In re L.G.

Thirteen-year old L.G. was arrested immediately after being questioned at his school by a school official in the presence of police during a joint investigation. L.G. was not given Miranda warnings and did not have an attorney present. Both the juvenile court and Ohio Court of Appeals held that L.G. was in custody and that Miranda warnings were required. The State appealed.

Juvenile Law Center, along with Office of the Ohio Public Defender, Children’s Law Center, Inc., Education Law Center-PA, Juvenile Justice Coalition, National Juvenile Defender Center, and Schubert Center for Children’s Studies filed an amicus brief in support of L.G. in the Ohio Supreme Court. Our brief argued that school officials are state actors when their investigation is entangled with that of law enforcement and that courts must consider adolescent development in determining whether a child is in custody and should be given Miranda warnings during an interrogation.

In a 4-3 decision, the Ohio Supreme Court dismissed the appeal as having been improvidently granted, thereby allowing the lower court's ruling protecting juveniles' Miranda rights to stand.