Is it legally permissible to adjudicate a juvenile delinquent based on that juvenile’s violation of an order for protective supervision in an undisciplined matter? The North Carolina Court of Appeals says yes. The court upheld the practice of adjudicating a juvenile delinquent following an admission to indirect contempt related to violation of an order issued in an undisciplined case in In re B.W.C., 2022-NCCOA-590 (September 6, 2022). This post details the court’s holding and explores ramifications of the decision. Continue Reading
Juveniles, like adults, may be held in contempt for disrespecting the court or interfering with the proper administration of justice. Consider the actions of the juveniles in the following cases: (1) Evan, age 14, was adjudicated delinquent for simple possession of marijuana. At the disposition hearing, the judge asked Evan, “Where do you get your marijuana?” and he refused to answer. Although the judge repeated this question several times, he still refused to answer. (2) Kim, age 15, was adjudicated as an undisciplined juvenile for habitual, unlawful absences from school. The terms of her protective supervision order required her to attend school every day, but she has repeatedly skipped school, since the disposition hearing. May either juvenile be held in contempt? The short answer is yes.