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S.B., A Child Under Eighteen v. Commonwealth of Kentucky

April 5, 2013

S.B., A CHILD UNDER EIGHTEEN
APPELLANT
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY APPELLEE



APPEAL FROM SHELBY CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE JOHN DAVID MYLES, JUDGE ACTION NO. 12-J-00015

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Stumbo, Judge

RENDERED: APRIL 5, 2013; 10:00 A.M.

TO BE PUBLISHED

OPINION

VACATING

BEFORE: KELLER,*fn1 STUMBO AND THOMPSON, JUDGES.

S.B. (hereinafter referred to as "Child")*fn2 appeals from the judgment finding her to be a habitual truant. We find that the trial court did not have subject matter jurisdiction over Child and vacate the judgment.

Child was fifteen years old when a petition alleging the status offense charge of habitual truancy was filed against her. Child was alleged to be a habitual truant because she had at least six unexcused absences from school in a one-year period. Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) 159.150. Multiple hearings were conducted and Child was ultimately adjudged to be a habitual truant. Further facts are not necessary because our opinion does not turn on the facts of the case; rather, it is disposed of due to a matter of law.

"No complaint shall be received by the court designated worker alleging habitual truancy unless an adequate assessment of the child has been performed pursuant to KRS 159.140(1)(c), (d), and (f), unless it can be shown that the assessment could not be performed due to the child's failure to participate." KRS 630.060(2). KRS 159.140(1) states in relevant part that:

The director of pupil personnel, or an assistant appointed under KRS 159.080, shall:

(c) Acquaint the school with the home conditions of a habitual truant as described in KRS 159.150(3), and the home with the work and advantages of the school;

(d) Ascertain the causes of irregular attendance and truancy, through documented contact with the custodian of the student, and seek the elimination of these causes; . . . .

(f) Attempt to visit the homes of students who are reported to be in need of books, clothing, or parental care[.]

Additionally, KRS 159.140(3) states that "[i]n any action brought to enforce compulsory attendance laws, the director of pupil personnel or an assistant shall document the home conditions of the ...


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