In the Matter of the Welfare of: I. N. A., Child.
County District Court File No. 27-JV-15-2435
F. Moriarty, Fourth District Public Defender, Peter W.
Gorman, Assistant Public Defender, Minneapolis, Minnesota
(for appellant I.N.A.)
Swanson, Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Michael
O. Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, Kelly O'Neill
Moller, Assistant County Attorney, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Considered and decided by Cleary, Chief Judge; Kirk, Judge;
and Florey, Judge.
district court continues a case without a finding of
delinquency pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 260B.198, subd. 7
(2016), the district court may order the juvenile to pay
reasonable restitution under Minn. Stat. § 260B.198,
subd. 1(5) (2016).
CLEARY, Chief Judge.
appeal from the district court's restitution order
modifying disposition, appellant I.N.A. argues that the
district court erred in ordering $12, 529.90 in restitution
because it (1) lacked the statutory authority to impose a
restitution obligation as part of a continuance without
adjudication in a juvenile-delinquency proceeding, (2) failed
to make sufficient written findings under Minnesota Rule of
Juvenile Delinquency Procedure 15.05, (3) failed to consider
I.N.A.'s ability to pay, and (4) failed to differentiate
between the damage caused by I.N.A. and a co-respondent.
affirm in part because the district court possessed the
statutory authority to order restitution as part of a
continuance without adjudication in a juvenile-delinquency
proceeding. We reverse in part and remand because (1) the
district court did not make sufficient written findings
pursuant to Minn. R. Juv. Delinq. P. 15.05, and (2)
consequently the monthly amount of restitution ordered is not
clear and we cannot determine whether the district court
fully considered I.N.A.'s ability to pay such a monthly
amount. We also remand for the district court to determine
whether I.N.A. can be held liable for the entire damage
without differentiating between the damage caused by I.N.A.
and a co-respondent, whose case was dismissed.
5, 2015, 14-year-old I.N.A. was charged with first-degree
criminal damage to property and trespassing for vandalizing
property in a public park in Hopkins. After a local resident
called police due to noise at the park, law enforcement found
I.N.A. and B.D.B. near the park. I.N.A. told law enforcement
that he and B.D.B. had been hitting the doors of several
buildings and that they used a crowbar and small axe to cause
damage to several buildings. B.D.B. said that I.N.A. and an
unknown third person found an axe and crowbar sitting next to
one of the park sheds and that the three gained entry into
park buildings and equipment sheds. B.D.B. also stated that
the group damaged doors and an electrical box.
enforcement assessed the damage at the park and noted damage
to all three equipment sheds. Officers noted that the damage
and holes in a door were consistent with an axe.
Additionally, the officers noticed that door handles, two
electrical boxes on the side of an equipment shed, and two
speakers on the side of another shed were damaged. The damage
totaled $12, 529.90.
February 22, 2016, the district court ordered a psychological
competency evaluation for I.N.A. That same day, B.D.B. was
found incompetent to proceed and the petition filed against
him was dismissed.
psychological evaluator found that I.N.A. met the criteria to
be considered a child with "severe emotional
disturbance" as defined in the Minnesota Comprehensive
Children's Mental Health Act but opined that I.N.A. was
competent to proceed because he demonstrated an adequate
factual and rational understanding of general legal
proceedings and his own case.
18, 2016, the district court found I.N.A. competent to
proceed. That day I.N.A. pleaded guilty to count 1, criminal
damage to property, with the understanding that count 2,
trespassing, would be dismissed. The parties were free to
argue whether the court should adjudicate I.N.A. as a
juvenile delinquent. The district court continued the case
without adjudication for two periods of 180 days conditioned
on, among other things, I.N.A.'s adherence to supervised
probation and on paying restitution in the amount of $12,
2016, I.N.A. moved for a contested restitution hearing, which
was held in December 2016. At the hearing, an officer from
Hennepin County juvenile probation and the park
superintendent from the City of Hopkins testified as to how
the $12, 529.90 in damage was calculated. I.N.A.'s
mother, E.A., also testified at the hearing regarding
I.N.A.'s ability to pay restitution. She testified that
paying the $12, 529.90 would be a financial hardship on her
family. She stated that I.N.A. has ADHD, is dyslexic, missed
developmental milestones in early childhood, received special
education in school, and has very reactionary behavior. She
feared that I.N.A.'s disabilities would prevent him from
finding a job. She stated that her family could
"maybe" afford to pay $50 per month in restitution.
December 19, 2016, the district court ordered I.N.A. to pay
restitution in the full amount. The district court found the
state's witnesses credible and found that the bills for
repairs were reasonable and attributable to I.N.A.'s
actions. The district court found that I.N.A. had the ability
to pay smaller (not "small") monthly installments
by finding a part-time job.
now appeals the district court's restitution order
modifying disposition. Pending this appeal, the district
court stayed its order, tolling the timeframe for the
continuance without adjudication.
a district court have the statutory authority to order
restitution as part of a continuance without a finding of
delinquency in a juvenile-delinquency case?
the district court err by failing to make explicit written
findings in its orders pursuant to Minnesota Rule of Juvenile
Delinquency Procedure 15.05?
Did the district court err by failing to consider
I.N.A.'s ability to pay the restitution obligation of
$12, 529.90 in smaller monthly installments?
the district court err in ordering I.N.A. responsible for the
full amount of damage without differentiating between ...