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Delinquency — sanctions for violation of disposition order — exercise of discretion

State v. Mercedes S., 2012AP1524, District 2, 1/16/13

Court of appeals decision (1 judge, ineligible for publication); case activity

Delinquency — sanctions for violation of disposition order — exercise of discretion

Imposition of additional period of secure detention upheld, against challenge that the court did not consider other options and, contrary to State v. Ogden, 199 Wis. 2d 566, 544 N.W.2d 574 (1996), had “a preconceived policy” to always impose secure detention automatically:

 ¶12      In stark contrast [to Ogden], the court’s statements at Mercedes’ sanctions hearing … demonstrate careful attention to Mercedes’ particular case, including her entire juvenile history and her individual propensity to insistently disregard the conditions and rules of her disposition.  In view of Mercedes’ delinquency, and her continuous violations of her dispositional order, secure detention was a reasonable, appropriate choice of sanction.  It cannot be forgotten, after all, that the underlying dispositional order concerned a charge for criminal destruction of a court-ordered electronic monitoring bracelet.

The court of appeals also detected in Mercedes’s argument something of a “challenge [to] the general wisdom and efficacy of secure detention in juvenile proceedings.” (¶13).  Given the various purposes of the juvenile justice code listed in § 938.01(2)(a)-(g), “the court’s obligation was to choose sanctions reasonably calculated to coerce Mercedes to follow the rules and to act consistent with the competing, equally important purposes of ch. 938”–an obligation it fulfilled in this case. (¶¶13-14).


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