Briefed the issues of constitutionality and racial disparity in the application of a statute allowing prosecutors discretion to file charges against minors directly in criminal court without a prior adjudication of a minor’s lack of fitness for juvenile disposition.
This appeal raised a question of first impression: Is a juvenile entitled to request a jury trial in juvenile court when 1) the protective features of the juvenile court have been largely eliminated by statutory amendments, and, 2) a delinquency adjudication would lead to automatic adult status upon a next arrest? The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the denial of the right to a jury trial.
Challenged the zero-tolerance approach in the delinquency adjudication of an eighth-grade student whose creative writing assignment invoked an unhappy student who cut off his teacher’s head when she told him to shut up.
Challenged a provision of the PA Juvenile Act that barred Philadelphia adjudicated youth from returning to their regular public schools after they were discharged from residential delinquency placements.
Argued an appeal in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reverse the criminal conviction of an adult (Hartford) under Pennsylvania’s Interference with Custody of Children Statute. Argued that a parent has no right of "custody" to control abortion decisions and that the prosecution violated the right to choose an abortion, as well as the right to travel to a state allowing abortion without parental consent.
Motions were filed with the juvenile court seeking nunc pro tunc relief on behalf of youth who in York County had been adjudicated delinquent for sex offenses prior to December 2012 when the SORNA law went into effect. The motions for nunc pro tunc relief ask the court to reconsider their classification as juvenile sex offenders and remove their information from the sex offender registry.
These briefs involved a thirteen-year-old student who was questioned by four adults, including a uniformed police officer, on school grounds regarding a series of break-ins. Juvenile Law Center argued that the student should have been considered in custody for Miranda purposes.
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