In re Walker

191 S.E.2d 702 (1972)

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In re Walker

North Carolina Supreme Court
191 S.E.2d 702 (1972)

RW

Facts

Fourteen-year-old Valerie Walker (defendant) habitually disobeyed her parents, neglected her chores, partied away the night at places of ill repute, and acted up in school. Valerie’s mother, Katherine Walker (plaintiff), petitioned the juvenile court for a declaration that Valerie was an undisciplined child in need of the court’s supervision and control. Disciplinary action could not result in Valerie’s institutionalization, and therefore, the court did not appoint a lawyer to represent Valerie. At the ensuing hearing, the court granted Katherine’s petition and put Valerie on probation. Seeing that Valerie persisted in her wild ways, Valerie’s probation officer moved to have Valerie declared a delinquent child. A declaration of delinquency could result in Valerie’s being committed to an institution that would curtail her freedom. Accordingly, pursuant to the United States Supreme Court’s holding in In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967), the juvenile court appointed a lawyer to represent Valerie at the delinquency hearing. Nevertheless, the court found Valerie to be a delinquent child and sent her to reform school. Valerie appealed to the North Carolina Supreme Court, where she argued that the juvenile court erred in not appointing a lawyer to represent Valerie at the initial disciplinary hearing.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Huskins, J.)

Dissent (Bobbitt, C.J.)

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