M.W. is a minor who was interrogated by police without speaking with a lawyer.

Legal Theory

In 2007, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in the case In re C.S. that a juvenile in a delinquency proceeding may only waive his constitutional right to counsel after consulting with a parent, guardian, or attorney. Under state law, a minor's right to counsel attaches when he or she is taken into custody. Therefore, we believe a minor's right to counsel attaches during police interrogations, and the interrogation of M.W. violated her Sixth Amendment rights.

Status Update

We signed onto an amicus brief prepared by the Juvenile Law Center and joined by numerous groups in support of MW that was filed on July 11, 2011. MW’s appeal brief was also filed July 11, 2011. The State Appellee merit brief was filed August 30, 2011. Oral argument was held on Tuesday, December 6, 2011. On October 2, 2012 the Court affirmed the lower court’s decision. The Court interpreted “all stages of the proceeding” in the statutue as referring to only court proceedings. It then found that a juvenile is only statutorily entitled to representation by counsel after commencement of court proceedings. MW filed a motion to reconsider on October 15, 2012,. The State Appellee memo opposing MW’s motion was filed on October 24, 2012. On November 28, 2012, the Court denied MW’s Motion for Reconsideration.

Date filed

July 11, 2011