final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit,
Indian River County; Victoria L. Griffin, Judge; L.T. Case
Haughwout, Public Defender, and Virginia Murphy, Assistant
Public Defender, West Palm Beach, for appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Jessenia J.
Concepcion, Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for
M.S., a juvenile, appeals from the circuit court's final
judgment that he was guilty of disrupting an educational
institution in violation of section 877.13, Florida Statutes
(2016), for which the court withheld adjudication. This
charge, and the charge of affray (not relevant to this
appeal), stemmed from Appellant's fight with another
student in the school hallway while changing class periods.
Appellant argues that the court erred in denying his motion
for judgment of dismissal because the State did not present
sufficient evidence to support a conviction of disrupting an
educational institution. We agree with Appellant and thus
reverse and remand for entry of a judgment of dismissal on
adjudicatory hearing, the State presented the following
evidence. While changing class periods, Appellant approached
another student in the hallway and they engaged in a tense
verbal exchange. After pushing each other, the two began to
scuffle and other students gathered around the scene making
it difficult to pass through the hallway. One of the
onlookers pulled the backpack off of the other student during
the fight. The physical altercation lasted for less than one
minute before school officials arrived, broke up the fight,
and chased the onlookers away.
close of the State's evidence, Appellant's counsel
moved for a judgment of dismissal. The trial court denied the
motion because of the crowd of onlookers the scene created
and because the number of officials that reported to the
scene were "a little bit more than necessary to . . .
just monitor the hallways." The court entered an order
finding the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that
Appellant committed disruption of an educational institution
as charged. After a disposition hearing, the court withheld
adjudication of delinquency and placed Appellant on
standard of review is summarized in S.B. v. State,
31 So.3d 968 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010):
Because the standard of review that applies to motions for
judgment of dismissal in a juvenile case is the same standard
that applies to motions for judgment of acquittal in an adult
criminal case, the juvenile court's ruling is reviewed de
novo. When moving for a judgment of acquittal, a defendant
admits both the facts adduced, as well as every conclusion
favorable to the State that a finder of fact could fairly and
reasonably infer from the evidence. Evidence is sufficient to
sustain a conviction if a rational trier of fact could find
the existence of the elements of the crime beyond a
reasonable doubt after viewing the evidence in a light most
favorable to the State.
Id. at 969-70 (citations omitted); accord H.N.B.
v. State, 223 So.3d 308, 310 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017).
this standard of review, we agree with Appellant's
argument that the trial court erred in denying his motion for