By Nate Nieman
Nieman Law Group
Nieman Law Group
The juvenile appellant in U.S. v. Sealed Defendant Juvenile Male (4), No. 16-3311, (7th Cir. 2017), along with two other juveniles and an adult, allegedly robbed a CVS store in Indianapolis at gunpoint. They were charged in federal court with Hobbs Act Robbery and possession of a firearm during a robbery. The Government sought to transfer the juveniles’ cases for adult prosecution under 18 U.S.C. § 5032. In order to transfer a case under 18 U.S.C. § 5032, the transfer must be “in the interest of justice,” which the court determines by making certain findings related to the offense and the juvenile offender.
The Government moved to have the juveniles examined by government psychologists to provide evidence showing that it would be in the interest of justice to try the juveniles as adults. The juveniles objected, arguing that the examinations, which would be conducted without their lawyers present, violated their Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights. The magistrate disagreed and ordered the juveniles to submit to the examination without their lawyers present. The district court agreed with the magistrate, and the juvenile appellant in this case filed an interlocutory appeal, arguing that the examination would violate his constitutional rights.
The Seventh Circuit never reached the merits of his appeal because the court dismissed the appeal after determining that it was without jurisdiction to hear it. The court has jurisdiction only over final decisions from the district court. 28 U.S.C. § 1291. A final decision is “one which ends the litigation on the merits and leaves nothing for the court to do but execute the judgment.” Gelboim v. Bank of Am. Corp., 135 S. Ct. 897, 902 (2015) (quoting Catlin v. United States, 324 U.S. 229, 233 (1945)). However, the court also noted that “There does exist a ‘small class’ of nonfinal orders that ‘finally determine claims of right separable from, and collateral to, rights asserted in the action, too important to be denied review and too independent of the cause itself to require that appellate consideration be deferred until the whole case is adjudicated.’ ” Cohen v. Beneficial Indus. Loan Corp., 337 U.S. 541, 546 (1949). These are called “collateral orders,” and they are “immediately appealable if three elements are satisfied: the nonfinal order must ‘(1) be conclusive on the issue presented; (2) resolve an important question separate from the merits of the underlying action; and (3) be “effectively unreviewable” on an appeal from the final judgment of the underlying action.’ ” Doe v. Vill. Of Deerfield, 819 F.3d 372, 375 (7th Cir. 2016) (quoting Mohawk Indus., Inc. v. Carpenter, 558 U.S. 100, 106 (2009)).