Juveniles: N.T.G., A MINOR V. COMMONWEALTH OF KY (COA; 2/17/2006)

FAMILY LAW – Juveniles (probation and detention authority)

DATE: 2/17/2006

A juvenile court cannot probate a sentence that it would not be permitted to impose directly at disposition.  Clearly, sections (4) and (5) dealing with the imposition of detention restricts this dispositional option to a child fourteen or older. Thus by statute, any child under the age of fourteen may not be placed in detention. Despite the clarity of the statute, the Commonwealth contends that the juvenile court can utilize detention for a child under fourteen as long as the detention time is probated. The Commonwealth appears to be arguing that the juvenile court can use this dispositional alternative (probated detention time) to threaten, scare or intimidate the juvenile into the proper behavior the court, the DJJ, the Commonwealth, the parents, the school or the victim deems appropriate.  While the COA " may believe the end result is commendable, unfortunately the statute does not permit such court action."

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