Wednesday, April 18, 2007

In Re: Lakeshia M. (Ct of Appeals)

Filed April 16, 2007. Opinion by Judge Lawrence Rodowsky (retired, specially assigned).

From the official headnote:
Juveniles - Delinquency Proceedings - L. 2005 c. 580 requires the juvenile court to stay proceedings and to order an evaluation by a qualified expert of a child's mental condition, if there is reason to believe that the child may be incompetent to proceed with, inter alia, an adjudicatory hearing. Held: Facts sufficient to trigger "reason to believe" determination. Absent determination, error to adjudicate child delinquent.
On appeal from the decision in the trial court to determine delinquency of a minor ("Lakeshia M.") despite competency issues raised by defense counsel, the Court VACATED the judgment of the trial court and REMANDED to that court for further proceedings.

The opinion is available in PDF format.

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