As a slightly seasoned prosecutor of about two years, I thought (foolishly) I was ready for anything. I had tried felonies and misdemeanors and had even supervised newer prosecutors as a chief in a misdemeanor court. Yet when I was assigned to a juvenile unit, I was amazed and at times confused by the quasi-criminal world of juvenile law. The very language and focus are entirely different for everyone in the system. I liken it to Dorothy’s experience finding herself in the strange, Technicolor world of Oz after the gray of Kansas.
Now an appellate prosecutor, I am part of the team addressing questions from our juvenile prosecutors to assist them with the unique set of legal issues that arise in such prosecutions. This article is intended to serve as an introduction for those newly assigned to juvenile prosecution to the basic differences between juvenile law and adult prosecution.
A whole new vocabulary
The first challenge a new juvenile-law prosecutor will face is the terminology. First and foremost, strike the word “defendant” from your vocabulary, at least while you are in juvenile court. Because the system is civil in nature (at least according to the Family Code) we revert to civil law terms: “respondent” not “defendant” and “petitioner” not “prosecutor.” Likewise, a juvenile does not face trial on an indictment. No, he answers to a petition as he would in a civil suit. The petition may change over the course of a case because you, the petititioner, amend it under the same cause number (rather than re-indicting it).
For example, the State might decide to seek grand jury approval for a determinate sentence that offers the judge or jury a set sentencing range unlike the usual indeterminate range left to the discretion of the court, juvenile probation, or the authorities with the Texas Youth Commission (TYC). Or you may seek to amend it or file it directly as a petition seeking wavier of jurisdiction and discretionary transfer to adult district court if the offense and circumstances of the incident warrant it, colloquially known as a “certification petition.”1
Moreover, a child does not commit a crime. Rather, he engages in delinquent conduct or is a child in need of supervision (often abbreviated as CINS). The CINS offenses are generally class C misdemeanors, with the exception of huffing (chemical inhalation),2 whereas engaging in delinquent conduct includes the statutes for most class B and above offenses.3 The determination of whether the offense falls into the CINS or delinquent conduct category matters, as it would in adult court, because the range of potential sanctions changes depending on which category it falls into (similar to the difference between misdemeanors and felonies).
Yet what happens when a child engages in delinquent conduct or commits a CINS offense? A child is not arrested—that would again sound too similar to criminal courts. Rather, a child is detained or taken into custody. These distinctions relate to potential consequences of the police interaction and suppression-law issues, and prosecutors (ahem, petitioners) need to be aware of the distinction in terms. Moreover, a child may be taken into custody without the need for an arrest warrant merely upon a showing of probable cause, but were the juvenile court to issue an order instructing officials to take the child into custody it is called a directive to apprehend—not a warrant.4
Also in the vein of not making things seem like criminal court, the judge or jury finds the child “responsible” or “not responsible” instead of “guilty” or “not guilty.” The system, similar to criminal court, is broken down into two parts, but rather than guilt/innocence and punishment, we call the first part the adjudication phase and the second part the disposition.5 Yet, unlike the adult system, the Family Code provides for the possibility that a court may adjudicate a child delinquent but find that no disposition is necessary.6 The fact-finder, be it the judge in most cases or a jury on a determinate petition, must make the finding that rehabilitation or protection are necessary before it can make a disposition on the case.7 Interestingly, unlike the adult system, the default position would be “no disposition” or no punishment.
More people involved
The participating parties and overseers of the system also change. The juvenile board is a committee of judges who have responsibility to oversee the juvenile justice system in their particular county.8 A “juvenile processing office” is where police usually take a custodial statement from a juvenile. A juvenile board must designate each particular location used as a “juvenile processing office” and certify that it meets the requirements designated by the Family Code.9 Just remember that each county must have such a board, and the designations it makes will matter on search and seizure, as well as custodial statements taken from juveniles.
Next, to whom the State presents its case may also change. The Family Code permits for a magistrate, master, referee, or associate judge to hear contested matters in certain circumstances. The magistrate (also known as the substitute judge) may be any judge, including a justice of the peace or municipal court judge, and he is allowed to hear detention hearings or to meet privately with the child before and after giving a custodial statement.10 The referee, master, or associate judge (although not a true, independent associate judge) may conduct hearings and making findings of fact and recommendations for the presiding judge, but it is then for the presiding judge to accept, reject, or modify those findings and recommendations.11 Either party may oppose the use of the master to hear the case and instead demand that the matter be heard by the presiding judge.12 Masters, referees, and associate judges are specifically prohibited from conducting discretionary transfer hearings (yes, also called a certification hearing—see, you are already getting the lingo!) or adjudicating and disposing of a case based on a petition approved by the grand jury (yep, otherwise known as a determinate petition).13 Finally, the presiding judge is generally elected to the designated juvenile court, but he may assign a visiting judge under the Government Code.14 However, the parties may object to the visiting judge, just as they may to the referee.15
If that were not enough, you might begin to notice a particularly crowded courtroom during the hearing. Who are all these people? The child is not only represented by an attorney, but his custodian, guardian, or parent is also a party to the suit and must be served and appear as such16—she is there to protect the juvenile’s best interests. The juvenile court may even hold in contempt and fine a guardian or parent who was properly given notice of a hearing but fails to attend it; alternatively, the court may order the parent/guardian to receive counseling, attend educational courses, or pay restitution for the child. Therefore, to protect the adult’s due process rights, she must be given notice and an opportunity to attend the hearing.17 In the event that a parent, guardian, or custodian may not be found or fails to attend a hearing, however, the juvenile court must appoint a guardian ad litem to protect the child’s interests.18 The court may also appoint one if it appears the child’s parent or guardian is incapable of or unwilling to make decisions in the best interests of the child; the attorney for the child may act as the guardian ad litem at the same time he represents the child if the juvenile court appoints him.19
The juvenile court is a court of limited jurisdiction but still possesses exclusive original jurisdiction over children engaging in delinquent conduct or CINS when the child is over age 10 but under 17.20 The jurisdiction extends in some cases to permit modifications and disposition for those under 18 and for release or transfer of those over 18 into the adult system (be it transfer to adult district court, adult probation, adult prison, or adult parole), but with some limitations.21
Yet, being a court of limited jurisdiction and following the Rules of Civil Procedure in most matters creates different burdens on the State. For one, it is an open question between various appellate districts about whether the age of the child at the time of offense is an element that the petitioner must prove at trial. The El Paso Court of Appeals requires that a child must object to a lack of jurisdiction during the adjudication or transfer hearing or he waives it, thereby not requiring that the petitioner prove the child’s age to show jurisdiction.22 Yet, even if not a true element, for safety’s sake it is best to establish it, and one need do so only by a preponderance of the evidence.23 This is easily done by producing a birth certificate or any person with knowledge of the child’s age (including the parent who is helpfully sitting at counsel table with the child) to testify the child was over 10 and under 17 years old on the offense date alleged in the petition (or the respondent can stipulate to his age). Additionally, the netherworld of juvenile law relying on the civil rules harkens back to our law school education on in personam and subject-matter jurisdiction because the petitioner is responsible for proving the parties were served. That leads into the next section: how to go about prosecuting a juvenile.
Investigation and detention
Upon taking the child into custody, the Family Code requires certain actions. Instead of going into all the particulars the code requires for properly and appropriately detaining a juvenile (which would no doubt fill a book—and has [TDCAA publishes one, and it’s available at www.tdcaa.com]), suffice it to say the peace officer must:
1) issue a warning notice to the child and release the child to his parent, guardian, or other responsible adult upon a promise to bring the child to court;24
2) take the child to an office designated by the juvenile board (also known as a juvenile processing office);
3) take the child to a designated detention facility, secure facility, medical facility; or
4) take him back to his school principal if school is in session and the school will accept responsibility for him.25 The officer must also promptly notify the child’s guardian and the official designated by the juvenile board.26 Failure to comply with these provisions can require suppression of evidence, such as a statement obtained from the child, when there is a causal connection between the statutory violation and police obtaining of the evidence.27 These provisions apply even if the juvenile court certifies the child and you are the prosecutor in adult district court. It is vitally important to check that the officers followed guidelines for properly detaining the juvenile. These procedures must be followed before police can take the child to find evidence or take a statement from the child under §51.095.
Once detained, there is no “bonding out.” Rather, after the child is taken to a detention facility, an authorized officer must determine if release is warranted, whether conditional or otherwise.28 If not released (see the reasons listed in §53.02(b)) a detention hearing should be conducted no later than the second working day. The child’s parent or guardian should receive notice of the hearing, the child has the right to an attorney at the hearing (one should be appointed if the child is indigent), and the magistrate must read the child his statutory warnings regarding the child’s right to remain silent. The magistrate or juvenile court hears probable cause from the prosecutor and may review written reports from the probation department in this informal hearing to determine whether the child is likely to abscond, has suitable supervision at home, whether the guardian will return him to court, whether the child is dangerous, and whether he was previously found delinquent.29 If detained, the order lasts for 10 working days, and then the hearing must be redone.30
Legal issues that may arise
Little of the law from the Code of Criminal Procedure will follow you to juvenile court; in general, only those provisions addressing discovery, Article 37.07 and Chapter 38, as well as some miscellaneous provisions regarding interpreters and aliases, apply to juvenile cases. And unless in conflict with a provision of the Family Code, the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure govern proceedings under Title III.31
In the civil world, we now have to consider issues such as service of process. It is no longer enough to merely file a petition (what would otherwise be an information or indictment), expecting that the child will eventually be arrested and brought before the court, thereby providing the trial court with jurisdiction based on the level and venue of the alleged offense. Now, the petitioner is responsible for having the relevant parties served with a summons to appear that includes a copy of the petition served on both the child and parent or guardian.32 Failure to do so can, at times, be fatal to a case.33
Some appellate courts have permitted even collateral attacks on adjudications when the child was not served with the original petition because the Family Code does not permit the child to waive service of summons by written stipulation or voluntary appearance at trial. Therefore, “When the record contains no affirmative showing of service on the juvenile, the juvenile court lacks jurisdiction, despite the juvenile’s appearance at trial.” Any other party to the suit may waive service by written stipulation or voluntary appearance, however.34 An affirmative showing of service for subsequent amended petitions is not generally required to show that the juvenile court retains jurisdiction, but a petition to waive jurisdiction and transfer on an amended petition does require separate service on the child with a copy of the petition before the juvenile court may hold a certification hearing.35
As a practical matter, in both a certification hearing or at trial, it is best to offer a certified copy of the certificate of service with the attached petition as part of the evidence that the juvenile court had jurisdiction over the child at the time it heard the case. This protects the State for direct and collateral attacks for lack of jurisdiction.
Yet, just when you have gotten a handle on the civil-law angle, do not forget that Chapter 38 of the Code of Criminal Procedure still applies (but only to the extent that it doesn’t conflict with the Family Code). That requires the petitioner to keep in mind search and seizure law when advising officers and evaluating cases for trial, even when dealing with certified juveniles in adult district court. As discussed above, failure to comply with the proper procedures for taking a child into custody, including notifying his parents or taking him “without delay” to a detention facility or juvenile processing office, can lead to suppression when causally connected to obtaining the evidence.
Additionally, officers are still expected to comply with the requirements of the Texas and United States constitutional provision prohibiting illegal searches and seizures, but children have a lesser expectation of privacy, at least at school.36 A principal or school police officer cannot disregard the Fourth Amendment, but the official does not need probable cause to search a locker, for example. Rather, a reason to believe the student is engaging in a violation of the law or of a school rule will suffice to permit the search. The United States Supreme Court laid out a two-part test regarding school searches:
1) whether the search was justified at its inception (i.e., did the official have reasonable grounds for suspecting the search would lead to evidence the child was violating the law or the institution’s code of conduct); and
2) whether the search conducted was reasonably related to the circumstances justifying it.37
If the standards are a bit easier when it comes to searching a child, they are all the harder when it comes to obtaining a statement from one. Because police must comply with §52.02, they must take the child home to a parent, a secure facility for juveniles, a medical facility, or a juvenile processing office.38 And, once at a juvenile processing office, the child may be kept only for as long as it takes to complete the necessary forms, photograph and fingerprint, issue a warning, or obtain a statement from the child, and the child may not be left unattended in the office. Moreover, the child is entitled to have his custodian and attorney with him.39 Another causal-connection peril is that police should not attempt to keep the parent or attorney out of the room when taking a statement, because if shown to be causally connected, it can lead to suppression under Code of Criminal Procedure article 38.23.40 Likewise, failure to take the statement at a designated juvenile processing office can affect admissibility of the statement at trial.41
In addition to location, an extra layer of protection is afforded to juveniles. Before taking a custodial statement, the child must be taken to a magistrate who privately interviews the child without police present to inform the child of his rights and for the magistrate to determine that the child understands the nature and contents of his statement and is voluntarily providing it.42 For a written statement, the child not only meets with the magistrate before providing the statement, but he must also be returned and sign the statement in the presence of the magistrate after the magistrate determines his voluntariness. And, in the case of a recorded statement, the magistrate’s warnings must be recorded on the same audio or videotape with the statement, before the statement complies with the requirements of §51.095. Similar to criminal procedure, exceptions to the strict requirements are made for res gestae statements and oral unrecorded statements found to be true, which establish the child’s guilt such as finding secreted property. Nothing prevents authorities from seeking a non-custodial statement from a child, but a determination of whether the child understood he was free to leave and not provide a statement does take into consideration the child’s age when known to the officer.43
Rather than focus in this article on the adjudication hearing, which is similar to a criminal trial with the additional jurisdictional evidence the State should seek to provide, let us discuss the differences in the disposition hearing and the potential punishment the child could face. As addressed above, the default position is no disposition unless the fact-finder determines the child needs one. Except on a determinate petition, the juvenile has no right to have a jury assess his disposition.44 On a determinate petition, the jury or judge assesses a term of years incarcerated or placed on probation; on an indeterminate petition, the code dictates a progressive sanction model.45
The local juvenile probation department will usually assess a suggested sanction level on the probation report it supplies each time you appear in court or on a detention hearing.46 This social history report is evidence offered to the judge—but not a jury—under §54.04(b) during the disposition hearing, as well as any relevant testimony that would assist in determining the proper rehabilitative efforts that should be made as part of the disposition. And because article 37.07 of the Code of Criminal Procedure applies to juveniles, the State may present extraneous bad act evidence during a disposition hearing to either the judge or the jury.
Chapter 59 of the Family Code addresses the sanction levels and possible rehabilitative measures the juvenile court should take for each, but neither the petitioner nor the juvenile court is bound by the level assigned by the probation department. If you see the need for greater or lesser levels of supervision, by all means, say so. Just keep in mind that a child prosecuted for a CINS offense must be placed on either deferred prosecution or probation.47 It is in only a very rare circumstance that the evidence will be sufficient to remove a child from his home on a CINS offense.48
So you have a starting point when making plea offers or dispositional requests from the court at a hearing, assume anything in the first and second sanction levels require less supervision, usually consisting of deferred prosecution.49 Levels Three and Four dictate probation, Level Four being intensive supervision by juvenile probation with programs and rehabilitative services.50 Level Five provides for placement outside of the child’s home in a secure facility such as a boot camp program, and Level Six leads to the security of TYC for an indeterminate period.51 Level Seven, the final level, is reserved for determinate sentences.52 The local probation department will also be willing to acquaint you with all the possible programs and services available to help rehabilitate the child and even provide appropriate assistance to the parent through counseling and education. Do not be afraid to ask what programs probation recommends when assessing what to include as suggested conditions of probation on a plea or a request to the juvenile court during disposition.
As for the more severe action of removing a child from his home, the juvenile court or jury must make specific findings, and the record must support those findings. The code requires that the court include it its order that:
1) it is in the best interest of the child to be placed outside of his home;
2) reasonable efforts were made to prevent or eliminate the need for the child’s removal from the home and to make it possible for him return home; and
3) the child cannot receive in his home the quality of care, level of support, and supervision needed to meet the conditions of probation.53 Be prepared to offer evidence to establish these elements during a disposition hearing or plea without an agreed recommendation if not found in the probation report that you intend to offer as evidence to the judge or in the rare circumstance when you try disposition to a jury.
Sealing and confidentiality
The last big difference you will come across is the special confidentiality provisions for juveniles. An entire chapter of the Family Code is devoted to sealing, confidentiality, and record-keeping in the juvenile justice system (Chapter 58). Suffice it to say, the public’s access to adult criminal records is far greater than its access to juvenile records.54 The tradition has been to limit access so the stigma of an adjudication does not follow a child into adulthood when rehabilitated by the juvenile system. Sex offender registration, which may apply to juveniles depending on the juvenile court’s determination, may make some adjudications and dispositions more public, but the tendency is still toward confidentiality.55 Certain school notifications are required by law for felonies and specified misdemeanors despite the confidentiality requirements;56 otherwise, when in doubt, check the Family Code list of parties to whom the State can release information or get permission from the juvenile court before releasing any information.57
The confidentiality provisions may apply even to those that are permitted to attend a hearing. A juvenile court may close the courtroom and exclude the public when good cause is shown, but it must permit the victim and victim’s family to attend unless removed because of the Rule of Sequestration of witnesses.58 Moreover, the presumption shifts toward closing the courtroom when the child is under the age of 14 at the time of the hearing “unless the court finds that the interests of the child or the interests of the public would be better served by opening the hearing to the public.”59 Do not assume everyone and anyone will be allowed to hear the trial or plea.
Unlike the difficulty in expunging a criminal conviction, the presumption leans heavily in juvenile law to the sealing of juvenile adjudications. The juvenile court, on its own motion or the motion of the child, shall order the sealing of the records when it finds that two years elapsed since the final discharge of the person or the last official action as long as the person has not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or had a further adjudication for engaging in delinquent conduct or a CINS offense. The court may have records sealed on an adjudication for having engaged in delinquent conduct violating a felony law if the person is 19 or older, was not transferred to adult district court, the records have not been used as evidence in a criminal proceeding under §3(a) of Article 37.07 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and the person has not been convicted of a felony after turning 17. But the juvenile court may not order the sealing of the records for a person that received a determinate sen-tence.60
There are far more intricacies in juvenile law than I had time or space to address in this article. But I encourage you to not only curl up with your copy of the Family Code and Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, but also to review relevant sections of Robert O. Dawson’s book, Texas Juvenile Law, considered the authority on such matters. They will lead you to answers when you have questions about juvenile law, more often than not.
I wish you good luck upon entering juvenile court! You will survive your time there and may even come to truly appreciate the experience you gain. I know I did. But if not, although not as quick as clicking your ruby red heels, you will eventually return to the familiarity of criminal court, and be the more knowledgeable for your time in juvenile.
1 Although the Family Code does not refer to it as such, prosecutors and courts have come to call discretionary transfer to adult district court as “certifying the juvenile” or as a “certification petition,” but the proper title for it is “Petition to Waive Exclusive Original Jurisdiction and Discretionary Transfer.” See Tex. Fam. Code §54.02.
2 “Huffing,” is a violation of Tex. Health & Safety Code §485.001 wherein an “abusable volatile chemical” with a label cautioning against inhalation is inhaled or ingested which affects the user’s central nervous system, and can induce intoxication, hallucination, or elation, but further may distort thinking process, balance, and coordination.
3 Tex. Fam. Code §51.03.
4 Tex. Fam. Code §§52.01(a) and 52.015.
5 See Tex. Fam. Code §54.04.
6 Tex. Fam. Code §54.04(c).
7 Tex. Fam. Code §54.04(a) and (c).
8 Robert O. Dawson, Texas Juvenile Law, (7th ed. 2008) at 6.
9 See Tex. Fam. Code §52.025(a).
10 Dawson at 15-16.
11 Dawson at 17.
12 Tex. Fam. Code §54.10.
13 See Tex. Fam. Code §54.10(a) and (e).
14 See Tex. Gov’t Code §74.053(b).
15 Such objections follow the procedures dictated under the Tex. Gov’t Code §74.053. See also In re M.A.V., 40 S.W.3d 581 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2001, no pet.) (holding timely objection to visiting judge required that visiting judge not hear certification hearing).
16 Tex. Fam. Code §51.115.
17 In re D.M., 191 S.W.3d 381, 390 (Tex. App.—Austin 2006, rev. denied).
18 Tex. Fam. Code §51.11(a).
19 Tex. Fam. Code §51.11(c).
20 Tex. Fam. Code §51.02(2) and §51.04.
21 Tex. Fam. Code §51.041; but see Hum. Resources Code §61.084(e) and (g) (requiring that juvenile reaching age 19 must be released or transferred out of the Texas Youth Commission).
22 In re E.D.C., 88 S.W.3d 789 (Tex. App.—El Paso 2002, no pet.).
23 Dawson, 37; see also Tex. Fam. Code §51.17(a) (applying civil rules unless in conflict); c.f. Fairfield v. State, 610 S.W.2d 771, 779 (Tex. Crim. App. 1981) (holding State must prove venue by a preponderance of the evidence pursuant to Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 13.17, but that it is not an element of the offense, rather a jurisdictional component that can be waived by failing to object in the trial court).
24 Tex. Fam. Code §52.02(a)(1).
25 Tex. Fam. Code §52.02(a) (2)-(7). Please note there are exceptions for DWI cases permitting breath testing. Refer to Tex. Fam. Code §52.02(c) and (d) for those exceptions.
26 Tex. Fam. Code §52.02(b).
27 Gonzales v. State, 67 S.W.3d 910 (Tex. Crim. App. 2002) (requiring causal connection between violation of §52.02(b) parental notification requirement and the obtaining of the evidence, namely would notification of the parent have affected police obtaining of the evidence); Pham v. State, 175 S.W.3d 767, 773 (Tex. Crim. App. 2005) (burden of persuasion on respondent to show causal connection between statutory violation and the evidence for which he seeks suppression); Roquemore v. State, 60 S.W.3d 862 (Tex. Crim. App. 2001) (requiring suppression when officer detoured from route to juvenile processing office to obtain the stolen property).
28 Tex. Fam. Code §53.02(a).
29 Tex. Fam. Code §54.01(e).
30 Tex. Fam. Code §54.01(h).
31 Tex. Fam. Code §51.17(a).
32 Tex. Fam. Code §§53.04, 53.06, and 53.07.
33 In re X.B., 369 S.W.3d 350 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 2012, no pet. h.) (holding trial court did not have jurisdiction to modify disposition and commit juvenile to TYC when child not served with the petition and citation for the initial adjudication, permitting the later collateral attack because initial judgment of disposition was void for lack of jurisdiction).
34 Tex. Fam. Code §53.06(e).
35 Tex. Fam. Code §54.02(b) (requiring separate compliance with §§53.04, 53.05, 53.06, and 53.07 with a petition stating that the purpose of the hearing is to consider discretionary transfer).
36 See New Jersey v. T.L.O., 469 U.S. 325 (1985); Coronado v. State, 835 S.W.2d 636 (Tex. Crim. App. 1992); In re S.M.C., 338 S.W.3d 161 (Tex. App.—El Paso 2011, no pet.) (interpreting New Jersey v. T.L.O. in the most recent published case in Texas); S.M.S., 338 S.W.3d at 165 (citing T.L.O., 105 S.Ct. at 745) (holding “sufficient probability, not certainty, is the touchstone of reasonableness”).
38 Tex. Fam. Code §52.02(a).
39 Tex. Fam. Code §52.025.
40 See In the matter of D.J.C., 312 S.W.3d 704 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2009, no pet.) (reversing in part because police excluded the grandmother from the interview room despite express request to be present in violation of §52.025 permitting accompaniment by parent or guardian); see also Cortez v. State, 240 S.W.3d 372 (Tex. App.—Austin 2007) (holding child did not assert right and finding record did not support that father asked to be present, then analyzing facts in terms of lack of causal connection).
41 Comer v. State, 776 S.W.2d 191 (Tex. Crim. App. 1989) (requiring strict compliance with §52.02(a) and applying Article 38.23 to suppress juvenile’s statement that complied with §51.09 because officers violated §52.02(a) by delay when obtaining the statement before complying with the requirement to take juvenile to a processing office or detention); Baptist Vie Le v. State, 993 S.W.2d 650, 655 (Tex. Crim. App. 1999) (suppressing statement for failure to comply with §52.02(a)); In the matter of D.J.C., 312 S.W.3d 704 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2009, no pet.) (failure to comply with Family Code to take statement in a designated juvenile processing office required suppression because State did not comply with all the terms of §51.095, but including in rationale other violations of the Family Code such as excluding grandmother); but see Gonzalez, 67 S.W.3d 910 (requiring causal connection between violation and obtaining evidence to suppress).
42 Tex. Fam. Code §51.095.
43 J.D.B. v. North Carolina, 131 S.Ct. 2394 (2011) (taking a child’s age into account when determining voluntariness of statement and considering a child’s age in the custodial analysis, although not as a determinative factor, but as a significant one); Yarborough v. Alvarado, 541 U.S. 652, 662-63 (2004) (considering the age of a child as a factor in determining whether reasonable person would have considered self in custody); Jeffley v. State, 38 S.W.3d 847 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2001, pet. ref’d) (same).
44 Tex. Fam. Code §54.04(a).
45 Tex. Fam. Code §54.04(d)(3).
46 Tex. Fam. Code §59.002.
47 Dawson at 233.
48 Dawson at 232 (citing In the Matter of E.T., No. 04-03-00796, 2004 WL 2533552 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2004, no pet.) (mem. op., not designated for publication) (holding juvenile court did not abuse its discretion by removing child from him on a contempt of court for violating a justice court order because record supported child uncontrollable and parent requested the placement).
49 Tex. Fam. Code §§59.004 and 59.005.
50 Tex. Fam. Code §§59.006 and 59.007.
51 Tex. Fam. Code §§59.008 and §59.009.
52 Tex. Fam. Code §59.010.
53 Tex. Fam. Code §54.04(i).
54 See Tex. Fam. Code §58.005.
55 See Tex. Fam. Code §54.0405 and Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 62.352.
56 See Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 15.27.
57 Tex. Fam. Code §58.005.
58 Tex. Fam. Code §54.08.
60 Tex. Fam. Code §58.003(b).