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In re Josue G.

Supreme Court of Nebraska

April 26, 2018

In re Interest of Josue G., a child under 18 years of age.
v.
Josue G., appellant. State of Nebraska, appellee,

         1. Juvenile Courts: Appeal and Error. An appellate court reviews juvenile cases de novo on the record and reaches a conclusion independently of the juvenile court's findings.

         2. Juvenile Courts: Statutes: Jurisdiction. A juvenile court is a statutorily created court of limited and special jurisdiction, and it has only the authority which the statutes confer on it.

         3. Juvenile Courts: Probation and Parole: Pleadings. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-286(5) (Reissue 2016) authorizes a juvenile court to change an existing disposition of probation, but its power to do so is premised upon the existence of an appropriate motion and upon its compliance with the specified procedures.

         4. Appeal and Error. An appellate court is not obligated to engage in an analysis that is not necessary to adjudicate the case and controversy before it.

          Appeal from the Separate Juvenile Court of Douglas County: Elizabeth G. Crnkovich, Judge. Vacated and remanded.

          Thomas C. Riley, Douglas County Public Defender, Ryan T. Locke, and Katie L. Jadlowski for appellant.

          No appearance for appellee.

          Heavican, C.J., Miller-Lerman, Cassel, Stacy, and Funke, JJ., and Derr and Urbom, District Judges.

          [299 Neb. 785] Cassel, J.

         INTRODUCTION

         After a juvenile on probation pursuant to a previous adjudication allegedly committed a new offense, the State moved to revoke probation. But when the juvenile entered a denial to the new charge, the State withdrew its motion. Nonetheless, the separate juvenile court of Douglas County extended the term of probation and imposed additional community service. Because the court did not follow applicable statutory procedures and thereby exceeded its statutory authority, we vacate the order, and remand the cause to the juvenile court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

         BACKGROUND

         The juvenile court adjudicated Josue G. under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-247(1) (Reissue 2016). On September 27, 2016, the court entered a dispositional order, placing Josue on probation for 4 months. Among other things, it ordered Josue to complete 20 hours of community service.

         On January 24, 2017, the State moved to revoke Josue's probation based on alleged violations of probationary terms. The juvenile court found that the terms of Josue's probation should not automatically terminate. A February 28 order stated that the State withdrew its motion to revoke probation and that the parties agreed Josue would abide by the court's previous orders, except as therein modified. The court extended Josue's probation for 6 months.

         On May 11, 2017, the State again moved to revoke Josue's probation. The motion alleged that Josue had incurred a new law violation, used marijuana, and failed to attend educational programming.

         On July 5, 2017, the juvenile court held a hearing on the motion to revoke probation and an arraignment on a new charge. After Josue entered a denial to the new charge, the court asked how the State wished to proceed on its motion to revoke. The following colloquy occurred:

[299 Neb. 786] [The State]: Your Honor, the State is going to withdraw its motion.
THE COURT: You are. Even though we have a new charge? You are not going to talk to [counsel for ...

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