Radisson Inn, Fargo
February 11, 2000
Justice Mary Muehlen Maring, Chair
The meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m. IT WAS MOVED AND CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY BY THE COMMITTEE THAT THE JANUARY 14, 2000, MINUTES BE APPROVED.
Justice Maring then asked the committee to suggest revisions or changes in the JDC program manual. The committee made several revisions which will be reflected in the draft program manual dated February 29, 2000.
Birch Burdick stated that while talking with prosecutors from other JDCs he found that they felt the incentive for entering JDC is the opportunity for them to stop using drugs and alcohol. Another incentive drug courts are using to get juveniles and their parents to buy into JDC is that they are dismissing at least the current charge on the youth's record. Many JDC's are also dismissing the entire record.
Mary Hall stated that she likes the idea of dismissing the current charge with the possibility of dismissing the entire record. She also said that parents would be more likely to buy into the program if their child's record is dismissed. Deb Carlson expressed some concern with the idea that the entire record may be dismissed because of previous dangerous charges. Judge Ralph Erickson then stated that dismissing the juvenile's record is conditional. After further discussion the committee decided that:
After successful completion of JDC, the current offense will be dismissed. In addition, the juvenile may be entitled to dismissal of juvenile record if he remains offense free for a two year period. Further relief may be available under N.D.C.C. § 27-20-54, N.D. Sup. Ct. Admin. Policy 403, and Sup. Ct. Admin. R. 19.
Justice Maring reviewed with the committee the Release of Confidential Information she drafted. The committee then had considerable discussion of JDC confidentiality and the ability of licensed addiction counselors to testify in court with JDC participants, parents, etc. present. It was suggested that the JDC participants sign a release of information every time a progress review hearing is held. Copies of the release would be made and included in the participant's file. The committee decided to revisit the issue at the March meeting. Birch Burdick suggested he contact Susan Weinstein, Legal Counsel, National Drug Court Institute, to get further information regarding JDC confidentiality. Committee members then questioned if attorneys are present at progress review hearings whether parents are required to be present. Justice Maring asked Alyson Schmidt to research the issue.
The issue of detention or a sanction for violations of conditions of probations was then discussed. Greg Wallace distributed a memo which is summarized by saying that the generally accepted interpretation of the law is that detention as a sanction for a probation violation is not authorized. Greg didn't believe that anything in the makeup of the drug court program changed that interpretation. The committee agreed that detention as a sanction of probation is not allowed; however, a court officer could ask the court to pick up and hold a juvenile who was believed to have violated conditions of probation pending a hearing on that violation.
The next Juvenile Drug Court Planning meeting will be held March 10, 2000, at the Radisson from 10:00 - 1:00. With no further business the meeting was adjourned.