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Creation Date

3-16-2017

Description

Abstract: Appellate courts provide important institutional oversight in any judicial system, particularly in a system where liberty and lifelong collateral consequences are at stake. Although Maine's Juvenile Code works to protect juveniles in ways distinct from the adult counterpart, when a juvenile court makes an adjudicative or dispositional decision, Maine youth still face incarceration, money restitution, and other lifelong consequences. Nationwide, and in Maine, decisions by juvenile courts are less likely to be appealed than in adult criminal cases. This restricts the development of case law that would ensure accuracy and oversight for juvenile courts and guidance for both defending and prosecuting attorneys, among other things. Maine Law's Juvenile Justice Clinic has created a handbook organizing the statutes, rules, and forms necessary to pursue an appeal of those juvenile court determinations for which appeals are heard. This handbook is meant to both (1) easier facilitate the appellate process for those juvenile defenders who will pursue appeals themselves and (2) to create awareness for an defender who will only serve at the adjudication stage around issues helpful to a future appellate attorney. Our hope is that Maine's defenders will, in the appropriate situations, more often appeal juvenile cases and build our state's interpretation and understanding of its Juvenile Code.

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