Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Summary 2013 WY 104

Summary of Decision September 4, 2013

Justice Hill delivered the opinion for the Court. Reversed.


Docket Number: S-13-0074


Appeal from the District Court of Natrona County the Honorable Catherine E. Wilking, Judge

Representing Appellant: Timothy C. Cotton of Timothy C. Cotton, P.C., Casper, WY.

Representing Appellee: Gregory A. Phillips, Wyoming Attorney General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; Jeffrey Pope, Assistant Attorney General; and Lucas Wallace, Student Intern. Argument by Mr. Wallace

Date of Decision: September 4, 2013

Facts: Shortly before his sixteenth birthday, MF was adjudicated a “child in need of supervision,” pursuant to the Wyoming Child in Need of Supervision Act (CHINS Act). After two probation violations, and four months before MF’s seventeenth birthday, the juvenile court issued an order requiring that MF remain in the custody of the Department of Family Services (DFS) and on probation until his eighteenth birthday. MF appeals the juvenile court order, contending that any CHINS order must terminate when the child turns seventeen.

Issues: MF states the issue as follows: Whether the Trial Court exceeded its authority when it ordered jurisdiction, without consent of the minor child, in a Child In Need Of Supervision proceeding until his eighteenth birthday.

Holdings: The plain language of § 14-6-431(b) requires that all CHINS orders terminate when an adjudicated child reaches the age of seventeen, and the juvenile court therefore did not have the authority to issue a CHINS order that imposed conditions beyond MF’s seventeenth birthday. We reverse and vacate the court’s order to the extent the order purports to have effect beyond MF’s seventeenth birthday.

Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court

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