FAMILY LAW – Juveniles, self-incrimination: C.W.C.S. v. Commonwealth (COA 3/20/2009)

C.W.C.S. v. Commonwealth
2009 WL 722729
Opinion by Judge Lambert; Judge VanMeter and Senior Judge Knopf concurred.

The Court affirmed a judgment of the circuit court affirming a judgment of the district court denying a motion to suppress appellant’s incriminatory statements and denying a motion to strike appellant’s juvenile sexual offender evaluation.

The Court held that because appellant’s movements were not restricted in a degree associated with arrest when he was questioned by police at school, he was not in custody for Miranda purposes. Therefore, the district court properly denied a motion to suppress the statements made during the school interview. The Court then held that the district court did not err in admitting the juvenile sexual offender evaluation prepared by an evaluator approved by the Department of Juvenile Justice, as required by KRS 635.510(3). The Court declined to hold that the juvenile sexual offender assessment must be performed by a licensed psychologist.

The Court finally held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in declaring appellant a juvenile sexual offender when the evidence showed that he was not making progress in his counseling and immediately committed contempt of court by constructing a weapon and getting expelled from school after being placed in his grandmother’s care.

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