This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).








In the Matter of the Welfare

of:  M.V.



Filed July 3, 2000


Willis, Judge


Hennepin County District Court

File No. J499060612



William E. McGee, Fourth District Public Defender, Warren R. Sagstuen, Assistant Public Defender, 317 Second Avenue South, Suite 200, Minneapolis, MN  55401 (for appellant M.V.)


Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 525 Park Street, Suite 500, St. Paul, MN  55103; and


Amy Klobuchar, Hennepin County Attorney, Donna J. Wolfson, Assistant County Attorney, C-2000 Government Center, Minneapolis, MN  55487 (for respondent)


            Considered and decided by Lansing, Presiding Judge, Willis, Judge, and Poritsky, Judge.*

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


            Appellant M.V. argues that the juvenile court erred by forbidding him from wearing the color blue as a term of its disposition resulting from M.V.’s delinquency adjudication.  We reverse.


  In October 1999, M.V. admitted to the juvenile court that in April 1999 he and two juvenile companions assaulted another juvenile, in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.224, subd. 1(2) (1998).  M.V. was adjudicated delinquent, and in November 1999 the juvenile court ordered that M.V. “cannot wear the color blue” as one of the terms of its disposition.  M.V. appeals this term of the court’s disposition.


             A juvenile court has broad discretion to impose any disposition authorized by statute when a juvenile has been adjudicated delinquent.  See In re Welfare of J.B.A., 581 N.W.2d 37, 38 (Minn. App. 1998), review denied (Minn. Aug. 31, 1998).  Authorized dispositions include placing “the child under the supervision of a probation officer * * * under conditions prescribed by the [juvenile] court including reasonable rules for the child’s conduct.”  Minn. Stat. § 260B.198, subd. 1(b) (Supp. 1999). 

But a juvenile court that enters an order making a juvenile disposition must include in that order

written findings of fact to support the disposition ordered and shall also set forth in writing:


(1) why the best interests of the child are served by the disposition ordered; and


(2) what alternative dispositions were considered by the court and why such dispositions were not appropriate in the instant case.


Id., subd. 1(m); see Minn. R. Juv. P. 15.05, subd. 2(A).  Written findings on how the disposition ordered serves the child’s best interests and on alternative dispositions are essential to ensuring the administration of justice in the juvenile courts because requiring such information in writing guarantees that a juvenile court considered vital standards, enables parties to understand the decision of a juvenile court, and facilitates meaningful appellate review.  See, e.g., In re Welfare of L.K.W., 372 N.W.2d 392, 400-01 (Minn. App. 1985).  We therefore will reverse a disposition when or if the juvenile court fails to include the required information in its order.  See, e.g., In re Welfare of L.B., Jr., 404 N.W.2d 341, 346 (Minn. App. 1987).   

            M.V. challenges only the dispositional term requiring that he not wear the color blue.  The juvenile court included in its order no findings of fact in support of its disposition, no explanation of how its disposition serves M.V.’s best interests, and no description of what alternative dispositions were considered and why such dispositions were deemed inappropriate.  And the state concedes in its brief that the term requiring M.V. not to wear the color blue is “without a basis in the record.”  We therefore reverse the term of the disposition requiring M.V. not to wear the color blue.  



                * Retired judge of the district court, serving as judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.