This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In the Matter of the Welfare of: J.A.R., Child.
Filed April 2, 2002
Hennepin County District Court
File No. J100173485
John Stuart, State Public Defender, Charlann E. Winking, Assistant State Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue SE, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant)
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 525 Park Street, Suite 500, St. Paul, MN 55103-2106; and
Amy Klobuchar, Hennepin County Attorney, Michael K. Walz, Assistant Hennepin County Attorney, C-2000 Government Center, Minneapolis, MN 55487 (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Anderson, Presiding Judge, Harten, Judge, and Stoneburner, Judge.
G. BARRY ANDERSON, Judge.
J.A.R., juvenile-appellant in this case, challenges the district court’s out-of-home placement. Because we conclude that the district court (1) made the findings necessary to support an out-of-home placement in its order denying appellant’s motion for reconsideration and (2) did not abuse its discretion by doing so, we affirm.
Appellant was arrested on December 5, 2000, for allegedly assaulting his mother. On February 2, 2001, appellant appeared before the district court and admitted to disorderly conduct with an agreement that he would be placed on probation. The district court ordered a stayed out-of-home placement to Omegon, an inpatient treatment program. Appellant’s attorney asked him, “You do understand if you don’t follow these requirements of probation you’re looking at an out-of-home placement; is that right?” Appellant responded in the affirmative.
In June 2001, a petition was filed alleging that appellant obstructed legal process or arrest (Minn. Stat. § 609.50, subds. 1(2), 2(2) (2000)) and consumed alcohol (Minn. Stat. §§ 340A.503, subd. 1(2), 260B.007, subd. 17 (2000)). At a June 18, 2001 hearing, appellant denied all the allegations, and the district court allowed appellant to return home.
On June 27, 2001, appellant admitted probation violations in exchange for a dismissal of both new charges. The district court issued an order that vacated the stayed placement and ordered placement at Omegon. The cursory order did not contain detailed findings regarding the out-of-home placement.
Appellant filed a motion for reconsideration, and the district court issued an order denying the motion after a notice of appeal was filed with this court. The second order contained detailed findings supporting appellant’s out-of-home placement.
“In delinquency cases, district courts have broad discretion to order dispositions authorized by statute.” In re Welfare of J.B.A., 581 N.W.2d 37, 38 (Minn. App. 1998) (citation omitted), review denied (Minn. Aug. 31, 1998). “Absent a clear abuse of that discretion, the disposition will not be disturbed.” Id. (citation omitted).
“This court will affirm the disposition as long as it is not arbitrary.” In re Welfare of J.A.J., 545 N.W.2d 412, 414 (Minn. App. 1996) (citation omitted). “Dispositional findings are mandated by the legislature and the supreme court.” In re Welfare of L.K.W., 372 N.W.2d 392, 400 (Minn. App. 1985) (citing Minn. Stat. § 260.185, subd. 1 (1984), and Minn. R. Juv. P. 30.05, now Minn. R. Juv. P. 15.05). Failure to make such findings is an independent basis for reversal. Id. at 401.
Respondent concedes that “the June 27, 2001 Order of the Juvenile Court does not fully meet the requirements of Rule 15.05” but argues that when that order is “read in conjunction with the Court’s Order Denying Respondent’s Motion to Reconsider,” all of the necessary dispositional findings are present.
Appellant also addresses the issue of the district court’s minimal original findings. Appellant argues that the district court “technically lacked jurisdiction at [the] time” that it handed down its denial order, but concedes that “in the interest of time (and to avoid a need for a remand to receive the same order) counsel for appellant will accept the [denial] order and attempt to address it, rather than challenge jurisdiction.” There is thus no disagreement that we may consider the district court’s denial order findings in reviewing appellant’s out-of-home placement.
The district court must address five factors when considering removal of a child from the home. In re Welfare of J.S.S., 610 N.W.2d 364, 366-67 (Minn. App. 2000). These five factors are: (1) why public safety is served by the disposition; (2) why the best interests of the child are served by the disposition; (3) what alternative dispositions were proposed to the court and why such recommendations were not ordered; (4) why the child’s present custody is unacceptable; and (5) how the correctional placement meets the child’s needs. Id.
There is no need to address all of the factors here, as the district court made extensive and thoughtful findings as to each factor in its denial order, and we find no error in those findings. But it is worth noting that appellant’s chronic chemical-dependency problems have not been amenable to less-restrictive treatment alternatives and the out-of-home placement ordered by the district court is a reasonable response to appellant’s, at least to date, intractable chemical-dependency problems.
An exhaustive review of the record leads inevitably to the conclusion that the district court made the appropriate findings necessary to support out-of-home placement in its denial order. There was no abuse of discretion by the district court and thus we affirm the placement.