Is it legally permissible to adjudicate a juvenile delinquent based on that juvenile’s violation of an order for protective supervision in an undisciplined matter? The North Carolina Court of Appeals says yes. The court upheld the practice of adjudicating a juvenile delinquent following an admission to indirect contempt related to violation of an order issued in an undisciplined case in In re B.W.C., 2022-NCCOA-590 (September 6, 2022). This post details the court’s holding and explores ramifications of the decision.
Session Law 2021-123 includes several significant changes to the law that governs juvenile delinquency cases. This post will describe one of those changes—an increase in the minimum age for delinquency and undisciplined cases. As I write this post, that age is set at 6 years old. G.S. 7B-1501(7)a., -1501(27)a. Beginning with offenses committed on or after December 1, 2021, the minimum age for most acts of delinquency and for all undisciplined behaviors will be 10 years old. S.L. 2021-123 § 5.(b). This change comes with limited exceptions that provide for delinquency jurisdiction for some offenses committed at ages 8 and 9, a new procedure for juvenile justice to work with children between the ages of 6 and 10 through a juvenile consultation process, and new law related to the role of parents in juvenile consultation matters. This post walks through each of these components.