Bernier v. State

265 A.2d 604 (1970)

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Bernier v. State

Maine Supreme Judicial Court
265 A.2d 604 (1970)

Facts

Theodore Bernier, Jr. (defendant) was adjudicated to be a juvenile offender and committed to the Boys Training Center (BTC), a state reform school. Two years later, the juvenile court released Bernier to his parents’ custody on conditions set forth in a placement agreement. One of the conditions required Bernier to obey the law. If Bernier violated a condition, the superintendent of the BTC had the right to require Bernier to return to BTC’s physical and legal custody indefinitely. A few months after Bernier’s conditional release from the BTC, the police questioned Bernier about a theft. The police released Bernier without filing charges and notified Bernier’s placement worker about the questioning. The superintendent of the BTC ordered the police to take Bernier into custody and return Bernier to the BTC. Bernier repeatedly requested a hearing, but his requests were denied. Bernier filed a petition for habeas corpus, challenging, among other things, the constitutionality under the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the superintendent’s statutory discretion to require Bernier to return to the BTC without a hearing.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Williamson, C.J.)

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