In the Matter of K.N.H., 2021-NCCOA-267


Facts: K.N.H. was on Level 2 probation and, after making an admission to possession of a handgun and entering an Alfrod plea for attempted common law robbery, the court issued a supplemental order for conditions of probation which included that K.N.H. “submit to [e]lectronic [m]onitoring for 90 days and comply with all conditions set forth by the [c]ourt [c]ounselor.” The juvenile court counselor told K.N.H. and his parent that K.N.H. would have to be with his parent at any time he was allowed to have time outside his home while on electronic monitoring. This condition was never provided to K.N.H. in writing. The court subsequently found that K.N.H. willfully violated his probation conditions by failing to remain with a parent the entire time he was on approved time out of his house. The court then committed K.N.H. to the YDC for an indefinite period of time, without stating the maximum potential term of commitment.


Written condition of probation: The court complied with the statutory requirements for imposing electronic monitoring (G.S. 7B-2510(b)(4)) by specifically ordering the juvenile to be placed on electronic monitoring. The statute does not require the inclusion of the precise terms and conditions or rules of electronic monitoring imposed by the court counselor in the dispositional order. Criminal law that requires written statements of probation conditions does not apply in delinquency cases because it is not included in the Juvenile Code. Requiring the court to define the specific terms and conditions of each dispositional alternative or condition of probation when not mandated by statute conflicts with the goals of the Juvenile Code to provide a broad range of alternatives and would interfere with the court’s power to delegate certain tasks to third parties involved in the juvenile’s dispositional plan. The court “properly ordered electronic monitoring and appropriately delegated the task of supervision of the electronic monitoring to K.N.H.’s court counselor.” ¶ 34. The order on motion for review is affirmed.


Failure to state potential maximum term of commitment at disposition: This issue is not moot despite the fact that K.N.H. already completed his term of commitment at the YDC. K.N.H. was released to post-release supervision and it is not clear to the court if he remains in that status. Because K.N.H could potentially experience adverse consequences while on post-release supervision or face other potential adverse consequences, the issue is not moot. The court erred in its failure to state the precise duration of the disposition as required by G.S. 7B-2512(a). However, K.N.H. failed to show any prejudice to him as a result of that error. The disposition and commitment order is therefore affirmed.

Probation violation
Disposition order
Written probation conditions
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