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Delinquency – Disorderly Conduct – Sufficiency of Evidence

State v. Tyler H., 2012AP914, District 3, 11/6/12,  court of appeals decision (1-judge, ineligible for publication); case activity

Evidence held sufficient to support delinquency adjudication, where juvenile called mother “a fucking whore” after she struck him during a family “squabble” in their home.

¶9        We conclude Tyler’s conduct was of the type that tends to cause or provoke a disturbance.  First, we reject Tyler’s argument that his language could not provoke a disturbance because a disturbance was already occurring. …

¶10      Second, Tyler’s assertion that his abusive language did not provoke a disturbance because he immediately left after he swore at his mother is a nonstarter. … That Bobbie did not retaliate against Tyler when he called her “a fucking whore” does not mean Tyler’s conduct did not “tend to provoke or cause a disturbance.” … Further, thirteen-year-old Tyler’s departure from the family home after swearing at his mother exacerbates, not mitigates, his outburst.  An enraged exit by a child would tend to disturb any parent who just disciplined that child.

¶12      Finally, Tyler relies on Schwebke, 253 Wis. 2d 1, ¶30 … and there was no evidence from which the court could infer that his language would spill over and disrupt the peace, order or safety of the surrounding community.

¶13      In Schwebke, the court determined the disorderly conduct statute was properly applied to the private mailings the defendant sent to three people because the letters went beyond annoyance, disturbed the recipients, and the mailings were of the type that would be disruptive to peace and good order in the community.  Id., ¶32.  Here, the disorderly conduct statute was properly applied to Tyler’s conduct.  Tyler’s indecent language to his mother went beyond annoyance and was delivered after his mother pulled him off his younger brother and disciplined him for striking Ryan with his cast.  Tyler’s outburst did not occur solely between him and his mother—it was also witnessed by his younger brother.  His abusive language is of the type that is disruptive to peace and good order in the community.

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