IN THE MATTER OF D.T., A MINOR.
THE STATE OF NEVADA, Respondent. D.R.T., Appellant,
from a juvenile court order certifying appellant to stand
trial as an adult on charges of sexual assault, battery with
intent to commit a crime (sexual assault), burglary,
second-degree kidnapping, and battery constituting domestic
violence. Eighth Judicial District Court, Family Court
Division, Clark County; William O. Voy, Judge.
J. Kohn, Public Defender, and Kerri J. Maxey, Deputy Public
Defender, Clark County, for Appellant.
Paul Laxalt, Attorney General, Carson City; Steven B.
Wolfson, District Attorney, Steven S. Owens and Jonathan
VanBoskerck, Chief Deputy District Attorneys, and Cynthia L.
Herren, Deputy District Attorney, Clark County, for
THE COURT EN BANC.
appeal, we consider whether a juvenile court order certifying
appellant to stand trial as an adult violated his right to
procedural due process and whether the certification of
cognitively impaired juveniles is unconstitutional under the
Eighth Amendment. We reject both claims and affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
D.T.'s minor girlfriend, S.B., broke up with him through
a text message. Later, while at the park in her apartment
complex, D.T. approached S.B., bit her on the hand and chin,
and then grabbed her by the arm and pulled her toward her
apartment building. The two then went to S.B/s apartment to
retrieve D.T.'s property, but S.B. did not return
D.T.'s cell phone to him.
days later, D.T. returned to S.B.'s apartment to retrieve
his cell phone. D.T. entered the second-story apartment
through an open window. Upon finding S.B. sleeping in the
room with her two brothers, D.T. woke her up, asked for his
phone, and after discussing the missing phone, laid down next
to her. He then removed her shorts and had sex with her
against her will. D.T. was taken into custody, and after
being advised of his rights, agreed to talk to detectives.
Based on the interview with detectives, D.T. was transferred
to Las Vegas Juvenile Hall and booked accordingly.
State filed a certification petition against D.T. on five
counts: sexual assault, battery with intent to commit a
crime, burglary, kidnapping, and battery constituting
domestic violence. D.T.'s counsel argued that D.T.
suffered cognitive impairment and requested a court- ordered
competency evaluation. After D.T. was found competent,
counsel requested a continuance to seek a second opinion.
D.T. was again found competent.
argument from the parties, the juvenile court certified D.T.
to adult status, noting that discretionary certification was
warranted because the subjective factors in Seven
Minors did not outweigh the nature and seriousness of
the offenses or D.T.'s prior adjudicated offenses. The
court further found that public safety was best served by
transferring D.T. to the adult system. This appeal followed.
first contends that the juvenile court's ruling and
written order are not sufficiently specific to satisfy
procedural due process. Relying on Kent v. United
States, 383 U.S. 541 (1966), appellant asserts that the
juvenile court's order does not demonstrate that a full
investigation was performed prior to the certification
hearing. He also contends that because the juvenile court
merely listed the subjective factors without explaining how
each factor impacted public safety, the record is
insufficient to demonstrate that the juvenile court
meaningfully reviewed his case or provided a basis for
appellate review. See id. at 561 (requiring juvenile
court, when making a decision to transfer a child to adult
status, to make a statement of reasons for the transfer).
we acknowledge that the juvenile court's oral ruling and
written order lack detail, we conclude they meet the minimum
requirements of due process. It is clear from the record that
the juvenile court conducted a full investigation into
appellant's background before the certification hearing.
The record indicates that the court considered the
information obtained as a result of that investigation, as
well as information from appellant's psychological
evaluation and defense counsel's opposition to the
certification petition, when rendering its decision. See
Lewis v. State,86 Nev. 889, 894, 478 P.2d 168, 171
(1970) (looking to court's oral decision to determine
compliance with Kent). Further, there is no
requirement that the juvenile court explain how each
subjective factor impacts public safety. But cf. In re
Glenda Kay S.,103 Nev. 53, 59, 732 P.2d 1356, 1360
(1987) (requiring the juvenile court to state the reasons for
selecting a ...