Juvenile Law Center

Juvenile and Criminal Justice

A.M. v. Acosta; A.M. v. Holmes

Thirteen-year-old A.M. was arrested in his New Mexico school for "burping, laughing, and leaning into the classroom [from the hallway]". Juvenile Law Center joined other amici organizations in filing an amicus brief in support of A.M.’s petition for rehearing en banc in the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Amici argued against the criminalization of children's ordinary schoolroom conduct and highlighted the devastating cost that such criminalization would have on children's education, health, and life chances. The Tenth Circuit denied the petition for rehearing en banc.

A.M. filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court. Juvenile Law Center along with other amici filed an amicus brief in support of A.M.’s petition. Amici argued that allowing the criminalization of commonplace childhood behavior gives law enforcement almost unlimited discretion to arrest children, resulting in disproportionate consequences for children who are most at risk and has dire consequences for children’s education, health, and life chances.

The United States Supreme Court denied the petition for certiorari.


A.M. v. Acosta, No. 16-984, 2017 WL 2039255 (U.S. May 15, 2017); A.M. v. Holmes, 830 F.3d 1123 (10th Cir. 2016)
Case Number
16-984; 14-2066; 14-2183
Amicus Curiae
September 08, 2016
SCOTUS; Tenth Circuit
State of Origin
New Mexico

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