final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit,
St. Lucie County; Michael Heisey, Judge; L.T. Case Nos.
562017CJ000086A, 562016CJ000826A and 562016CJ000645B.
Haughwout, Public Defender, and Virginia Murphy, Assistant
Public Defender, West Palm Beach, for appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Joseph D.
Coronato, Jr., Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach,
juvenile appeals a disposition order committing him to a
non-secure residential program. He argues the trial court
erred in failing to make the requisite findings to support
its decision. We agree and reverse in part.
State charged the juvenile, and he pled in three separate
cases, including two violations of probation. The Department
of Juvenile Justice ("DJJ") recommended probation.
The trial court ultimately adjudicated him delinquent and
committed him to a non-secure residential program.
first case, the juvenile pled no contest to one count of
battery, a first degree misdemeanor. The State nolle prossed
a second count. The trial court withheld adjudication and
placed him on probation.
months later, the juvenile pled no contest to a disorderly
conduct charge, a second degree misdemeanor, and the State
nolle prossed a disruption of an educational institution
charge. The juvenile also admitted a probation violation. The
trial court withheld adjudication and again placed him on
third case, the juvenile admitted the probation violations
and pled no contest to one count of battery and one count of
assault. The trial court requested a comprehensive
evaluation, staffing, and predisposition report. The court
specifically requested the DJJ to "include a written
recommendation for a restrictiveness level as defined in
Florida Statute 985.03(44)." The court placed the
juvenile on home detention pending the disposition hearing.
predisposition report, the DJJ indicated that the juvenile
could remain on probation and be treated in the community.
But, if he continued to violate probation-including incurring
new law violations- then program placement would need to be
considered. The predisposition report indicated the juvenile
was a moderate to high level risk to re-offend.
after his comprehensive evaluation interview, and while on
home detention, the juvenile received a school disciplinary
referral for assaulting a pregnant student. He was suspended
from school and another probation violation was filed for the
new substantive offense and for failing a drug test.
disposition hearing, the State requested the trial court to
follow the DJJ's alternative recommendation and place the
juvenile in a non-secure residential program. Defense counsel