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In re E.B.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third District, Putnam

April 3, 2017

IN RE: E.B., A DELINQUENT CHILD. IN RE: E.B., A DELINQUENT CHILD. IN RE: E.B., A DELINQUENT CHILD.

         Appeals from Putnam County Common Pleas Court Juvenile Division Trial Court No. 20152131 Appeal Dismissed in Case No. 12-16-03 Judgments Affirmed in Case Nos. 12-16-07 and 12-16-08

          Laura E. Austen for Appellant.

          Lillian R. Shun for Appellee.

          OPINION

          SHAW, J.

         {¶1} This appeal arises out of three consolidated cases for the purposes of briefing and oral argument on appeal: appellate numbers 12-16-03, 12-16-07 and 12-16-08. Appellant, E.B., a minor child, appeals the May 9, 2016 judgment of the Putnam County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, "lifting" its suspended commitment of E.B. to the Ohio Department of Youth Services ("DYS") and placing him there pending adjudication of a motion to revoke his probation filed by the State of Ohio. E.B. also appeals the July 28, 2016 judgment journalizing the disposition of his admission to the probation revocation, which resulted in him being placed in the Northwest Ohio Juvenile Residential Center ("NOJRC"). E.B.'s third appeal relates to the September 14, 2016 judgment journalizing the disposition of his admission to allegations contained in a second motion to revoke his probation, which resulted in him being placed in the West Central Juvenile Rehabilitation Center ("WCJRC").

         {¶2} On October 23, 2015, a four-count complaint was filed alleging that thirteen-year-old E.B. engaged in conduct that would be considered (1) burglary in violation of R.C. 2911.12(A)(1) and (2), a felony of the second degree, if committed by an adult; (2) vandalism in violation of R.C. 2909.05, a felony of the fifth degree, if committed by an adult; (3) breaking and entering in violation of R.C. 2911.13(A), a felony of the fifth degree, if committed by an adult; and (4) vandalism in violation of R.C. 2909.05, a felony of the fifth degree, if committed by an adult.

         {¶3} On December 11, 2015, E.B. appeared before the trial court with counsel and his mother. The State agreed to amend Count One to the charge of burglary in violation of R.C. 2911.12(B), a fourth degree felony, if committed by an adult, and to amend Count Three to the charge of breaking and entering with purpose to commit vandalism in violation of R.C. 2911.13(A), a felony of the fifth degree, if committed by an adult. E.B. entered an admission to amended Counts One and Three and Counts Two and Four as stated in the complaint. The trial court accepted E.B.'s admissions and found him delinquent. (Dec. 15, 2015 JE).

         {¶4} On January 29, 2016, E.B. appeared before the trial court with his mother and counsel for a dispositional hearing on his previously entered admissions. The trial court ordered E.B. to be committed to the legal custody of the Ohio Department of Youth Services ("DYS") on each count for a minimum term of six months to age twenty-one. The trial court ordered the four periods of DYS to run consecutively to one another. The trial court suspended E.B.'s commitment to DYS upon the condition, which was also a term of his probation, that he be accepted and successfully complete the program at the Northwest Ohio Juvenile Residential Center ("NOJRC").

         {¶5} On April 28, 2016, E.B.'s probation officer filed a "Motion to Revoke Probation" based upon E.B.'s failure to successfully complete the program at the NOJRC. E.B.'s probation officer stated in the motion that E.B. had been transferred to the Wood County Juvenile Detention Center ("JDC") due to his ongoing disruptive behavior, which presented safety and security issues, and his unwillingness to maintain a basic level of compliance at the NOJRC. Reports from the NOJRC detailing E.B.'s misbehavior were filed with the trial court. These incidents in the report included E.B. repeatedly defacing and destroying NOJRC property, urinating out of his room vent, inflicting self-harm with pencils and other objects, making inappropriate sexual comments, threats, and showing overall disrespect to other residents and the staff, and misuse of the intercom in nonemergency circumstances. There were also reports submitted to the trial court documenting E.B.'s disruptive behavior and physical aggression toward the staff at the JDC during the few days he spent there pending the initial hearing on the motion to revoke his probation. Some of the incidents required E.B. to be restrained and handcuffed for the staffs and his own safety.

         {¶6} On May 3, 2016, E.B. appeared before the trial court on the "Motion to Revoke Probation." E.B.'s counsel indicated E.B.'s intent to enter a denial at the hearing so that counsel could have an opportunity to read the reports from the NOJRC. E.B.'s counsel also requested a mental health evaluation on E.B. The State requested that E.B. be detained pending the subsequent hearing on the probation revocation. The trial court discussed E.B.'s disruptive behavior at the JDC and expressed concern with returning E.B. there in the interim due to the safety issues his behavior presented. The trial court concluded that it was necessary to send E.B. to DYS where E.B. would be able to obtain a mental health evaluation pending adjudication of the probation revocation motion. The trial court therefore continued the hearing on the matter. The trial court's rulings were journalized in its May 9, 2016 Judgment Entry.[1]

         {¶7} On June 22, 2016, the trial court held an adjudicatory hearing on the "Motion to Revoke Probation" filed on April 28, 2016. At the hearing, the trial court heard testimony from the director of the NOJRC who gave details of the allegations comprising E.B.'s non-compliance and disruptive behavior at the center and provided the basis for the revocation motion. Specifically, she recalled that E.B. struggled with motivating himself to accomplish everyday tasks and became increasingly disruptive to the program participants as time progressed by making sexual innuendos and disparaging comments to other residents and sleeping through group treatment. She explained that his misbehavior escalated to destruction of property, standing on countertops, throwing things at the staff and general non- compliance with security measures. She stated that E.B. was non-responsive to interventions and other consequences, which eventually lead to the center requesting his transfer to the Wood County JDC. During his time at NOJRC, E.B. only managed to achieve level one out of a total of four levels in the program, the lowest level after orientation.

         {¶8} E.B. denied the allegation that he threw objects at the staff but agreed the remaining allegations were true. E.B. then entered an admission to the probation violation upon a properly executed Juv.R. 29 colloquy conducted between the trial court and E.B. The trial court found E.B. made a knowing, intelligent and voluntary admission to the allegations and found him delinquent for having violated the terms and conditions of his probation. The disposition on the matter was continued for a later date and E.B was ordered to be released from DYS and to be committed to the Wood County JDC pending disposition.

         {¶9} On July 15, 2016, E.B. appeared before the trial court for disposition. The trial court heard statements indicating that E.B. had been behaving well at the JDC since the adjudicatory hearing. The trial court suspended the balance of the DYS commitment and ordered E.B. to re-enter and complete the program at the NOJRC. The trial court also ordered E.B.'s parents to participate in the program. E.B. was ordered to be remanded to the Wood County JDC pending his acceptance into the NOJRC. (See July 28, 2016 and July 29, 2016 Nunc Pro Tunc Judgment Entries).[2]

         {¶10} On August 17, 2016, E.B.'s probation officer filed a "Motion to Revoke Probation" based upon allegations that E.B. failed to comply with the terms of his probation as stated at the July 15, 2016 dispositional hearing and subsequent judgment entries imposing those orders. In the motion, the probation officer stated that E.B. had been ...


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