Is It Courts Duty to Ensure That a Juvenile Understands the Rights He Waives by Admitting An Allegation ?
In In re Flynn (1995), 101 Ohio App.3d 778, 783, 656 N.E.2d 737, the appellate court found that the juvenile court failed to substantially comply with Juv.R. 29(D) when it relied upon counsel's representations that the juvenile understood the rights he waived by admitting the allegation.
In Flynn, the referee asked the juvenile if his counsel had advised him of all his rights. the juvenile's counsel responded affirmatively.
The referee then asked if the juvenile had any questions, if he was aware that by entering an admission there would be no trial, if he was threatened or promised anything in order to gain his admission, and if the complaint against him was accurate.
The juvenile responded affirmatively, and the referee accepted his admission.
The appellate court found that Flynn understood the charges, but that the juvenile court did not adequately explain the rights the juvenile waived by entering the admission.
The Flynn court found that the juvenile's counsel's statement that he explained the juvenile's rights to him was not sufficient to demonstrate a knowing waiver because the court itself must address the juvenile.
The appellate court found the court's colloquy fell "short of apprising appellant of his rights pursuant to Juv.R. 29(D)." Id. at 783.
The court also rejected the argument that a waiver form could substitute for the court's duty to personally address the juvenile:
"Although the appellant also signed a form in which he waived his rights, this does not constitute a substitute for the court's duty to address the appellant." Id. at 783.