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Delinquency – Notice

State v. Justin H., No. 2009AP2935, District III, 6/29/10

court of appeals decision (1-judge; not for publication); for Justin H.: Leonard D. Kachinsky

¶9 However, even assuming Justin properly preserved a due process argument, we reject it.  Due process principles require that a juvenile against whom a delinquency petition has been filed be given “notice … sufficiently in advance of scheduled court proceedings … set[ting] forth the alleged misconduct with particularity.” State v. Tawanna H., 223 Wis. 2d 572, 576, 590 N.W.2d 276 (Ct. App. 1998). The purpose of this notice is “to inform the accused of the acts he allegedly committed and to enable him to understand the offense charged so he can prepare his defense.” State v. Wickstrom, 118 Wis. 2d 339, 348, 348 N.W.2d 183 (Ct. App. 1984).

¶10 Here, the delinquency petition alleged that “on or about Saturday, November 29, 2008 at 6:14 [p.m.] in the Town of Lincoln, Forest County, Wisconsin, [Justin] did have sexual intercourse with a child under the age of twelve, [Sylindria T.], contrary to sec. 948.02(1)(b), 939.50(3)(b) Wis. Stats., a Class B Felony.” While there is no question the assaults did not occur on that day, the report attached to the petition describes in detail the alleged conduct underlying the charges. It stated Sylindria reported she was assaulted once at her grandmother’s house and that she threw up afterwards. Justin testified he remembered this occasion and attributed Sylindria’s illness to drinking juice. This shows that the petition described the incident in sufficient detail to apprise him of the incident. The petition further stated Sylindria reported a second assault that occurred “sometime during the [week preceding November 29, 2008]” and, as with the first charge, described the episode in detail. Therefore, the record does not bear out Justin’s claim he did not have sufficient notice.

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