Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court issues 2 today, including an attorney suspension for 3 years
In J.D.M. v. State of Indiana, an 11-page, 5-0 opinion, Justice Massa writes:
J.D.M. was adjudicated a delinquent for committing acts which, if committed by an adult, would constitute Class C felony child molestation, and was subsequently ordered to register as a sex offender. J.D.M. appeals, claiming that the statutory prerequisites for placing a juvenile on the sex offender registry were not met. We agree, and reverse. * * *In In the Matter of: Gene D. Emmons, a 4-page, 4-1, attorney disciplinary action, the Court writes:
In both J.C.C. and N.L., this Court emphasized that such strict construction of the juvenile sex offender registration requirement was necessary to accomplish the express statutory goal of “ensur[ing] that children within the juvenile justice system are treated as persons in need of care, protection, treatment, and rehabilitation.” Ind. Code § 31-10-2-1(5) (2016); N.L., 989 N.E.2d at 778 (“The stakes of juvenile sex-offender registration . . . are significantly different than where adult offenders are involved.”); J.C.C., 897 N.E.2d at 935 (“[T]he statutory scheme for dealing with minors who commit crimes is vastly different from the statutory scheme directed to adults who commit crimes. This policy is consistent with the State’s primary interest in rehabilitation, rather than the punishment of juvenile delinquents.”) (internal citations omitted).
We find that Respondent, Gene D. Emmons, engaged in attorney misconduct by converting guardianship funds, failing to comply with court orders, and failing to cooperate with the disciplinary process. For this misconduct, we conclude that Respondent should be suspended from the practice of law in this state for at least three years without automatic reinstatement. * * *
At the conclusion of the minimum period of suspension, Respondent may petition this Court for reinstatement to the practice of law in this state, provided Respondent pays the costs of this proceeding, fulfills the duties of a suspended attorney, and satisfies the requirements for reinstatement of Admission and Discipline Rule 23(18).
The costs of this proceeding are assessed against Respondent. The hearing officer appointed in this case is discharged.
All Justices concur, except David, J., who would reject the conditional agreement.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 15, 2017 01:09 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions