This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).








In the Matter of the Welfare of:

C.M.B., Child.



Filed August 8, 2006


Willis, Judge


Benton County District Court

File Nos. 05-JV-05-1704 & 05-JV-05-1578

Stearns County District Court

File No. J3-05-50497


John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Leslie J. Rosenberg, Assistant Public Defender, 2221 University Avenue Southeast, Suite 425, Minneapolis, MN  55414 (for appellant C.M.B.)


Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 1800 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN  55101-2134;


Robert J. Raupp, Benton County Attorney, Justin McBride, Assistant County Attorney, Courts Facility, P.O. Box 189, Foley, MN  56329; and Janelle Kendall, Stearns County Attorney, Administration Center, Room 448, 705 Courthouse Square, St. Cloud, MN  56303 (for respondent State of Minnesota)


            Considered and decided by Randall, Presiding Judge; Toussaint, Chief Judge; and Willis, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


            Appellant challenges the district court’s juvenile-delinquency disposition order placing appellant at the state correctional facility in Red Wing.  Because we conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion, we affirm.


            In July 2005, appellant C.M.B., then 17 years old, pleaded guilty in Stearns County district court to third-degree aiding and abetting burglary, in violation of Minn. Stat. §§ 609.582, subd. 3, .05, subd. 1 (2004), admitting that in October 2004 he broke into a shed with friends, removed a refrigerator, sold it at a pawn shop, and used the money to buy marijuana.  C.M.B. also pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary, in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.582, subd. 2(a) (2004), admitting that in January 2005 he and a friend broke into a house; stole several items, including alcohol, stereo components, and guns; sold the items at a pawn shop; and used the money to buy drugs.  The district court transferred both matters to Benton County, where C.M.B. resided, for a disposition hearing.

            In August 2005, the Benton County district court adjudicated C.M.B. delinquent in both matters, placed him on probation, and transferred his legal custody to Benton County human services for placement at the Minnesota correctional facility in Red Wing.  This appeal follows.


            C.M.B. argues that the district court abused its discretion by ordering C.M.B.’s out-of-home placement at the Red Wing correctional facility because Red Wing is not the least-restrictive placement and because the district court ordered placement at Red Wing as punishment.  District courts have broad discretion to order juvenile-delinquency dispositions authorized by statute, and this court will affirm such dispositions as long as they are not “arbitrary.”  In re Welfare of J.S.S., 610 N.W.2d 364, 366 (Minn. App. 2000) (quotation omitted).  A disposition must be “necessary to the rehabilitation of the child.”  Minn. Stat. § 260B.198, subd. 1 (2004); J.S.S., 610 N.W.2d at 366 & n.1.  A district court’s order for out-of-home placement “must be supported by evidence that the placement is the least drastic step necessary to restore law-abiding conduct” of the minor.  In re Welfare of N.T.K., 619 N.W.2d 209, 211 (Minn. App. 2000).

When a district court orders out-of-home placement, it must make written findings that show:

(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 not acceptable; and (5) how the correctional placement meets the child’s needs.


Id.; accord Minn. Stat. § 260B.198, subd. 1(m); Minn. R. Juv. Delinq. P. 15.05, subd. 2(A).  The best interests of a minor are normally served by parental custody.  Minn. R. Juv. Delinq. P. 15.05, subd. 2(B)(3).  An out-of-home placement must suit the actual needs of the minor in order to serve that minor’s best interests.  Id. 

C.M.B. argues first that the district court’s disposition order should be reversed because the Red Wing correctional facility is not the least-restrictive appropriate placement.  He argues that there is no evidence that placement at Woodland Hills, another out-of-home placement facility, would have been inappropriate.  The district court made extensive findings in its disposition order, including findings (1) that C.M.B. had completed four out-of-home placement programs in the past and after each had immediately “returned to his anti-social behaviors” and “chronic chemical abuse” and (2) that C.M.B. would be particularly difficult to rehabilitate because his behavior disorder commenced at an early age and that “no short term program . . . would address the complexity of issues [C.M.B.] must deal with to begin a healthy lifestyle.”  The district court determined that placement at the Red Wing correctional facility was in C.M.B.’s best interests because its long-term program, which includes comprehensive cognitive-restructuring, chemical-dependency treatment, and job-skills training, “would be of longer benefit to [C.M.B.]”  The district court further found that long-term placement at Woodland Hills or Elmore Academy was inappropriate, stating that “Woodland Hills and Elmore Academy are good programs but the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Red Wing also provides a chance for [C.M.B.] to gain job skills with hands-on education and experience.” 

The record supports the district court’s findings.  The juvenile pre-disposition report considered long-term placement at Woodland Hills, Elmore Academy, and the Red Wing correctional facility but ultimately recommended Red Wing, concluding that it “would be the best option” because it “has a comprehensive cognitive restructuring program and a chemical dependency treatment component” and because staff there would “attempt to explore [C.M.B.’s] interest in a vocational trade and provide some hands-on education and experience.”  Because the district court made adequate findings justifying its disposition and its findings are supported by the record, we conclude that C.M.B.’s placement at the Red Wing correctional facility was not arbitrary and that the district court acted within its discretion by ordering that placement.

C.M.B. next argues that the disposition order must be reversed because the district court ordered placement at Red Wing as punishment.  At the disposition hearing, the district court stated:

[W]e’ve worked through a series of consequences, increasingly serious consequences in the hopes that it will make a difference for [C.M.B.] . . . .  [T]he psychologist reports are real clear that he needs to have a continuing course of increasing consequences, and [C.M.B.] isn’t lacking in knowledge here about what to do, and [urine analyses] are not the answer to handling his chemical problem.  He needs to take responsibility for himself.  . . .  We’re here today talking about consequences for behavior that has not straightened out.  I’m not going to go back to less restrictive things that have already been tried in the hopes that this time he’s turned the corner.  He’s got to prove that to us. 


. . . .


[C.M.B.] can make the decision about whether he wants to get his life straightened around, but I’m going to send him to Red Wing.  I think that’s an appropriate recommendation under the circumstances.  I think it’s what [C.M.B.’s] earned by his own behavior, and I’m going to hold him responsible for his own behavior.  If he wants to get straightened out, he can do it at Red Wing. 


Although juvenile-delinquency dispositions must be rehabilitative, Minnesota statutes do not prohibit “a rational, punitive disposition, one where the record shows that correction or rehabilitation of the child reasonably cannot be achieved without a penalty.”  In re Welfare of D.D.N., 582 N.W.2d 278, 281 (Minn. App. 1998) (quotation omitted).  C.M.B.’s psychological report recommends that C.M.B.’s negative behavior “be handled in a consequential manner.”  Because the record supports the district court’s oral finding that only “increasing consequences” could rehabilitate C.M.B., we conclude that the district court’s placement of C.M.B. at the Red Wing correctional facility is for C.M.B.’s rehabilitation.

C.M.B. argues alternatively that “the proceedings should be remanded to allow the defense an opportunity to fully participate in the dispositional hearing.”  Because C.M.B. cites no legal authority and makes no legal argument supporting his position, this issue is waived “unless prejudicial error is obvious on mere inspection.”  See State v. Modern Recycling, Inc., 558 N.W.2d 770, 772 (Minn. App. 1997) (quoting Schoepke v. Alexander Smith & Sons Carpet Co., 290 Minn. 518, 519-20, 187 N.W.2d 133, 135 (1971)).  C.M.B. argues that his attorney was unaware that out-of-home placement at the Red Wing correctional facility was recommended as a disposition until she received the pre-disposition report on the morning of the hearing. 

The record shows that at the disposition hearing, C.M.B.’s attorney requested a continuance so that C.M.B. could obtain the testimony of a psychologist regarding what “would be best for [C.M.B.]”  The district court denied the request, noting that C.M.B. and his attorney had notice of the hearing and an opportunity to meet and discuss what kind of recommendation they wanted to make to the court and what kind of information they wanted to provide.  At the hearing, C.M.B.’s attorney argued against placement at Red Wing and argued for placement at Woodland Hills.  Based on the record, we find no obvious prejudicial error in the district court’s refusal to continue the disposition hearing.