Cases & Deals

KidsVoice, an organization that protects children's rights, receives appellate help in juvenile court

Client(s) KidsVoice

Jones Day Pittsburgh represented KidsVoice, an organization that protects children's rights and guides them through the court process, in its appeal of a juvenile-court decision that would have allowed the detention in secure lockup facilities of juveniles who are not delinquent. The father of a 16-year-old runaway had initiated a dependency proceeding that would have put the juvenile into a foster home because he was ungovernable and disobedient, but the juvenile was never adjudicated as a delinquent or given proper notice of the dependency proceeding as required by the Juvenile Act and the Due Process Clause of the Constitutions of the United States and Pennsylvania. When the juvenile did not appear for his dependency proceeding, the juvenile court issued a warrant for his arrest and ordered that he be placed in a secure detention facility for delinquent children.

In December 2007, Jones Day appealed, focusing on the legislative intent of the statute and the constitutional violations. In September 2008, the appellate court issued an opinion vacating the juvenile court's warrant for the juvenile's apprehension and detention in a secure detention facility. The appellate court held that it was not within the juvenile court's province to carve out exceptions to the Juvenile Act's general prohibition against the secured detention of nondelinquent juveniles.

In re Client K.K., Nos. 1304 WDA 2007, 1376 WDA 2007 and 1377 WDA 2007 (Pa. Super. Ct.)