Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Third Division
from the Circuit Court of St. Charles County, Missouri.
13AD-JU00213. Honorable Nancy L. Schneider.
Ray Woolbright, Pro se, Appellant, Saint Peters, Missouri.
Elizabeth Stockman, Saint Charles, Missouri, for Respondent.
M. Dowd, Judge
(" Juvenile" ) appeals from the judgment and order
of disposition of the Juvenile Division of the Circuit Court
of St. Charles County arising out of the charges against
Juvenile for possession of a controlled substance (over
thirty-five grams of marijuana) and possession of drug
paraphernalia. The court found Juvenile committed the
offenses and ordered Juvenile to attend outpatient substance
abuse treatment. When Juvenile failed to attend the
court-ordered treatment, the court committed Juvenile to the
Division of Youth Services until Juvenile's eighteenth
birthday. Because we find that the court failed to comply
with the statutory provisions applicable to Juvenile's
right to counsel, we reverse and remand for proceedings
consistent with this opinion.
at the outset that since Juvenile turned eighteen on May 4,
2014, Juvenile completed his commitment to the Division of
Youth Services before this appeal was filed, thus raising the
question of whether this appeal is moot. We address this
issue sua sponte because we lack jurisdiction to
decide moot issues. T.C.T. v. Shafinia, 351 S.W.3d
34, 36 (Mo.App.W.D. 2011).
juvenile court records are normally confidential, there is an
exception found in section 211.321. According to section
211.321.2(2), since Juvenile was adjudicated delinquent for
an offense that would be considered a felony if committed by
an adult, the records of Juvenile's dispositional hearing
under certain circumstances may be open to the public which
represents a significant collateral consequence for Juvenile
into his adult life. See section 195.202.2 (stating,
inter alia, that possession of thirty-five grams or
more of marijuana is a class C felony); In re
A.G.R., 359 S.W.3d 103, 108 (Mo.App.W.D. 2011)
(recognizing an exception to mootness where the decision
being appealed could have significant collateral consequences
for one or more of the parties); State v. Sapien,
337 S.W.3d 72, 77-78 (Mo.App.W.D. 2011) (finding pursuant to
section 211.321.2(2) that it was proper to allow juvenile
court records into evidence during the sentencing phase of
defendant's trial as an adult). As a result, we find that
this appeal is not moot and we have jurisdiction.
and Procedural History
2013, when Juvenile was sixteen years old, a petition was
filed in the Juvenile Division of the Circuit Court of St.
Charles County alleging that on April 2, 2013, Juvenile
committed the delinquent acts of possession of a controlled
substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
September 10, 2013, Juvenile appeared with his parents for
his adjudication hearing for the court to determine whether
Juvenile committed the acts alleged in the petition. The
Juvenile Officer was represented by counsel who called two
witnesses. Juvenile's father (" Father" )
appeared at the hearing and questioned the witnesses, but
Father is not an attorney. No record was made regarding
Juvenile's right to counsel, his parents' right to
counsel, or whether Juvenile or his parents objected to
proceeding without counsel or waived counsel. At the close of
the evidence, the trial court found that it had jurisdiction
over Juvenile and found beyond a reasonable doubt that
Juvenile committed the offenses charged.
October 15, 2013, Juvenile appeared with both of his parents
for his dispositional hearing to determine Juvenile's
punishment. Again, no record was made regarding
Juvenile's right to counsel or his parents' right to
counsel. The court ordered Juvenile to be placed in the
custody of his parents under the supervision of the court and
for Juvenile to undergo a substance abuse program.
December 11, 2013, the Juvenile Officer filed a motion to
modify the court's disposition order on the basis that
Juvenile had violated his court-ordered supervision by
failing to attend the substance abuse treatment. The matter
was set for hearing on December 23, 2013, and notice of that
hearing was sent to Juvenile and his parents informing them
that Juvenile had the right to have an attorney represent him
at the hearing and that if he could not afford one, the court
would appoint an attorney for him.
December 16, 2013, Juvenile requested a continuance and that
an attorney be appointed to represent Juvenile and his
parents in the matter. The court appointed an attorney to
represent Juvenile, but did not appoint an attorney to
represent his parents. ...