from the Superior Court in Pima County No. JV20160279 The
Honorable K.C. Stanford, Judge
Barbara LaWall, Pima County Attorney By Vincent George,
Deputy County Attorney, Tucson Counsel for Appellee
M. Burke, Interim Pima County Public Defender By Susan C. L.
Kelly, Assistant Public Defender, Tucson Counsel for Minor
Presiding Judge Howard authored the opinion of the Court, in
which Chief Judge Eckerstrom and Judge Vásquez
HOWARD, Presiding Judge.
Following combined probation revocation and delinquency
proceedings on multiple petitions, the juvenile court
continued J.A. on Juvenile Intensive Probation Supervision
(JIPS), and ordered him to complete a program at Canyon State
Academy (CSA) as a condition of probation. On appeal, J.A.
argues the court erred by giving the probation department the
discretion to decide whether to require him to wear a global
positioning system (GPS) monitor upon his release from the
program, over his objection. We affirm the court's order
in all other respects but vacate that portion of the
disposition report relating to the GPS monitor.
and Procedural Background
At the November 2016 disposition hearing, the juvenile court,
the probation officer, and counsel for the parties discussed
the recommended disposition of JIPS and J.A.'s
participation in the program at CSA. J.A.'s counsel
acknowledged the CSA program was a good choice for him, but
asked the court not to order him to wear a monitor upon his
release; she explained that she hoped J.A. would be
successful at the program and would be able to reintegrate
into the community without electronic monitoring. Counsel
suggested "he should be given the incentive to get
through this program and come out without that kind of
restriction on him, " adding that if things did not
"go well . . . you can readdress it at that time."
At the end of the disposition hearing, the juvenile court
continued J.A. on JIPS for twelve months, and ordered him to
participate in the CSA program as a condition of probation.
The court added that the probation department would have
"discretion whether to put the GPS on or not at any time
during probation." Relying on In re Navajo County
Juvenile Action No. 92-J-040, 180 Ariz. 562, 885 P.2d
1127 (App. 1994), counsel objected, arguing the court could
not delegate that kind of authority and could only impose
that condition in the exercise of its discretion after a
hearing. After further discussion, the court invited counsel
to file a motion on the issue and set the matter for a review
hearing on January 31, 2017. Nevertheless, in its disposition
order, the court gave the discretion to the probation officer
to determine whether to require J.A. to wear a monitor.
On appeal, J.A. raises the same objection he raised below.
The state responded in its answering brief, that it
"takes no issue with Appellant's analysis of Arizona
case law." But, the state argued the juvenile court
never ruled on whether J.A. was to wear the GPS monitor,
setting the matter for a later hearing and adding "there
are no minute entries or transcripts to illuminate what
transpired." Consequently, this court suspended the
appeal on its own motion and ordered the juvenile court to
transmit the record that exists after the November 2016
disposition to determine whether the issue raised in this
appeal has been rendered moot by a subsequent ruling. There
is no reference to the GPS monitor in the minute entry from
the January 31, 2017 review hearing. We are therefore left
with the minute entry from the November disposition, which
plainly states that the probation officer has the discretion
to require J.A. to wear a GPS monitor. Thus, contrary to the
state's contention, the court has ruled on this issue and
has, as J.A. asserts, delegated the discretion to his
The juvenile court has the statutory authority to determine
the disposition in delinquency and probation revocation
proceedings as provided in A.R.S. § 8-341. Only the
juvenile court has the authority to impose or modify terms of
probation. Ariz. R. P. Juv. Ct. 31(A), (C). Absent an abuse
of discretion, we will not disturb the court's ruling.
In re Nickolas, 223 Ariz. 403, ¶ 4, 224 P.3d
219, 220 (App. 2010). The court abuses its discretion when it
commits an error of law. Id.
In Navajo County No. 92-J-040, the juvenile court
had ordered the juvenile to spend one week in detention as a
condition of probation but gave his probation officer the
discretion to require him to serve an additional thirty days.
180 Ariz. at 563, 885 P.2d at 1128. Vacating that portion of
the disposition order, this court found the court could not
delegate its authority to determine the appropriate
disposition and to determine the conditions of probation
initially or upon modification. Id. at 563-64, 885
P.2d at 1128-29. A probation officer has only the limited
authority to "impose regulations which are consistent
with and necessary to the implementation of the conditions
imposed by the court." Ariz. R. P. Juv. Ct. 31(A), (C);
see also Andrew G. v. Peasley-Fimbres, 216 Ariz.
204, ¶ 12, 165 P.3d 182, 185 (App. 2007) (finding
extension of probationary period not within probation
officer's limited authority).
Whether a juvenile requires the additional restraint and
structure of an electronic monitor is the kind of
probationary condition that requires the "reflective
discretion" of a judge exercising his or her
"independent judgment" in determining the
appropriate disposition. See In re Harry B., 193
Ariz. 156, ¶¶ 16-17, 971 P.2d 203, 206-07 (App.
1998) (although juvenile court may consider input of
probation officer, it must exercise its discretion in
determining conditions of probation and should not defer to
probation officer). That it is for the court to decide is
implicit in § 8-341, which provides in subsection (D)
that the court may include electronic monitoring as a
condition of mandatory probation for a repetitive felony
offender. See In re Russell M, 200 Ariz. 23, ¶
5, 21 P.3d 409, 411 (App. 2001). Similarly, A.R.S. §
8-352, which relates to JIPS, provides that the court may
place a juvenile on JIPS if he or she meets the various
conditions listed in the statute as well as any other
"conditions imposed by the court, including ...