In the Matter of P.K.M., 219 N.C. App. 543 (2012)


In a delinquency case, the State may appeal an order suppressing evidence only if the order terminates the prosecution. Police received word that 12-year-old juvenile was among a group of juveniles who vandalized a vacant building. At school, the juvenile was taken from the principal’s office to the school resource officer’s (SRO’s) office to meet with the SRO and the detective investigating the vandalism. During the meeting, the juvenile made incriminating statements. After a petition was filed alleging that the juvenile was delinquent, the trial court granted the juvenile’s motion to suppress those statements based on J.D.B. v. N.C., 141 S. Ct. 2394 (2011). The State gave notice of appeal and certified under G.S. 15A- 979(c) that the appeal was not for purposes of delay and that the suppressed evidence was essential to the State’s case. The Court of Appeals held that the State’s right to appeal in a delinquency case is governed by G.S. 7B-2604(b) and includes appeal of an order granting a motion to suppress only if the order terminated the prosecution of the petition. Here, the trial court did not dismiss the petition, the State did not argue in its brief that it could not proceed with the prosecution, the record suggested there was other evidence of the juvenile’s involvement, and the State did not petition for certiorari. Also, G.S. 15A-979(c) (State’s appeal of order suppressing evidence in a criminal case) does not apply in a delinquency case.

State’s Right to Appeal
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