Fourteenth District Court of Appeals held that questioning of appellant, while a juvenile, was custodial and oral statements made were therefore inadmissible. However, their admission was harmless error because of other statements that were made by appellant.

Constitutional habeas corpus, not article 11.07 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, applies to juvenile proceedings [In re Debrow] (01-1-18).

On February 14, 2001, the San Antonio Court of Appeals denied a petition for writ of mandamus to require a juvenile court judge to rule on an application for writ of habeas corpus filed under article 11.07 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The Court of Appeals denied mandamus on the ground that habeas proceedings in juvenile cases are governed by the Texas Constitution, not by article 11.07 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

No self-incrimination violation in admissions during modification hearing by respondent to judge [In re G.B.] (01-1-17).

On February 7, 2001, the San Antonio Court of Appeals held that the juveniles right against compelled self-incrimination was not violated by admissions he made to the juvenile court judge at the modification of disposition hearing.

Conflicting evidence whether witness in criminal trial testified because of deal with State in juvenile case means capital murder verdict stands [Barron v. State] (01-1-16).

On February 7, 2001, the Dallas Court of Appeals upheld the criminal court’s denial of a motion for new trial on a claim that a State’s witness testified under an undisclosed deal with the State in an unrelated juvenile prosecution. The Court of Appeals held that there was insufficient evidence of the deal to require a new trial.

Texas Education Agency cannot release student information to Legislative Council under FERPA [AG No. JC-0333] (01-1-15).

On January 22, 2001, the Texas Attorney General opined that the Texas Education Agency may not release information that identifies students to the Legislative Council under federal law [FERPA] despite a state statute making the employees of the Legislative Council school officials.

Murder confession suppressed because police failed to notify parents of juvenile’s arrest [Hampton v. State] (01-1-13).

On January 25, 2001, the El Paso Court of Appeals held that a juvenile’s murder confession was illegally admitted into evidence in his criminal trial because police failed to notify his parents of his arrest as required by the Family Code.

Evidence of offense for which State’s witness was on juvenile parole not admissible to impeach [Soto v. State] (01-1-12).

On January 19, 2001, the Austin Court of Appeals held that a criminal defendant was not entitled under the Rules of Evidence to impeach the testimony of a State’s witness by showing that the offense for which the witness was on juvenile parole for was an assault.

Appeal lies from the juvenile court where the case was tried even when probation is transferred to another county [In re J.S.] (01-1-09)

On January 4, 2001, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals held that an appeal from a juvenile case is from the county where the case was tried and not from the county to which probation was transferred under Section 51.07(b)

The Fort Worth Court of Appeals applies the criminal standard of evidence sufficiency in a juvenile appeal; outcry notice was sufficient under Section 54.031 [In re J.S.] (01-1-08).

On January 4, 2001, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals joined other courts of appeal to apply the criminal standard of evidence sufficiency to a juvenile appeal. It also said that notice of intent to introduce outcry evidence given to the juvenile’s family was sufficient because the juvenile was unrepresented at that time.

Court cannot suspend driver’s license to age 19 for possession of marijuana [In re A.B.C.] (01-1-07).

On January 4, 2001, the Dallas Court of Appeals held that under Section 54.042 of the Family Code the juvenile court cannot suspend a driver’s license to age 19 for the offense of possession of marijuana.