In re Welfare of T.C.J.

689 N.W.2d 787 (2004)

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In re Welfare of T.C.J.

Minnesota Court of Appeals
689 N.W.2d 787 (2004)

Facts

T.C.J. (defendant) was a 17-year-old former student at a high school. T.C.J. and his friend J.H. went to the school seeking enrollment paperwork. A teacher recognized T.C.J. as a former student and asked T.C.J. and J.H. to leave school property. The teacher saw the two on school property several more times that day and repeatedly asked them to leave. After the teacher asked them to leave for a final time, T.C.J. and J.H. fled through the doors, and the teacher followed. When the teacher reached T.C.J. and J.H., they were no longer on school property. The teacher instructed them to return to the school to sort out the day’s events. At that point, a physical altercation ensued. The testimonies of witnesses varied, but the teacher was left with multiple injuries, while T.C.J. and J.H. were uninjured. T.C.J. was charged with first-degree assault, and based on the charge and his age, a presumptive certification to the district court—an adult court—followed. The district court found that T.C.J. presented evidence overcoming the presumption and deemed the prosecution an exclusive-juvenile-jurisdiction (EJJ) proceeding. The jury acquitted T.C.J. of first-degree assault but found him guilty of third-degree assault. T.C.J. appealed, arguing that the district court’s decision to sentence him under the EJJ procedure violated his right to equal protection because the EJJ procedure that applied to him required the imposition of both a juvenile sentence and a suspended adult sentence.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lansing, J.)

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