This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2006).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In the Matter of the Welfare of:
Filed August 14, 2007
Reversed and remanded
St. Louis County District Court
File No. 69VI-JV-05-177, J4-01-150359
Stuart, State Public Defender, Leslie J. Rosenberg, Assistant Public Defender,
Swanson, Attorney General, 1800
Melanie S. Ford, St. Louis County Attorney, Sharon N. Chadwick, Assistant County Attorney, 300 South Fifth Avenue, Room 222, Virginia, MN 55792 (for respondent State of Minnesota)
Considered and decided by Halbrooks, Presiding Judge; Toussaint, Chief Judge; and Lansing, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
The district court adjudicated DJM delinquent on three counts of criminal sexual conduct and consolidated the disposition of these adjudicated offenses with a probation-violation hearing on a previous sexual offense. On appeal from the disposition, DJM argues that he was prejudiced by ineffective assistance of counsel on the probation violation and that the disposition order requiring him to register as a sex offender is unconstitutional. Because DJM’s counsel had a conflict of interest that had an actual effect on his representation of DJM on the probation violation, we reverse and remand for a new probation-violation hearing and disposition hearing.
F A C T S
inappropriately touched and exposed himself to two boys in
Fetal Alcohol Diagnostic Program (FADP), Arrowhead Regional Corrections (ARC), and
Range Mental Health Center (RMHC) each performed a portion of the
predisposition investigation. The FADP
report found that DJM suffers from alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder
and that DJM requires structured supervision with immediate consequences. The ARC report recommended a 120-day
inpatient treatment program at
In advance of the disposition hearing, DJM’s trial counsel filed a motion for a new trial and to vacate the district court’s findings. The court rejected the motions as untimely. DJM’s counsel also filed a motion to stay adjudication of delinquency, arguing that the mandatory sex-offender registration that would stem from the adjudication would violate DJM’s constitutional rights. The court denied the stay-of-adjudication request.
At the disposition hearing DJM’s trial counsel disclosed that he was a member of RMHC’s board of directors. DJM’s counsel stated that it would, therefore, be a conflict of interest for him to represent DJM on the state’s charge that DJM violated the terms of his 2001 probation by failing to participate successfully in the outpatient sex-offender program at RMHC. DJM’s counsel suggested that, because DJM would admit that he also violated his probation by being charged with a new offense and having contact with children under the age of ten, the RMHC-related allegation could be dismissed as moot. The prosecutor agreed, but reserved the ability to refer to DJM’s failure to complete the outpatient treatment program in her disposition argument. The district court allowed the representation to continue and accepted DJM’s admissions.
In her disposition argument the prosecutor requested inpatient sex-offender treatment. DJM’s counsel requested that DJM be allowed to continue in the RMHC outpatient treatment program. The court ordered, in relevant part, 120 days of inpatient sex-offender treatment, two years of probation, and that DJM register as a sex offender. DJM now appeals, arguing that he was denied effective assistance of counsel and that the sex-offender-registration statute is unconstitutional as applied to juveniles.
D E C I S I O N
first address DJM’s contention that he received ineffective assistance of
counsel because his attorney had a conflict of interest. The claimant bears the burden of proof when
bringing an ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim. State
v. Miller, 666 N.W.2d 703, 716 (
conflict of interest exists if “there is a significant risk that the
representation of one or more clients will be materially limited by the
lawyer’s responsibilities to another client, a former client or a third person,
or by a personal interest of the lawyer.”
The state alleged that DJM violated his 2001 probation by failing to comply with three requirements: (1) no contact with children younger than ten years of age; (2) successful completion of outpatient sex-offender treatment at RMHC; and (3) no new offenses. At the disposition hearing DJM’s trial counsel informed the district court that he could not address the second allegation because of his RMHC board membership. DJM’s counsel then proposed a way around the conflict that the court permitted. We recognize that DJM’s counsel’s efforts to neutralize the conflict were motivated by his intent to try to help DJM by continuing his representation and not requiring DJM to work with a new attorney. In attempting to evade the conflict, however, DJM’s counsel “actually affected” the representation.
state argues that DJM would not have benefited from challenging the RMHC
outpatient treatment program because it would have undermined the RMHC report
that recommended continued outpatient treatment. But when a conflict of interest is present, the
ordinary inquiry for prejudice is altered.
the district court combined the disposition hearing with the
probation-violation hearing, the district court’s disposition on the new
juvenile charges is also reversed and remanded.
Therefore, we do not reach DJM’s claim that requiring him to register as
a sex offender is unconstitutional. We
note, however, that we have previously held that requiring juveniles to
register as sex offenders does not violate their due process rights. In re
Welfare of C.D.N., 559 N.W.2d 431, 434 (Minn. App. 1997), review denied (Minn. May 20, 1997). The recent statutory changes do not change
this result. We also note that the
registration requirement does not deny DJM a right to a jury trial. See
C.D.N., 559 N.W.2d at 434 (holding that juveniles do not have right to jury
trial). Finally, the supreme court has
previously held that the registration requirement is a civil regulation and not
a component of a sentence. Boutin v. LaFleur, 591 N.W.2d 711, 717 (
Reversed and remanded.