final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit,
Martin County; Curtis Lee Disque, Judge; L.T. Case Nos.
432014CJ000222A, 432016CJ000121A, 432017CJ000185A and
Haughwout, Public Defender, and Virginia Murphy, Assistant
Public Defender, West Palm Beach, for appellant.
B. Moody, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Anesha Worthy,
Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for appellee.
appeals his commitment to a high-risk residential program
after the trial court departed from the disposition
recommended by the Department of Juvenile Justice
("DJJ"). We agree with appellant's argument
that the trial court failed to comply with E.A.R. v.
State, 4 So.3d 614 (Fla. 2009), in deviating from the
DJJ's recommendation for a non-secure residential
program. Accordingly, we reverse the disposition order and
remand for a new disposition hearing.
2015, appellant entered no contest pleas to burglary charges
and was placed on probation. In March 2016, he admitted to
violating his probation after getting new charges, but the
trial court reinstated probation. In July 2016, appellant
again admitted to allegations that he had violated his
probation. After ordering a pre-disposition report and
comprehensive evaluation, the trial court sentenced appellant
to a non-secure residential facility with post-commitment
probation to follow.
than a month after his release from the residential program,
appellant was arrested in June 2017. Appellant entered an
open plea of no contest to the charges and admitted to having
violated his probation. The trial court set disposition for
December 2017 and ordered a predisposition report,
comprehensive evaluation, staffing, and placement level
recommendation from the DJJ.
report, the DJJ recommended that appellant be placed in a
non-secure commitment facility, explaining:
During the staffing, JPO Baker provided a verbal overview of
the youth's history with the Department and his current
charges, services that [appellant] is currently receiving,
and his criminogenic needs. It was noted that [appellant] was
released from his commitment program less than seven months
ago, and obtained new charges within 18 days of returning to
the community. [Appellant] displayed a nonchalant attitude
towards the Department's effort to aid him in
rehabilitation and turning around his life. This was evident
due to the number of services he has been referred to, with
continued anti-social behaviors. [Appellant] offered no
argument in his own defense, as to why he feels as though he
should continue on Post-Commitment Probation. He was unable
to offer an explanation for his behaviors or a plan on how he
would not recidivate.
In conclusion of the Multidisciplinary Staffing, the
Department of Juvenile Justice came to the recommendation of
Non-Secure Residential Commitment. According to the PACT
Tool, the youth scores HIGH risk to re-offend. The current
charge is a minor offense, and in accordance to the
Dispositional Matrix, the risk level and manner of offense
criteria is in the range of a Level 3a-c (Probation,
Probation Enhancement Services or Day Treatment) or Level 4
(Non-secure Residential Commitment) recommendation. Due to
[appellant's] current criminogenic needs, it was
determined that a Level 4 (Non-secure Residential Commitment)
recommendation was appropriate.
The youth's criminal history, social history, attitudes,
and behaviors were taken into consideration. "Per F.S
985.435(4) The Department respectfully recommends the court
authorize the use of the Effective Response Matrix (ERM) as
an alternative consequences component to address youth
noncompliance with technical conditions of probation."
comprehensive evaluation, referred to by the DJJ in its
report, concluded that appellant had "significant
antisocial behaviors, the inability to adhere to the criteria
set forth in his probation agreement, anger management
problems, Cannabis Abuse issues, and a history of sexual
disposition hearing, appellant's mother asked the trial
court to allow him to remain on probation, noting that he was
helping around the house and had stayed out of trouble,
except for referrals for minor incidents at school.
Appellant's clinical therapist added that appellant was