The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling that found a New Albin teen should not have been declared a juvenile delinquent. A girl reported a confrontation with another girl at a bus stop where she says the first girl called her names and swore at her in February of 2013. Both of the girls are 15 and their names were not revealed in court documents.
The first girl told police the other girl had been continually harassing her at school. The girl’s mother said they had considered moving because of the harassment. The state sought to have alleged harasser declared a juvenile delinquent. The juvenile court found the statements by the one girl were meant to intimidate the other girl and constituted harassment means of intimidation. It ruled the girl should be declared a juvenile delinquent.
The Iowa Court of Appeals found the juvenile court erred in its definition of intimidation and overturned the ruling. The Iowa Supreme Court agreed, saying there is insufficient evidence in the record to support the declaration of the girl as delinquent. It says the state failed to prove the girl purposefully or intentionally made personal contact with the other girl with the specific intent to threaten, intimidate, or alarm her.
The court says it clearly does not condone the behavior demonstrated in this case, but says the juvenile court committed an error when it declared the girl a delinquent under the harassment statute and reversed the judgment of the juvenile court.
Here’s the full ruling: Juvenile ruling PDF