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In re Austin S.

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fourth District

February 9, 2015

In re: AUSTIN S., a Minor, THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Petitioner-Appellee,
v.
AUSTIN S., Respondent-Appellant

          Appeal from Circuit Court of Adams County. No. 13JD14. Honorable John C. Wooleyhan, Judge Presiding.

         JUSTICE STEIGMANN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Presiding Justice Pope and Justice Appleton concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

Page 1097

         STEIGMANN, JUSTICE.

          [¶1] In September 2013, the trial court adjudicated respondent, Austin S. (born October 4, 1997), a delinquent minor under the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 (Juvenile Act) (705 ILCS 405/1-1 to 7-1 (West 2012)) based on respondent's admission that he possessed drug paraphernalia in violation of section 3.5 of the Drug Paraphernalia Control Act (720 ILCS 600/3.5 (West 2012)). In November 2013, the court sentenced respondent to one year of probation.

          [¶2] In May 2014, the State filed a second supplemental petition, alleging, in part, that respondent violated the terms of his probation by (1) leaving his foster home and (2) not attending school. At a June 2014 hearing, respondent admitted that the State's allegations were true. Thereafter, the trial court modified respondent's probation by adding the condition that he successfully complete the Adams County Juvenile Detention Center Treatment Program (Treatment Program). In September 2014, the court denied respondent's motion to reconsider his sentence.

          [¶3] Respondent appeals, arguing that the trial court's order mandating that he successfully complete the Treatment Program is void because it violates the 30-day limitation for detention under section 5-710(1)(a)(v) of the Juvenile Act (705 ILCS 405/5-710(1)(a)(v) (West 2012)). We agree and reverse.

         [¶4] I. BACKGROUND

          [¶5] In March 2013, the State filed an amended petition for adjudication of wardship, alleging that respondent was a delinquent minor as defined by section 5-105(3) of the Juvenile Act (705 ILCS 405/5-105(3) (West 2012)) in that he committed the offenses of (1) burglary (counts I, II, and IV) (720 ILCS 5/19-1(a) (West 2012)) and (2) theft (counts III and V) (720 ILCS 5/16-1(a)(4) (West 2012)). The State's petition noted that (1) respondent was not in temporary custody and (2) the State was not requesting a detention hearing.

          [¶6] In September 2013, the State filed a motion for detention. At a hearing conducted the next day, the trial court found that respondent did not have a suitable noncustodial placement. As a result, the court granted the State's motion, finding that an immediate and urgent necessity required respondent's placement in the Adams County Detention Center (Detention Center) until further notice.

          [¶7] Later that month, the State filed a second amended petition for adjudication of wardship, adding count VI to its March 2013 amended wardship petition. Count VI alleged that in December 2012, respondent committed the offense of possession of drug paraphernalia by possessing a pipe commonly used to ingest cannabis. At a hearing held that same day, the State informed the trial court that respondent agreed to admit count VI was true. In exchange for respondent's admission, the State withdrew the remaining five counts.

Page 1098

After accepting respondent's admission, the court continued the matter for an October 2013 sentencing hearing. Thereafter, respondent requested his release from the Detention Center. After considering testimony that respondent's adoptive parents could no longer care for respondent, the court denied respondent's request, ruling that respondent " is going to be continued at the Detention Center pending the sentencing hearing *** scheduled for October 29[, 2013].

          [¶8] At the October 2013 sentencing hearing, respondent's counsel, noting that respondent had been confined in the Detention Center for over 30 days, requested a continuance to present evidence that the Treatment Program was " detention" for purposes of the 30-day limit imposed by section 5-710(1)(a)(v) of the Juvenile Act. Quoting from this court's decision in In re Christopher P., 2012 IL App. (4th) 100902, ¶ 48, 976 N.E.2d 1095, 364 Ill.Dec. 532, counsel noted that " 'legitimate questions'" existed regarding whether the Treatment Program was " 'unauthorized detention beyond the 30 days allowed by the Juvenile Act.'" The State responded that the Treatment Program was properly classified as custodial, but " in the absence of any alternative placement and given [respondent's] need," the State intended to recommend that respondent complete the Treatment Program. Thereafter, the court granted counsel a continuance but ordered respondent to remain in the Detention Center.

          [¶9] At a November 2013 hearing, the trial court first entered an order in Adams County case No. 13-J-5, releasing respondent from detention and granting the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) temporary custody of respondent until " some other more permanent placement can be made." The court then resumed respondent's sentencing hearing in the instant case. Following argument, the court adjudicated respondent a ward of the court and sentenced him to one year of probation.

          [¶10] In May 2014, the State filed a second supplemental petition, alleging, in part, that respondent violated the terms of his probation by (1) leaving his foster home and (2) not attending school for several days during that month. At a detention hearing held five days later, respondent's probation officer, Rollie Thomas, testified that on May 26, 2014, police detained respondent pursuant to a warrant. After testifying about respondent's probationary violations, Thomas acknowledged that the parental rights of respondent's adoptive parents had been terminated. Because DCFS was not able to place respondent back into foster care at that time, Thomas recommended that respondent remain in the Detention Center pending further proceedings. Following argument, the trial court found probable cause existed to believe that respondent had violated the terms of his probation as the State alleged. Thereafter, the court entered an order, finding that an immediate and urgent necessity required respondent's temporary placement in the Detention Center.

          [¶11] At a June 2, 2014, hearing on the State's second supplemental petition, the State informed the trial court that respondent agreed to admit that he violated his probation by (1) leaving his foster home and (2) not attending school. After accepting respondent's admissions, the court considered a request from respondent's counsel to " enter an order today to allow [respondent] to participate in the Treatment Program if there is space available." The court's June 2014 order stated that respondent " may enter into *** [the] Treatment Program prior to sentencing." The court then continued the matter for sentencing.

Page 1099

          [¶12] Following argument at a July 10, 2014, sentencing hearing, the trial court modified respondent's probation by adding the condition that he " successfully complete the *** Treatment Program." In August 2014, respondent filed a motion to reconsider his sentence, arguing that the court abused its discretion because the Treatment Program " is detention that is not authorized by ...


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