In the Interest of M.M., a child State of North Dakota, Petitioner and Appellee
M.M., Child, Respondent and Appellant and J.G., Mother, R.M., Father, Respondents
from the Juvenile Court of Burleigh County, South Central
Judicial District, the Honorable Wayne D. Goter, Referee.
M. Vaagen, Assistant State's Attorney, Bismarck, ND, for
petitioner and appellee.
McCabe, Dickinson, ND, for respondent and appellant.
M.M. appeals from a juvenile court order denying his motion
to dismiss a juvenile petition pertaining to an underlying
juvenile delinquency case after entering conditional
admissions to committing delinquent acts of simple assault
and contact by bodily fluids. We affirm the juvenile
On October 17, 2017, a juvenile petition was filed with the
juvenile court, alleging M.M. committed simple assault and
contact by bodily fluids or excrement at Home on the Range.
At the time the juvenile petition was filed, M.M. resided at
the Youth Correctional Center ("YCC"). The juvenile
summons scheduled a hearing "for the purpose of hearing
the Petition made and filed with this Court" to take
place on November 7, 2017. A separate Notice of Initial
Hearing, Pretrial Conference, and Trial specified that prior
to the pretrial conference, "[a]ll pretrial motions
shall be served and filed with the Court in such time that
they may be heard not later than the date for the
pretrial." M.M. made his initial appearance on November
7, 2017, a pretrial conference was scheduled for November 14,
2017, and a trial was set for November 27, 2017. On November
21, 2017, M.M. moved to dismiss the petition, arguing the
hearing on the petition was not held within the required time
limits for a child in detention. M.M. simultaneously
requested a continuance in order to allow him to complete
discovery. The State opposed the motion to dismiss, arguing
the motion itself was untimely and that M.M. was not a child
in detention. The juvenile court denied M.M.'s motion to
dismiss but granted his request for a continuance, delaying
the trial an additional month. On January 16, 2018, M.M.
admitted to the allegations of delinquent acts on a
conditional basis, preserving his right to appeal.
Section 27-20-56, N.D.C.C., provides an aggrieved party may
appeal from a final order, judgment, or decree of the
juvenile court. On appeal from a juvenile court order, this
Court reviews a juvenile court's findings of fact under
the clearly erroneous standard. In re H.K., 2010 ND
27, ¶ 19, 778 N.W.2d 764 (relying on In re
J.K., 2009 ND 46, ¶ 13, 763 N.W.2d 507, explaining
change from trial de novo based on changes in N.D.R.Civ.P.
52(a)). The interpretation of a statute is a question of law,
which is fully reviewable on appeal. In re R.A.,
2011 ND 119, ¶ 24, 799 N.W.2d 332 (citation omitted).
On appeal, M.M. argues the juvenile court erred by denying
his motion to dismiss because the hearing on the petition was
not held within 30 days of the filing of the petition. M.M.
conceded at oral argument that he was no longer contesting a
violation regarding the timing of the initial hearing on the
M.M. relies on N.D.C.C. § 27-20-24 and N.D.R.Juv.P.
2(a)(3), to support his argument that the juvenile court
improperly denied his motion to dismiss the petition. Section
27-20-24(2), N.D.C.C., states:
If the hearing has not been held within the time limit, or
any extension thereof, required by subsection 1 of section
27-20-22, the petition must be dismissed.
(Emphasis added.) However, N.D.C.C. § 27-20-22 has been
superseded by N.D.R.Juv.P. 2, 5, and 10. See
N.D.C.C. § 27-20-22 (noting "[s]uperseded by
N.D.R.Juv.P., Rules 2, 5, and 10"); N.D.R.Juv.P. 2, 5,
and 10, ...