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State of New Jersey

March 4, 2011

STATE OF NEW JERSEY IN THE INTEREST OF T.M., A JUVENILE.


On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Monmouth County, Docket No. FJ-13-1348-09.

Per curiam.

RECORD IMPOUNDED

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted December 6, 2010 - Decided Before Judges Lisa and Sabatino.

T.M. appeals a juvenile adjudication of delinquency, which resulted in a one-year probationary term. The delinquency ruling was based on the Family Part's determination that T.M. had thrown bodily fluids at a law enforcement officer, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-13, and that he had also resisted arrest, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2a.

The relevant sequence of events is as follows. At about 5:20 a.m. on August 9, 2008, the police in Middletown Township were called to investigate a loud disturbance taking place on the street near a country club. The first police officer arriving at the scene encountered T.M., who was then seventeen years old, walking away at a brisk pace. The police officer directed T.M. to stop. T.M. refused to do so. The police officer got out of his squad car and ran after T.M. By this point another police officer arrived, and T.M. began shouting obscenities at the two officers. When he got within range, T.M. spit on the chest of one of the officers. He continued to act out belligerently. The officers had to subdue T.M. in order to handcuff him. They transported him back to the police station, where he met his mother but continued to be agitated. After T.M. persisted to yell and utter profanities at the police station, refusing to sit down, the police arrested him.

T.M. was charged with four counts of delinquency, including the aforementioned violations of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-13 (a fourth-degree offense if it were committed by an adult), and N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2a (a disorderly persons offense if by an adult), as well as the creation of a dangerous condition, N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2a(2) (a petty disorderly persons offense if by an adult), and criminal mischief, N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3 (a disorderly persons offense if by an adult). After trial proofs were presented, T.M. moved for a judgment of acquittal. The Family Part judge granted T.M.'s motion with respect to the criminal mischief count. The judge denied the motion as to the remaining three counts. After merging the count charging T.M. with the creation of a dangerous condition, the judge adjudicated T.M. delinquent for the two remaining offenses, and placed him on continued probation for one year.

On appeal, T.M. raises the following arguments:

POINT I

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY DENYING JUVENILE'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT OF ACQUITTAL.

POINT II

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN ADJUDICATING THE JUVENILE DELINQUENT IN THAT THE FINDING WAS AGAINST THE WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE.

POINT III

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN NOT REFERRING THIS MATTER TO THE ASSIGNMENT JUDGE FOR CONSIDERATION OF A DISMISSAL OF THE PROSECUTION BASED UPON A DE ...


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