Monday, December 24, 2007

Last week's Nebraska Supreme Court decision In re Interest of Kevin K., S-06-447, 274 Neb. 678 might shed some light on Gary Lacey's crying need for more attorney help in the Lancaster County Attorney's office. The juvenile court asserted jurisdiction over the child because he was a truant (§ 43-247(3)(b)), something the Supreme Court calls a "status crime" (§ 43-245(15) (Reissue 2004)). After the child reached 16 his mother released him from attending public school. See 79-201. The juvenile court terminated jurisdiction. The State DHHS agreed with the juvenile judge's decision to close the case. The Lancaster County Attorney did the appealing. No wonder you are short handed Gary, you are trying to keep cases in the system that should be closed. The Supreme Court, J. Stephan affirms closing the case.where a juvenile is adjudicated solely on the basis of habitual truancy from school pursuant to § 43-247(3)(b), and the status of truancy is subsequently terminated by the lawful execution of a parental release authorizing discontinuation of school enrollment pursuant to § 79-201(3)(d), a juvenile court may terminate its jurisdiction without a finding that such termination is in the best interests of the juvenile.

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