In Re Gault

387 U.S. 1 (1967)

Gerald Gault, a 15-year-old boy, was taken into the SheriffĖs custody after a complaint that he had made a lewd telephone call. No notice of the SheriffĖs custody was given to GeraldĖs parents until his mother went to the detention home and was notified orally that he was there for making an obscene phone call. The following day, the deputy sheriff filed a petition in the juvenile court but did not serve a copy on GeraldĖs parents. Furthermore, the petition was void of any factual basis for judicial action, stating only that he was a juvenile delinquent. During the hearing, no witness was sworn, no counsel for Gerald was present, and the officer stated that Gerald admitted to making the lewd remarks after questioning, although GeraldĖs parents had never been present for any questioning nor had Gerald or his parents been advised of GeraldĖs right to remain silent or to be represented by counsel. Gerald was ordered committed to stateĖs custody as a juvenile delinquent until he reached the age of majority.

Constitutional Issue
In this case, the Court considered whether the Due Process Clause applies to juvenile delinquency proceedings. In its analysis, the Court considered the realities of juvenile court and behaviors:

"In view of this, it would be extraordinary if our Constitution did not require the procedural regularity and the exercise of care implied in the phrase "due process." Under our Constitution, the condition of being a boy does not justify a kangaroo court. The traditional ideas of Juvenile Court procedure, indeed, contemplated that time would be available and care would be used to establish precisely what the juvenile did and why he did it -- was it a prank of adolescence or a brutal act threatening serious consequences to himself or society unless corrected?"

Building on the Gideon decision, the Court extended to children the same rights as adults by providing counsel to the indigent child in delinquency proceedings: ÏWe conclude that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires that in respect of proceedings to determine delinquency which may result in commitment to an institution in which the juvenileĖs freedom is curtailed, the child and his parents must be notified of the childĖs right to be represented by counsel retained by them, or if they are un able to afford counsel, that counsel will be appointed to represent the child.Ó

Upcoming Training
For more information, contact:
LPDB Training Division at

Miller v. Alabama Training
June 25 - 26, 2015

East Baton Rouge Parish Public Library
7711 Goodwood Boulevard
Baton Rouge, LA

A two day training to prepare you to successfully litigate sentencing and resentencing for juveniles convicted of homicide pursuant to the
United States Supreme Court’s decision in Miller v. Alabama. The training will include small breakout groups where you can brainstorm your
cases and issues.

The Miller v. Alabama Training will be co-sponsored by LPDB and the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana (JJPL), A Project of the Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights (LCCR).

Save the Date Flyer

Registration Form

2015 Juvenile Training Immersion Program (JTIP) Summer Academy
Summer 2015


The National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) and Georgetown Law are excited to announce a Call for Applications to the 2015 Juvenile Training Immersion Program (JTIP) Summer Academy. The JTIP Summer Academy is an annual one-week intensive and interactive juvenile defender training program intended for both new and experienced front-line defenders. A fillable PDF application with more details is attached.

Participants must cover their own airfare, accommodations, travel expenses, and a $200 tuition (which covers breakfast, lunch, and snacks each day; CLE application fees; and materials).

• Applications are to be submitted via email using the attached fillable PDF sent to Lauren Dollar at
• The deadline for application submission is January 14th, 2015, 11:59 PM EST. Late applications will not be considered.

• Years and scope of experience in defense practice
• Years and scope of experience in juvenile defense practice
• Current juvenile caseload
• Geographic location
• Public defenders and private practitioners
• Diversity

Application Deadline → January 14th, 2015, 11:59 PM EST
Application Selections Announced → February 18, 2015
Deadline for Registration of selected participants → April 1, 2015
Arrival of Attendees → June 14, 2015, Georgetown Law, Washington, DC

Must be a front-line defender to apply.