In the Interest of M.D.H.Annotate this Case
At issue in these cases was what happens when the State fails to file a petition alleging delinquency against a juvenile who was not detained within 30 days of the filing of the complaint or seek an extension of that deadline from the juvenile court. In In the "Interest of M.D.H.," (779 SE2d 433 (2015)), a panel of the Court of Appeals held that the failure to comply with section 15-11-521(b) required dismissal of the juvenile case, but the dismissal was without prejudice. Three days later, in "Interest of D.V.H.," (779 SE2d 122 (2015)), a different panel answered the same question the opposite way, concluding that a violation of section 15-11-121(b) required dismissal with prejudice. The Supreme Court granted certiorari in both cases, asking whether the Court of Appeals correctly applied OCGA section 15-11-521 (b). The Supreme Court held that if the State fails to file a delinquency petition within the required 30 days or to seek and receive an extension of that deadline, the case must be dismissed without prejudice. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the Court of Appeals’ judgment in M.D.H., and reversed the judgment in D.V.H.