- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Juvenile Law
- Date Filed: 12-01-2021
- Case #: A171787
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Lagesen, P.J., for the Court; James, J.; & Kamins, J.
- Full Text Opinion
Youth appealed a juvenile court order that denied his motion to set aside his adjudication for acts that would constitute attempted sexual abuse in the first degree. Youth assigned error to the juvenile court's finding that Youth had not been unfit to proceed and that there had been no substantial denial of his rights. On appeal, Youth argued that his adjudication was in violation of his state and federal constitutional rights because Youth was not competent to be adjudicated at the time he rendered his plea, and his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing to have Youth's competency evaluated in light of Youth's previous mental health diagnoses. Given the highly specialized and complex nature of juvenile defense, reliance on only interactions with juvenile clients--particularly those with diagnosed mental disabilities--to evaluate competency "reflects an absence of professional skill and judgment." State ex rel Juv. Dept. v. Welch, 12 Or App. 400, 507 P2d 401 (1973). The Court held that given Youth's previous diagnoses that pointed to diminished capacity, further investigation into Youth's capacity was necessary. Reversed and remanded with instructions to grant Youth's motion to set aside the adjudication.