Gammons v. Berlat

696 P.2d 700 (1985)

From our private database of 46,100+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

Gammons v. Berlat

Arizona Supreme Court
696 P.2d 700 (1985)

Facts

A 13-year-old boy (the boy) (defendant) with the mental capacity of a nine- or 10-year-old boy was arrested for sexual conduct with a minor and for sexual abuse. Specifically, the boy had consensual sex with a girl who was 15 years old. For the alleged criminal acts, the boy was charged with delinquency in juvenile court. The juvenile code defined a delinquent act as one that would be a criminal offense if it were committed by an adult. Reference was made to the criminal code in order to identify which acts qualified as delinquent. If the person committing a criminal offense was under the age of 14, the criminal code required a showing of capacity to understand that the act was wrong before the person was held criminally liable. The boy denied that he committed the act charged and asked for a hearing pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-501 of the Arizona criminal code to determine whether he possessed the capacity to understand that his acts were wrong at the time he committed them. The position of the state (plaintiff) was that § 13-501 only applied to children being tried in adult proceedings, not to children in delinquency proceedings in juvenile court. The juvenile code had its own separate capacity provisions for judging juvenile offenders. The boy argued that § 13-501’s presumption that children under 14 lacked the requisite legal capacity for criminal culpability protected children regardless of whether they were charged in juvenile proceedings or in adult court. The question before the Arizona Supreme Court was whether the capacity limitation in the criminal code applied to delinquency proceedings in juvenile court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Holohan, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Feldman, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 747,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 747,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 46,100 briefs, keyed to 987 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 747,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 46,100 briefs - keyed to 987 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership