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In re C.A.G.

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

April 9, 2014

IN THE INTEREST OF: C.A.G., A MINOR. APPEAL OF: C.A.G., A MINOR; IN THE INTEREST OF: E.N.J., A MINOR. APPEAL OF: E.N.J., A MINOR; IN THE INTEREST OF: J.F.K., A MINOR. APPEAL OF: J.F.K., A MINOR; IN THE INTEREST OF: J.F.K., A MINOR, Appellee. APPEAL OF: J.F.K., A MINOR; IN THE INTEREST OF: J.M.B., A MINOR. APPEAL OF: J.M.B., A MINOR; IN THE INTEREST OF: E.C., A MINOR. APPEAL OF: E.C., A MINOR; IN THE INTEREST OF: D.C., A MINOR. APPEAL OF: D.C., A MINOR; IN THE INTEREST OF: A.B., A MINOR. APPEAL OF: A.B., A MINOR

Submitted March 17, 2014

Page 705

Appeal from the Dispositional Orders of the Court of Common Pleas, York County, Juvenile Division, No(s): CP-67-JV-0000093-2013, CP-67-JV-0000095-2013, CP-67-JV-0000087-2013, CP-67-JV-0000110-2013, CP-67-JV-0000673-2012, CP-67-JV-0000142-2013, CP-67-JV-0000146-2013, CP-67-JV-0000227-2013, CP-67-JV-0000228-2013, CP-67-JV-0000317-2013, CP-67-JV-0000318-2013, CP-67-JV-0000344-2013, CP-67-JV-0000345-2013, CP-67-JV-0000403-2013, CP-67-JV-0000258-2013, CP-67-JV-0000259-2013. Before FLANNELLY, J.

Tara A. Matcuk, Public Defender, York, for appellants.

James E. Zamkotowicz, Assistant District Attorney, York, for Commonwealth, appellee.

BEFORE: PANELLA, J., DONOHUE, J., and MUNDY, J.

Page 706

MUNDY, J.:

Appellants, C.A.G., E.N.J., J.F.K., J.M.B., E.C., D.C., and A.B., appeal from the dispositional orders entered following their adjudications of juvenile delinquency.[1] After careful review, we affirm.

We summarize the relevant factual and procedural history of each of these cases as follows. In C.A.G.'s case, on February 12, 2013, the Commonwealth filed a petition charging C.A.G. with simple assault and harassment.[2] On February 14, 2013, the Commonwealth filed a second petition, charging C.A.G. with one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.[3] The juvenile court conducted a hearing on February 20, 2013 at which C.A.G. admitted to all three offenses. On April 25, 2013, the juvenile court conducted a dispositional hearing at which C.A.G. was adjudicated delinquent and placed on probation. Relevant to this appeal, C.A.G. was ordered to pay a $25.00 Crime Victim Compensation (CVC) fee, a $23.50 Judicial Computer Filing (JCF) fee, and a $1.50 Community Service (CS) fee for each of the two petitions. C.A.G. filed a timely post-dispositional motion on May 6, 2013, which the juvenile court denied on May 31, 2013.[4] On June 28, 2013, C.A.G. filed a timely notice of appeal.

Page 707

In E.N.J.'s case, on February 12, 2013, the Commonwealth filed a petition, charging E.N.J. with one count each of unlawful restraint, simple assault, and harassment.[5] On February 21, 2013, the Commonwealth filed a second petition, charging E.N.J. with one count of criminal mischief.[6] The juvenile court conducted a delinquency hearing on February 26, 2013 at which E.N.J. admitted to simple assault and criminal mischief and the Commonwealth withdrew the remaining charges. The juvenile court conducted a dispositional hearing on April 25, 2013 at which the juvenile court adjudicated E.N.J. delinquent and placed him on probation. E.N.J. was ordered to pay a $25.00 CVC fee, a $23.50 JCF fee, and a $1.50 CS fee for each of the two petitions. E.N.J. filed a timely post-dispositional motion on May 3, 2013 which was denied by the juvenile court on June 12, 2013. On July 11, 2013, E.N.J. filed a timely notice of appeal.

In J.F.K.'s case, on November 27, 2012, the Commonwealth filed a petition charging J.F.K. with one count each of theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property.[7] On March 15, 2013, the Commonwealth filed a second petition charging J.F.K. with criminal mischief.[8] On March 20, 2013, the Commonwealth filed a third petition, charging J.F.K. with two counts of burglary, and one count each of criminal trespass and theft by unlawful taking.[9] The juvenile court conducted a delinquency hearing on March 21, 2013 at which J.F.K. admitted to the charges of theft, receiving stolen property, and criminal mischief. On April 25, 2013, the juvenile court conducted a dispositional hearing at which J.F.K. admitted to criminal trespass and theft, and the Commonwealth withdrew the burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary charges. The judge adjudicated J.F.K. delinquent and placed him on probation. J.F.K. was ordered to pay a $25.00 CVC fee, a $23.50 JCF fee, and a $1.50 CS fee for each of the three petitions. J.F.K. filed a timely post-dispositional motion on May 3, 2013, which the juvenile court denied on June 12, 2013. On July 11, 2013, J.F.K. filed a timely notice of appeal.

In J.M.B.'s case, on April 26, 2013, the Commonwealth filed a petition charging J.M.B. with possession of a small amount of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.[10] That same day, the Commonwealth filed a second petition, charging J.M.B. with one count each of possession of a small amount of marijuana and driving without a license.[11] The juvenile court conducted a hearing on June 17, 2013, at which J.M.B. admitted to all charges, was adjudicated delinquent, and placed in the Youth Forestry Camp #3 First Step Program. J.M.B. was ordered to pay a $25.00 CVC fee, a $23.50 JCF fee, and a $1.50 CS fee for each of the two petitions. On June

Page 708

18, 2013, J.M.B. filed a timely post-dispositional motion, which the juvenile court denied on July 1, 2013. On July 24, 2013, J.M.B. filed a timely notice of appeal.

In E.C.'s case, on June 14, 2013, the Commonwealth filed a petition charging E.C. with one count each of burglary and theft by unlawful taking, and two counts of receiving stolen property.[12] That same day, the Commonwealth filed a second petition charging E.C. with two counts of aggravated assault.[13] On July 15, 2013, the juvenile court conducted a hearing at which E.C. admitted to burglary on the Commonwealth's first petition. As a result, the Commonwealth amended its second petition to include a charge of simple assault.[14] E.C. admitted to the simple assault charge and the Commonwealth withdrew the aggravated assault charges. The juvenile court adjudicated E.C. delinquent and placed him at a residential treatment facility. E.C. was ordered to pay a $25.00 CVC fee, a $23.50 JCF fee, and a $1.50 CS fee for each of the two petitions. On July 24, 2013, E.C. filed a timely post-dispositional motion, which the juvenile court denied on July 25, 2013. On August 23, 2013, E.C. filed a timely notice of appeal.

In D.C.'s case, on June 26, 2013, the Commonwealth filed a petition charging D.C. with one count each of burglary, criminal trespass, and theft by unlawful taking.[15] That same day, the Commonwealth filed a second petition charging D.C. with two counts each of theft by unlawful taking and conspiracy, and one count each of criminal attempt, criminal trespass, and possession of drug paraphernalia.[16] On July 18, 2013, the Commonwealth filed a third petition charging D.C. with one count each of burglary and theft by unlawful taking, two counts of criminal conspiracy, and one count each of receiving stolen property, criminal mischief and criminal trespass.[17] On July 24, 2013, the juvenile court conducted a hearing at which D.C. admitted to two counts of theft, and one count each of criminal attempt to commit theft, criminal trespass, burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, and criminal mischief. The Commonwealth withdrew all remaining charges. The juvenile court adjudicated D.C. delinquent and placed D.C. at a residential treatment facility. D.C. was ordered to pay a $25.00 CVC fee, a $23.50 JCF fee, and a $1.50 CS fee for each of the three petitions. On August 2, 2013, D.C. filed a timely post-dispositional motion, which the juvenile court denied on August 5, 2013. On September 4, 2013, D.C. filed a timely notice of appeal.

In A.B.'s case, on May 9, 2013, the Commonwealth filed a petition charging A.B. with four counts of driving under the influence of a controlled substance -- impaired ability (DUI) and one count each of failure to report an accident, failure to give immediate notice to police, careless driving, and disregarding traffic lanes.[18] That same day, the Commonwealth filed a second petition charging A.B. with possession of

Page 709

drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance, and purchase of alcohol by a minor.[19] On June 4, 2013, the juvenile court conducted a hearing at which A.B. admitted to one count each of DUI, careless driving, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a controlled substance. The Commonwealth withdrew the remaining charges. On July 29, 2013, the juvenile court conducted a dispositional hearing at which the juvenile court adjudicated A.B. delinquent and placed A.B. in a residential treatment facility. A.B. was ordered to pay a $25.00 CVC fee, a $23.50 JCF fee, and a $1.50 CS fee for each of the two petitions. On August 8, 2013, A.B. filed a timely post-dispositional motion, which the juvenile court denied on August 13, 2013. On September 11, 2013, A.B. filed a timely notice of appeal.

On appeal, Appellants raise four issues for our review.[20]

1. Whether the [juvenile] court issued an illegal sentence by applying crime victim compensation (" CVC" ), judicial computer filing (" CF" ), and community service (" CS" ) fees to the above adjudicated minor[s] on a per juvenile petition/docket entry basis as opposed to directing fees on a per adjudication basis?
2. Whether the [juvenile] court erred when it failed to adhere to the plain meaning of the CVC statute as found at 18 P.S. § 11.1101(a)(3) specifying the adjudication of delinquency as the fee-triggering event and not the number of crimes that amounted to the delinquency adjudication?
3. Whether the [juvenile] court erred when it failed to consider the plain meaning, legislative intent, and rule of lenity within the CF statutes as found at 42 Pa.C.S. § 3733(a.1) and 204 Pa. Code § 29.351(d) specifying payment following an initiation of a criminal proceeding and not each charge within a proceeding?
4. Whether the [juvenile] court abused its discretion when it arbitrarily applied the CS fee to each charge without reference to any known Pennsylvania rule or statute, thereby compounding the total fee amount the juvenile would be required to pay?

Appellants' Brief at 9.

We begin by noting our well-settled standard of review. The Juvenile Act grants juvenile courts broad discretion when determining an appropriate disposition. In re R.D.,2012 PA Super. 84, 44 A.3d 657, 664 (Pa. Super. 2012), appeal denied, 618 Pa. 677, 56 A.3d 398 (Pa. 2012). In addition, " [a] petition alleging that a child is delinquent must be disposed of in accordance with the Juvenile Act. Dispositions which are not set forth in the Act are beyond the power of the juvenile court." Id. (citation omitted). We will disturb a juvenile court's disposition only upon a showing of a manifest abuse of discretion. Id. However, when the ...


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