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MF v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming

September 4, 2013

In the Interest of MF, Appellant (Minor Child),
v.
The STATE of Wyoming, Appellee (Plaintiff).

Page 855

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 856

Representing Appellant: Timothy C. Cotton of Timothy C. Cotton, P.C., Casper, WY.

Representing Appellee: Gregory A. Phillips, Wyoming Attorney General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; Jeffrey Pope, Assistant Attorney General; and Lucas Wallace, Student Intern. Argument by Mr. Wallace.

Before KITE, C.J., and HILL, VOIGT, BURKE, and DAVIS, JJ.

HILL, Justice.

[¶ 1] Shortly before his sixteenth birthday, MF was adjudicated a " child in need of supervision," pursuant to the Wyoming Child in Need of Supervision Act (CHINS Act). After two probation violations, and four months before MF's seventeenth birthday, the juvenile court issued an order requiring that MF remain in the custody of the Department of Family Services (DFS) and on probation until his eighteenth birthday. MF appeals the juvenile court order, contending that any CHINS order must terminate when the child turns seventeen. We agree, and we reverse and vacate the court's order to the extent the order purports to have effect beyond MF's seventeenth birthday.

ISSUE

[¶ 2] MF states the issue as follows:

1. Whether the Trial Court exceeded its authority when it ordered jurisdiction, without consent of the minor child, in a Child In Need Of Supervision proceeding until his eighteenth birthday.

FACTS

[¶ 3] MF was born on June 25, 1996. On March 28, 2012, when MF was fifteen, the State of Wyoming filed a petition alleging that MF was a child in need of supervision and requesting that the juvenile court assume jurisdiction over the custody and control of MF. The grounds asserted in support of the CHINS petition were school truancy, school disciplinary actions, and conduct at home. A hearing was held on the CHINS petition on May 16, 2012, and during that hearing, MF admitted the allegations against him and admitted that he was a child in need of supervision. The juvenile court then adjudged MF a child in need of supervision and ordered him placed on juvenile probation for six months.

[¶ 4] On August 17, 2012, the State filed a petition to revoke MF's probation asserting that MF had violated the terms of his probation by violating summer school rules and being expelled from summer school, by being noncompliant with home rules and being continually verbally abusive to his mother, and by failing to maintain contact with his probation officer. The juvenile court held a hearing on the State's revocation petition on September 11, 2012, and MF, pursuant to a plea agreement with the State, admitted to the revocation allegations. In response, the court revoked MF's probation and ordered that MF be placed in a local group home and complete one year of supervised probation.

[¶ 5] On January 28, 2013, the State filed a second petition to revoke MF's probation asserting that MF had violated the terms of his probation by violating rules of the local group home, violating school rules, being physically violent, and failing to cooperate with therapy. MF admitted to violating the ...


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