Unsuccessful Termination of Juvenile Probation

In In re Themika M., 206 Ariz. 553, 554,5-6, 81 P.3d 344, 345 (App. 2003) the only published opinion addressing unsuccessful termination of juvenile probation, the court held that such probation terminations may be warranted because, for those defiant juveniles who have repeatedly violated their probation conditions yet still do not meet the guidelines for commitment to the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections, the state should not be forced to waste finite resources in ongoing but futile attempts to secure compliance until a minor turns eighteen. Id. at 555,13, 81 P.3d at 346. In Themika M., the court upheld termination as unsuccessful after the probationer admitted several of the allegations in two petitions to revoke her probation filed pursuant to Rule 32. Id. at 553-54,3-6, 81 P.3d at 344-45. Because the record reflected compliance with the procedural protections for revocation proceedings contained in Rule 32, the court in Themika M. was not presented with the issue whether unsuccessful termination is available outside of Rule 32 proceedings. Indeed, the juvenile in that case did not argue that she had been afforded fewer procedural protections in connection with the termination of her probation than she would have received under Rule 32. Id. at 554,8, 81 P.3d at 345. The only harm that the juvenile in Themika M. claimed was the inability to have her adjudication set aside and her juvenile records destroyed -- a benefit available by statute only to those who successfully complete probation. 206 Ariz. at 555-56,14-15, 81 P.3d at 346-47 (citing A.R.S. 8-348(A) ("fulfilled the conditions of probation") and 8-349(C)(5) ("successfully completed all of the terms and conditions of probation"), 8-349(E)(4)(same)). In those circumstances, the court held that the difference between unsuccessful termination under Rule 31 and revocation under Rule 32 was "one of semantics, at least on these facts." Id. at 554,8, 81 P.3d at 345.