This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1994).




In the Matter of the Welfare of:

C.L.E. Child.

Filed November 5, 1996

Reversed and remanded

Short, Judge

Isanti County District Court

File No. J99550474

Anoka County District Court

File Nos. J69650573, J89650574, JX9650575, J19553001

John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Dwayne Bryan, Special Assistant State Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue Southeast, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant C.L.E.)

Hubert H. Humphrey, III, Attorney General, 1400 NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for respondent Isanti County)

Jeffrey Edblad, Isanti County Attorney, John H. Alme, Assistant Isanti County Attorney, Courthouse, 555 - 18th Avenue Southwest, Cambridge, MN 55008 (for respondent Isanti County)

Considered and decided by Short, Presiding Judge, Parker, Judge, and Crippen, Judge.


SHORT, Judge

After Isanti County failed to bring C.L.E. (juvenile) to trial on a petition of delinquency within the 60-day presumptive time limit, the juvenile moved to dismiss the petition. The trial court denied the motion, finding good cause existed to delay trial because the juvenile had failed to appear at a pre-trial hearing, and had experienced a change of counsel. After the Isanti County juvenile court made an adjudication of delinquency, an Anoka County juvenile court ordered the juvenile into long-term treatment, on the basis of the Isanti County adjudication as well as three Anoka County petitions. The juvenile appeals from the adjudication of delinquency and the dispositional order, arguing the Isanti County juvenile court erred in denying his motion to dismiss because no good cause to delay existed. We reverse and remand.


Where a trial court weighs statutory criteria in light of its findings of fact, its conclusions include mixed issues of law and fact. Maxfield v. Maxfield, 452 N.W.2d 219, 221 (Minn. 1990). In such a case, this court may correct the trial court's erroneous application of the law, but we review the trial court's factual conclusions under an abuse of discretion standard. Id.

A juvenile, not held in detention, must be tried within 60 days of his or her denial of the allegations in a petition, unless good cause for delay is demonstrated. Minn. R. Juv. P. 27.02, subd. 1(b). The petition must be dismissed if a trial is not commenced within the time parameters set forth in the rule. Minn. R. Juv. P. 27.02, subd. 2.

On November 7, 1995, the juvenile made an initial appearance and denied the allegations contained in the petition. On February 22, the juvenile was adjudged delinquent after a bench trial. After a careful review of the record, we conclude the reasons the juvenile court accepted for the delay do not constitute good cause. First, the juvenile's failure to appear at the pretrial hearing was due to administrative difficulties between Isanti and Anoka counties, and their resultant failure to give the juvenile proper notice of the hearing. See McIntosh v. Davis, 441 N.W.2d 115, 120 (Minn. 1989) (holding that court congestion is insufficient reason to delay trial); In re the Welfare of J.D.P., 410 N.W.2d 1, 3 (Minn. App. 1987) (finding no good cause where trial delayed due to court's administrative concerns), review granted (Minn. Sept. 23, 1987), appeal dismissed (Minn. Nov. 18, 1987); see also State v. Jones, 392 N.W.2d 224, 235 (Minn. 1986) (recognizing the "responsibility for an overburdened judicial system cannot, after all, rest with the defendant").

Second, the juvenile's change of representation did not justify the delay of trial because the juvenile did not change attorneys until after the statutory 60-day limit had passed. In addition, substitute counsel did not request additional time to prepare, but immediately asked that the case be scheduled for trial. Under these circumstances, the juvenile court abused its discretion by finding good cause for a delay of trial and denying the juvenile's motion to dismiss.

The juvenile also argues the delay of trial violated his constitutional right to a speedy trial. See U.S. Const. amend. VI (granting right to speedy trial); Minn. Const. art. I, § 6 (same); In re the Welfare of I.Q.S., 309 Minn. 78, 85, 244 N.W.2d 30, 37 (Minn. 1976) (applying constitutional right to speedy trial in juvenile case). When a delay of trial violates a juvenile's constitutional rights, the dismissal of the delinquency petition must be with prejudice. 12 John O. Sonsteng & Robert Scott, Minnesota Practice 414 (1985), cited in In re the Welfare of J.D.P., 410 N.W.2d at 4; see In re the Welfare of J.D.O., 504 N.W.2d 281, 284 (Minn. App. 1993) (noting dismissal of delinquency petition without prejudice where delay of trial violated time limit but not constitution), review denied (Minn. Sept. 30, 1993).

To determine whether a delay in bringing a juvenile to trial violates the juvenile's speedy trial right, this court weighs: (1) the length of delay; (2) the reason for delay; and (3) whether any prejudice resulted to the juvenile. See State v. Friberg, 435 N.W.2d 509, 512 (Minn. 1989) (applying balancing test provided in Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 522, 92 S. Ct. 2182, 2192 (1972), to adult speedy trial analysis); In re the Welfare of J.G.B., 443 N.W.2d 867, 870-71 (Minn. App. 1989) (applying Barker factors to delay of juvenile trial, and noting that a fourth factor, assertion of the right to a speedy trial, is not required under juvenile rules).

The first two Friberg factors weigh in favor of the juvenile. There was a 77-day delay before the trial court denied the juvenile's motion to dismiss and a 107-day delay before the trial began. See Friberg, 435 N.W.2d at 513 (recognizing delays beyond time limit prescribed in rule presumptively weigh in favor of accused and trigger inquiry into remaining factors of test); In re the Welfare of G.D., 473 N.W.2d 878, 881 (Minn. App. 1991) (applying Friberg to juvenile time limit under Minn. R. Juv. P. 27.02). In addition, the juvenile's failure to appear at the pretrial hearing was not caused by his own conduct. See In re the Welfare of J.D.P., 410 N.W.2d at 3 (finding for juvenile on second Barker factor where juvenile did not contribute to delay); see also State v. Johnson, 498 N.W.2d 10, 16 (Minn. 1993) (holding constitution was not violated where delay was primarily due to defendant's motions). But cf. State v. Jones, 392 N.W.2d at 235 (noting that delay due to administrative difficulties weighs less heavily against the state than deliberate prosecutorial maneuvering).

The juvenile's constitutional argument fails on the prejudice element of the balancing test. Because the juvenile was committed to long-term treatment at Lino Lakes for another offense during the entire pendency of his trial, the delay in trial did not interfere with his liberty. See In re the Welfare of J.D.P., 410 N.W.2d at 4 (permitting consideration of effect of delay on defendant's liberty); see also State v. Fagerstrom, 286 Minn. 295, 301, 176 N.W.2d 261, 265 (Minn. 1970) (finding absence of prejudice where defendant was incarcerated for different offense during delay). Additionally, the juvenile does not allege the delay in trial had any adverse impact on the strength of his case. See Friberg, 435 N.W.2d at 515 (noting that absent an effect on the defense, the normal stress, anxiety and inconvenience of being involved in trial do not constitute serious prejudice); In re the Welfare of G.D., 473 N.W.2d at 883 (citing as examples of prejudice witnesses' lost memory and defendants' lost treatment opportunities). Under these circumstances, we cannot say the trial court abused its discretion by finding the juvenile would suffer no prejudice from a delay. Because the delay did not violate C.L.E.'s constitutional right to a speedy trial, we reverse and remand to the Isanti County trial court for entry of judgment of dismissal without prejudice, and we remand to the Anoka County trial court for reconsideration of disposition.

Reversed and remanded.