STATE OF UTAH, IN THE INTEREST OF J.S., A PERSON UNDER EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE.
State of Utah, Appellee. J.S., Appellant,
District Juvenile Court, West Jordan Department The Honorable
Elizabeth A. Lindsley No. 1084845
Maio and Steven K. Beck, Attorneys for Appellant.
D. Reyes and Tera J. Peterson, Attorneys for Appellee.
Jill M. Pohlman authored this Memorandum Decision, in which
Judges Stephen L. Roth and Michele M. Christiansen concurred.
J.S. appeals the juvenile court's disposition order of
detention. We conclude that this appeal is moot and we
therefore dismiss it.
In the summer of 2015, the State filed several delinquency
petitions against J.S. At a detention hearing, the juvenile
court found that it would be "unsafe for the
public" to release J.S. and that J.S. could not "be
safely left in the care and custody" of his parent. As a
result, on August 27, 2015, the court ordered J.S. to be held
in the temporary physical custody of the Division of Juvenile
Justice Services in secure detention pending his next
hearing. See Utah Code Ann. § 78A-6-113(4)(d)
(LexisNexis 2012) (allowing the juvenile court to hold a
minor in detention "subject to further order of the
court" if the court "finds at a detention hearing
that it is not safe to release the minor").
At the next hearing on September 1, 2015, J.S. admitted to
two allegations. The juvenile court found that the two
admitted allegations against J.S. were "true and
correct, " and the court dismissed the remaining
allegations. In addition, the court ordered J.S. to be held
in detention "pending further order of the Court, "
ordered J.S. to complete a substance abuse evaluation and a
psychological evaluation while in detention, and took
"further disposition under advisement." A
transcript of this hearing is not part of the record on
On September 14, 2015, the juvenile court held a hearing for
further disposition. During the hearing, the juvenile court,
among other things, placed J.S. on probation and ordered him
to serve thirty days in detention, with five days to be
served immediately and the remaining twenty-five days
suspended. J.S. objected, arguing that under Utah Code
section 78A-6-117, the court could order a total of thirty
days in detention post-adjudication and that because J.S. was
"ordered to detention on September 1 when he was
adjudicated, " he was "14 days into his 30 day
commitment." The juvenile court overruled J.S.'s
objection, explaining that "[t]he record will . . .
reflect that the Court did not issue a thirty (30) day
commitment to detention [at the September 1, 2015 hearing],
but that the Court set disposition over so that the necessary
evaluations could be completed . . . [while J.S. was] in
detention." J.S. filed a notice of appeal.
Subsequently, in January 2016, J.S. admitted to new
allegations against him. In response, the juvenile court
terminated probation and committed J.S. to thirty days in
detention, with seven days to be served immediately and
twenty-three days suspended. In August 2016, the juvenile
court terminated its jurisdiction over J.S.
J.S. appeals the September 14, 2015 disposition order. He
contends that the "juvenile court erred when it entered
a disposition order for thirty days of detention because J.S.
had already served fourteen days of detention and Utah Code
section 78A-6-117(2)(f) specifically precludes the juvenile
court from ordering more than thirty days of detention upon
Before we reach the merits of this issue, we must determine
whether this appeal is moot. "Where the issues that were
before the [juvenile] court no longer exist, the appellate
court will not review the case." In re adoption of
L.O., 2012 UT 23, ¶ 8, 282 P.3d 977 (citation and
internal quotation marks omitted). "An appeal is moot if
during the pendency of the appeal circumstances change so
that the controversy is eliminated, thereby rendering the
relief requested impossible or of no legal effect."
Id. (citation and internal quotation marks omitted).
The State contends that this appeal is moot because the
juvenile court terminated its jurisdiction over J.S. We
agree. Because the juvenile court has terminated its
jurisdiction, there is no possibility that J.S. will be
required to serve the remainder of his thirty-day detention.
Cf. In re O.P., 2016 UT App 181, ¶ 5 n.2, 380
P.3d 69 (concluding that an appeal is not moot where the
possibility exists that a juvenile could still be required to
serve a suspended term in jail if he fails to abide by the
juvenile court's order). Consequently, any decision from this court
about whether the juvenile court erred in ordering a
thirty-day detention in September 2015 would have no direct
legal effect. See In re adoption of L.O., 2012 UT
23, ¶ 8.
J.S. contends that this appeal is not moot because "the
relief [he] seeks . . . extends to correcting [the juvenile
court's] unlawful order on J.S.'s permanent juvenile
record." According to J.S., "if this appeal is
deemed moot, the unlawful order will remain on J.S.'s
permanent juvenile court record indefinitely unless and until
the juvenile court exercises its discretion and grants an
expungement." But J.S. does not cite any pertinent
authority to support his contention that he is entitled to a
corrected order. See ASC Utah, Inc. v. Wolf Mountain
Resorts, LC, 2013 UT 24, ¶ 16, 309 P.3d 201 (noting
that appellants have the burden to provide reasoned argument
and legal authority); In re A.C., 2 ...