In re Interest of Hassan L. (YRTC Commitment)


The Court of Appeals found that the commitment of the youth to the YRTC violated the youth’s due process rights. Hassan was adjudicated in June 2015 based on his admission to possessing drug paraphernalia. In August 2015, Hassan was placed on probation with various terms and conditions. Between September 10, 2015 and June 16, 2016, there were four motions to revoke Hassan’s probation, Hassan was detained at DCYC five times, ran from placement at Boys Town and Omaha Home for Boys, lost placement at Boys Town Enhanced Shelter, and was unsuccessfully discharged from placement at Journey’s. On July 21, 2016 at a hearing on a motion to revoke probation, Hassan was committed to YRTC Kearney. The State never filed a motion for commitment or recommended placement at YRTC and the court did not believe that commitment at the YRTC would be any benefit. The minor appealed the commitment.

Procedural due process requires adequate notice and an opportunity to be heard before deprivation of liberty. Committing Hassan to YRTC was a violation of his due process rights because there was no notice that commitment would be an issue (there was no commitment motion and the motion to revoke probation did not put Hassan on notice) and Hassan was not given a meaningful opportunity to be heard on the commitment issue.

The court also reemphasized its holding in In Re Interest of Alan L., 294 Neb, 261 (2016), that the State must follow the statutory procedure under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-286(1)(b)(ii) (Reissue 2016). There must be a commitment motion with a hearing before the court may commit a juvenile to placement at a YRTC