Motion To Modify Conditions of Release
COMES NOW the Child, by and through his undersigned counsel, and hereby respectfully requests this Honorable Court to (1) amend the Child’s release to straight release to his parents, (2) permit the child to attend school,(3) if the high school permits, permit the Child to attend meetings and extra curricular activities at the school, including band activities, and (4) permit the child to have contact with high school students and witnesses, and in support thereof, the Child states as follows:
1. The Child was arrested on January 31 for an alleged violation of § 836.10, Fla. Stat., written threats to kill or do bodily harm, a second degree felony.
2. On February 1, the Honorable Judge ordered that the Child remain in secure detention, because his offense was classified as a “violent second degree felony,” and scored 12 points on the Department Risk Assessment Instrument.
3. The Court directed the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) to review the Child for Home Detention, but ordered the following special conditions, if he was released:
a. The Child may not attend school.
b. The Child may not attend the school or have any contact with witnesses or other students who attend that school.
4. After interviewing the Child’s parents, DJJ determined that he could be released on Home Detention.
5. The Child’s mother is retired from the banking industry and does not work outside the home. She is actively involved in the Child’s school and extracurricular activities, including band and Boy Scouts.
6. The Child’s father is the Chief Operating Officer of a company.
7. The Child has lived in Jacksonville since age 2, and has the support of a loving extended family, including grandmothers, an aunt and uncle, and several cousins.
8. The Child is 15 years old and has never been arrested before or charged with a violation of the Duval County School Code of Conduct. (See Exhibit B, p. 3).
9. The Child is a Freshman percussionist in the Symphonic Band at the school.
10. The Child is an A/B student, who attends school regularly, as evidenced by his eighth and ninth grade report cards. Exhibit A.
11. On February 6, a meeting was held at the school, regarding the allegations against the Child. The Manifestation Determination report which resulted from that meeting is attached as Exhibit B.
The report contains the following notes:
a. School describes Child as a great kid. He has a 3.712 GPA and has a high average ability. (P. 2)
b. His Hearing teacher indicates that he is self promoting and advocating, once again describing him as a great kid. (P. 2)
c. School said he is a great kid and has good grades. 3.712 GPA. He has As, Bs and 1C. He has positive interaction with peers. He is very helpful, self-starter and teachers think highly of him. His art is percussion with band. He is pleasant with deaf hard of hearing teacher and others and he wears his hearing aid and self advocates for himself. (P. 3).
12. The School Board has charged the Child with a Duval County School Code of Conduct Offense 3.26, School Wide Threat. (See Exhibit B, p. 1). Administrators have told his parents they do not seek expulsion, and may recommend an alternative school for 45 days, rather than the maximum penalty of 180 days.
13. A Disciplinary Hearing is scheduled at the office of the Principal for February 7 at 2:00 p.m. A letter from the Principal, specifically requesting the Child’s presence at that Hearing in her office is attached as Exhibit C.
14. The Child has been an active Cub Scout and Boy Scout since age 6. He is presently a Star Scout, which is two ranks below Eagle Scout.
15. The Child is active in his church, where he participates in both the youth group and the United Methodist Men’s group. A letter from his pastor, is attached as Exhibit D.
16. As evidenced by several character letters attached as Exhibit E, the Child has a good background, a loving family, and is committed to the band, his church, robotics, and the Boy Scouts. No one who knows the Child believes he would ever harm or seriously threaten harm to anyone, and they believe he used poor judgment, and sent the message as a joke.
17. The Child turned himself in and cooperated fully with law enforcement.
18. The Child is not a disciplinary problem at home, and his parents are also requesting the relief requested herein.
19. The Child has remained in full compliance with Home Detention.
20. The Child has never suffered from any mental health issues and has never been under the care of a psychologist or psychiatrist. A Mental Health and Substance Abuse Assessment was completed by DJJ at the time of his arrest. That Assessment indicates he is not in need of further assessment for suicide, depression, aggression, substance use, or mental health problems.
WHEREFORE, it is respectfully requested that the Court (1) amend the Child’s release to straight release to his parents, (2) permit the child to attend school,(3) if it permits, permit the Child to attend meetings and extra curricular activities at the school, including band activities, and (4) permit the child to have contact with school students and witnesses.