Breed v. Jones Case Brief

Facts of the Case

A petition was filed in the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles Juvenile Court, alleging that a 17-year-old had committed acts which, if committed by an adult, would constitute the crime of robbery under state law, and in a subsequent jurisdictional or adjudicatory hearing, the Juvenile Court found that the allegations of the petition were true. At a dispositional hearing which followed, however, the Juvenile Court determined that the youth was unfit for treatment as a juvenile, and ordered that he be prosecuted as an adult. The youth was tried as an adult in Superior Court and found guilty of robbery. The youth’s subsequent petition for writ of habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the Central District of California was denied, notwithstanding the youth’s contention that his transfer to adult court for trial placed him in double jeopardy, but the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that the double jeopardy clause was fully applicable to juvenile court proceedings.

Question

Did the officer’s search of Prouse’s automobile constitute an unreasonable search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment?

CONCLUSION

Yes. In a unanimous decision, Chief Justice Warren Burger delivered the opinion of the court vacating the lower court decision and remanding. The unanimous Supreme Court held that the criminal trial put Jones in jeopardy for a second time. The Court suggested that juvenile courts make determinations about whether to try a juvenile as an adult at a preliminary hearing before any adjudication is made. This would avoid any double jeopardy and allow juveniles to be tried as adults when appropriate.

Case Information

Citation: 421 US 519 (1975)
Argued: Feb 25 – 26, 1975
Decided: May 27, 1975
Granted: Oct 21, 1974
Case Brief: 1975