There are two key points in C.B. v. State (Ind.Ct.App. 5/21/13). First, the Indiana Court of Appeals (COA) specifically approved conditional agreements, which allows the juvenile court to dismiss the child’s case if the child did not violate the terms of the agreement within a set period of time. A violation of the agreement would result in a true finding, and the case would proceed to disposition. The reasoning behind the approval of the conditional agreement process was that it was one of a variety of options that should be available to juvenile courts when trying to meet the rehabilitative goal of the juvenile system. The conditional agreement process is not listed as an option within the Indiana Code.
Second, the COA found that the juvenile must be given a meaningful opportunity to be heard and challenge the finding of probable cause to protect the child’s Due Process rights. It is error for the juvenile court to rely solely on the probable cause that authorized the filing of the petition alleging delinquency.
The case was reversed.
Judge Barnes concurred with the facts of the case, but felt that the language in the opinion may be construed too broadly.