Our office filed a regular petition on a kid in October '03 for agg. sex. assault. His younger brother was also arrested for the same offense. (little sis is victim) At the time, the juvenile was 16. The offense date was August '01. When the petition was filed, the juvenile was in a CPS placement. Prior to adjudication, the juvenile ran away from his CPS placement and hasn't been seen since. His younger brother stuck around and has since been adjudicated and dispo'ed. NOW--juvenile's 18th birthday is rapidly approaching. (1) What is the best way to handle this situation beings that I don't want the case to go away due to his 18th birthday? (2)Should I non-suit the petition and refile the case as a certification petition prior to his 18th birthday? (3)And, does that result us continuing to wait until he is found or shows up to proceed with certification? I haven't had to deal with this type of situation when the offense is severe. Any suggestions would be helpful...
Take a look at In re V.A., --- S.W.3d ----, NO. 2-03-221-CV, 2004 WL 1471988 (Tex.App.-Fort Worth July 1, 2004, no pet.)(discussing TEX. FAM. CODE sec. 51.0412). As long as you can show (1) due diligence and (2) the petition was filed before the respondent's 18 birthday, you should be ok. In V.A., the probation officer was regularly checking to see if the respondent had returned. We can send the briefs in V.A. if that would be helpful.
Also, I should have noted that your certification issue would seem to be covered by TEX. FAM. CODE sec. 54.02(j). I think you should file a motion to certify before his 18th birthday. You might look at Morgan & Gaither 29 Texas Practice sec 440.
[This message was edited by david curl on 09-15-04 at .]
I would also document every effort you made to apprehend the juvenile as well all of the people who were involved trying to apprehend him so that it will be easier to certify him after he turns 18.
thanks for the replies. when my investigator started looking into the situation, turns out the directive was signed in march, but the sheriff's office failed to enter the directive into ncic. he's working on getting it into the computer now. any idea if or how this will affect the situation?
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