In re Interest of Elainna R.

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In re Interest of Elainna R.

Case Number
S-17-0237
Call Date
November 3, 2017
Case Time
1:30 PM
Court Number
Lancaster
Case Location
Beatrice
Case Summary

S-17-0237 In re Interest of Elainna R.

Separate Juvenile Court for Lancaster County, Judge Linda Porter

Attorneys; Conner Reuter (City Attorney’s Office) --- Brittani Lewit (Public Defender’s Office for Appellant Elainna R.)

Criminal: Juvenile adjudication under Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-247(1); disturbing the peace under Lincoln Municipal Code section 9.20.050

Proceedings below: Appellant entered a denial to the allegations of the petition. After a hearing, the court adjudicated Appellant on Count I of the Petition.

Issues: The juvenile court erred in (1) finding that the victim’s peace was disturbed; (2) finding sufficient evidence to sustain an order of adjudication.

 

Extended Case Summary

S-17-0237 In re Interest of Elainna R.

Separate Juvenile Court for Lancaster County, Judge Linda Porter

Attorneys; Conner Reuter (City Attorney’s Office) --- Brittani Lewit (Public Defender’s Office for Appellant Elainna R.)

Type of case: This is a juvenile case based on criminal conduct by the juvenile. In juvenile cases, a juvenile is adjudicated under a statute. Here, adjudication occurred under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-247(1) due to the court finding Elainna R. disturbed the peace under Lincoln Municipal Code § 9.20.050.

Proceedings below: Before the juvenile court, Elainna R. entered a denial to the allegations of the juvenile petition. After a hearing, the court adjudicated Elainna R. on Count I of the Petition. Elainna R. filed a Notice of Appeal and this case was moved to the Supreme Court for argument and disposition.

Issues argued on appeal: The juvenile court erred in (1) finding that the victim’s peace was disturbed; (2) finding sufficient evidence to sustain an order of adjudication.

Facts: Elainna R. was involved in a fight at Southeast High School with another student. The City presented evidence that Elainna R. initiated the fight. Sief Mahagoub, campus security officer for the school, attempted prevent the fight by putting his hands up in the air as Elainna R. ran down the hall. He also yelled “stop” several times in a loud, commanding voice. However, Elainna R. still engaged in a physical altercation with a student. Mr. Mahagoub had to physically separate the students. Mr. Mahagoub testified that he followed his training and protocol in disrupting fights and attempting to prevent harm. He testified that the fight caused disruption to the school day and disorganization in the hallways of the school for several minutes. Other witnesses testified as to the fight and the disruption it caused.

            At the hearing before the juvenile court, both sides were able to present evidence and arguments respective to each side’s position. The juvenile court found the allegations in the Petition were true by proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and Elainna R. did violate the laws of the State of Nebraska. Therefore, the juvenile court adjudicated Elainna R. as defined by Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-247(1).

            Elainna R. appeals and argues there was insufficient evidence to find that she knowingly or intentionally violated the peace and quiet of Mr. Mahagoub. She argues that because of his official capacity, job position, and duties, he has no expectation of peace and quiet as would an ordinary individual under normal circumstances in the community. She argues that since campus security officers are similarly situated to law enforcement, their peace cannot be disturbed. She cites to cases from other states to support this argument.

            The City disputes Elainna R.’s assertion that based on his job duties alone, he was immune from having his peace disturbed. The City argues the city ordinance does not differentiate between different types of persons for whom the peace could be disturbed and the court should not insert a finding that a school security officer cannot be a person for whom peace can be disturbed. The City also argues the evidence shows beyond a reasonable doubt that the peace and quiet of Mr. Mahagoub was disturbed by Elainna R.’s conduct of fighting.

            Both sides have submitted written briefs to the Supreme Court. After hearing arguments from both sides at an oral argument before the Supreme Court, the Court will submit the case for disposition, and issue an opinion in the coming months.

Schedule Code
SC