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In the Interest of D.J., A Child Bryan Denham v. D.J.

July 13, 2011

IN THE INTEREST OF D.J., A CHILD BRYAN DENHAM,
PETITIONER AND APPELLANT
v.
D.J., CHILD; K.L., MOTHER, D.J., FATHER,
RESPONDENTS K.L., MOTHER AND D.J., CHILD,
APPELLEES



Appeal from the Juvenile Court of Burleigh County, South Central Judicial District, the Honorable Robert O. Wefald, Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Maring, Justice.

N.D. Supreme Court

Interest of D.J.,

2011 ND 142

This opinion is subject to petition for rehearing.

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REVERSED AND REMANDED.

Opinion of the Court by Maring, Justice.

[¶1] Bryan Denham, an Assistant Burleigh County State's Attorney, appeals from a juvenile court order adopting a judicial referee's decision that D.J. is not required to register as a sexual offender. We conclude a juvenile court may order the preparation of a report or evaluation to address requirements for registration as a sexual offender and may require production of the report or evaluation to make findings on the requirements for registration. Because a court-ordered evaluation was not provided to the juvenile court in this case and the court did not make required findings on registration, we reverse and remand for further proceedings.

I

[¶2] In March 2009, the State filed a petition in juvenile court, alleging D.J., a sixteen year old, committed the delinquent act of gross sexual imposition by engaging in a sexual act with a six-year-old victim. See N.D.C.C. § 12.1-20-03(1)(d). In April 2009, a judicial referee accepted D.J.'s admission that he committed the delinquent act, ordered him to complete a sexual offender evaluation and follow all recommendations, and reserved the issue of whether he was required to register as a sexual offender under N.D.C.C. § 12.1-32-15(2)(c). D.J. was committed to the custody of the Division of Juvenile Services until April 7, 2010. In May 2009, the Division of Juvenile Services asked the referee "to certify payment of the psycho-sexual evaluation . . . prior to the determination of registration," and on June 2, 2009, the referee ordered the Division of Juvenile Services to pay the costs of the evaluation. D.J. thereafter participated in a treatment program at a facility in Minnesota. In January 2010, the State filed a petition for a permanency hearing for D.J., and after a January 2010 hearing, the referee ordered custody to continue with the Division of Juvenile Services until January 2011.

[¶3] In March 2010, the State requested a hearing on whether D.J. should be required to register as a sexual offender. A hearing on the State's request was rescheduled to May 11, 2010, and a referee granted the State's request for two witnesses from the Minnesota treatment facility to appear telephonically at that hearing. The referee thereafter granted another continuance, ordering "that a proper eval[uation] be completed as ordered June 2, 2009."

[ΒΆ4] In a June 9, 2010 letter to the referee, the State represented that two evaluations done at the Minnesota treatment facility complied with the court order for an evaluation and included sufficient information for the court's registration decision. The State also indicated copies of the ...


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