Court of Appeals of Ohio, First District, Hamilton
Appeals From: Hamilton County Juvenile Court Trial Nos.
T. Deters, Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney, and Alex
Scott Havlin, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee
State of Ohio,
Raymond T. Faller, Hamilton County Public Defender, and Julie
Kahrs Nessler and Caitlin J. Burgess, Assistant Public
Defenders, for Appellant A.S.
Appellant A.S. appeals the judgments of the juvenile court
revoking his probation in two delinquency cases, and
committing him to the Department of Youth Services
("DYS"). We determine that the juvenile court
violated A.S.'s due-process rights by revoking his
probation in the case numbered 17-2985Z without following
Juv.R. 29 and 35. With respect to the case numbered 16-7750Z,
we determine that the juvenile court erred in failing to give
A.S. credit toward his DYS commitment for the days he spent
at Abraxas Youth Center ("Abraxas").
Facts and Procedure
In November 2016, the state filed a delinquency complaint
against A.S. alleging that he had committed what would be the
offense of burglary, if committed by an adult. The juvenile
court adjudicated A.S. delinquent, imposed a suspended
commitment to DYS, and placed A.S. on probation. In May 2017,
the state filed another delinquency complaint against A.S.
for receiving stolen property ("RSP"), accompanied
by a firearm specification. The juvenile court adjudicated
A.S. delinquent, imposed a suspended commitment to DYS, and
placed A.S. on probation at Abraxas-a residential,
In November 2017, the state filed a probation-violation
complaint in A.S.'s 2016 burglary case, alleging that
A.S. had violated his probation by absconding from Abraxas.
The state did not file a probation-violation complaint in
A.S.'s RSP case.
The magistrate held a hearing on the probation violation and
A.S. indicated that he was prepared to admit to the
violation. The magistrate told A.S. that by admitting to the
probation violation, he could be sent to DYS for a minimum of
six months, up to the age of 21. Neither the state nor the
magistrate mentioned A.S.'s RSP case. A.S. admitted to
violating his probation, and the matter was continued for
At the dispositional hearing, the state asked the juvenile
court to "reopen" A.S.'s RSP case in order to
impose the suspended commitment in that case, in addition to
imposing the suspended commitment in the burglary case.
A.S.'s attorney objected to the imposition of the
suspended commitment in the RSP case on notice grounds. The
juvenile court followed the state's recommendation and
imposed a DYS commitment of six months, up to the age of 21,
in A.S.'s burglary case, and also imposed a DYS
commitment of six months, up to the age of 21, in A.S.'s
RSP case, plus an additional 12 months for the firearm
specification. The juvenile court imposed the commitments in
both cases consecutively.
A.S. filed a motion requesting confinement credit for the
time he spent at Abraxas to reduce the minimum period of his
DYS commitment. The juvenile court held an evidentiary
hearing to consider whether Abraxas had measures sufficient
to ensure the safety of the surrounding community, and
whether staff controlled the youths' personal liberties,
such that Abraxas constitutes confinement. The juvenile court
determined that Abraxas did not constitute confinement.
A.S. has appealed.
Due Process under Juv.R. 29 and 35
We address A.S.'s second assignment of error first. In
this assignment, A.S. argues that his due-process rights were
violated when the juvenile court imposed the suspended
commitments without following the procedures laid out in
Juv.R. 29 and 35.
Similar to adults facing criminal charges, juveniles who are
subject to delinquency proceedings "are entitled to
proceedings that 'measure up to the essentials of due
process and fair treatment.'" In re J.V.,
134 Ohio St.3d 1, 2012-Ohio-4961, 979 N.E.2d 1203, ¶ 14,
citing Kent v. United States, 383 U.S. 541, 562, 86
S.Ct. 1045, 16 L.Ed.2d 84 (1966). Due-process protections
apply when the state seeks to revoke a juvenile's
probation, and those protections are embodied in Juv.R. 29
and 35. See In re LA.B., 121 Ohio St.3d 112,
2009-Ohio-354, 902 N.E.2d 471, ¶ 56.
Juv.R. 29 governs adjudicatory hearings, including
probation-revocation hearings. See id. at syllabus.
An "adjudicatory hearing" is conducted by the
juvenile court "to determine whether a child is * * *
delinquent * * * or otherwise within the jurisdiction of the
court." Juv.R. 2(B). Juv.R. 29 provides in relevant
(B) Advisement and Findings at the Commencement of
the Hearing. At the beginning of the [adjudicatory]
hearing, the court shall do all of the following: (1)
Ascertain whether notice requirements have been complied with
and, if not, whether the affected parties waive compliance;
(2) Inform the parties of the substance of the complaint, the
purpose of the hearing, and possible consequences of the
(C) Entry of Admission or Denial. The court
shall request each party against whom allegations are being
made in the complaint to admit or deny the allegations.
(D) Initial Procedure Upon Entry of an
Admission. The court may refuse to accept an
admission and shall not accept an admission without
addressing the party personally and determining : (1) The
party is making the admission voluntarily with understanding
of the nature of ...