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158764 - In re Christopher Ross, Jr., Minor

In re Christopher Ross, Jr, Minor


The People of the State of Michigan,


Danielle Walton





(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)



(Wayne– Cox, K.)


Christopher Ross, Jr.,


Emily Long





Following a bench trial, the trial court entered an order adjudicating the juvenile respondent responsible for fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.  On appeal, the respondent challenged his attorney’s performance and the Court of Appeals remanded the case to the trial court for an evidentiary hearing.  After the evidentiary hearing, the trial court concluded that the respondent was denied the effective assistance of counsel and ordered a new trial.  The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court in an unpublished opinion and denied the respondent’s motion for reconsideration.  The respondent filed an application for leave to appeal in the Supreme Court, but the prosecution argued that the application was untimely because juvenile delinquency cases are civil in nature and the respondent did not file his application within 42 days of the Court of Appeals order denying reconsideration as required by MCR 7.305(C)(2)(c).  The Supreme Court has ordered oral argument on the application to address:  (1) whether appeals from juvenile adjudications for criminal offenses are governed by the time limits for civil cases or by the time limits for criminal cases, see MCR 7.305(C)(2); (2) whether the standard for granting a new trial in a juvenile delinquency case is the same as the standard for granting a new trial in a criminal case, compare MCR 3.992(A) with MCR 6.431(B); (3) whether juveniles who claim a deprivation of their due process right to counsel must satisfy the two-part test set forth in Strickland v Washington, 466 US 668, 687 (1984); and (4) whether the Court of Appeals erred in reversing the trial court’s decision to grant the respondent a new trial based on evidence that trial counsel did not obtain or present.