Skip to main content

IN INTEREST OF v. << (2018)

Court of Appeals of Georgia.



Decided: July 24, 2018

Amanda H. Monaco, Katherine M. Mason, for appellant. Natalie S. Paine, District Attorney, Joshua B. Smith, Assistant District Attorney, for appellee.

The district attorney for the Augusta Judicial Circuit filed a delinquency petition in the Juvenile Court of Richmond County, alleging that S. M. was delinquent for committing the act of theft by taking, a misdemeanor, in that S. M. took a cell phone with a value of $1,500 or less from its owner with the intention of depriving the owner of the property. After initially denying the allegations, S. M., who was represented by counsel, formally admitted the allegations and agreed to an informal adjustment of the matter that included restitution to the victim for the lost phone. Thereafter, the court held a hearing on the amount of restitution, during which the State presented evidence on that topic. At the conclusion of the hearing, the court determined that restitution should be set at $750. The court entered an order for the informal adjustment, including restitution in that amount, and S. M. appealed from that order, challenging, for various reasons, only the amount of the restitution ordered. The State, however, argues that the appeal should be dismissed. We agree.

An informal adjustment is a “disposition of a case other than by formal adjudication and disposition.” OCGA § 15-11-2 (39).1 Generally, an informal adjustment holds all charges in abeyance pending completion of certain conditions in a certain period of time; upon successful completion all charges will be dismissed. See In the Interest of M. T., 223 Ga. App. 615, 616, 478 S.E.2d 428 (1996). Here, the court's order provides for S. M.’s informal adjustment for a period of 90 days. The order further provides:

This order will not expire until such time as all conditions are met. Any violations of the conditions herein will result in the matter being set on the Court's calendar for a final disposition.

Thus, the order on appeal did not render a final judgment of adjudication and disposition. See In the Interest of J. S. A., 346 Ga. App. 419, 816 S.E.2d 399 (2018); In the Interest of M. T., 223 Ga. App. at 616, 478 S.E.2d 428. Because “the order appealed from is not the final judgment to be entered in the case by any court in Georgia, this appeal is premature, and the case must be dismissed without prejudice. [S. M.] is expressly granted permission to file a direct appeal from any subsequent final judgment.” In the Interest of M. T., 223 Ga. App. at 616, 478 S.E.2d 428.

Appeal dismissed.


1.   In order to proceed with an informal adjustment the child and his or her parent, guardian, or legal custodian must consent to the adjustment with knowledge that consent is not obligatory. See OCGA § 15-11-515 (a) (3).

Rickman, Judge.

McFadden, P. J., and Ray, J., concur.

Was this helpful?

Thank you. Your response has been sent.

Welcome to FindLaw's Cases & Codes

A free source of state and federal court opinions, state laws, and the United States Code. For more information about the legal concepts addressed by these cases and statutes visit FindLaw's Learn About the Law.

Go to Learn About the Law
IN INTEREST OF v. << (2018)

Docket No: A18A1221

Decided: July 24, 2018

Court: Court of Appeals of Georgia.

Get a profile on the #1 online legal directory

Harness the power of our directory with your own profile. Select the button below to sign up.

Sign up

Learn About the Law

Get help with your legal needs

FindLaw’s Learn About the Law features thousands of informational articles to help you understand your options. And if you’re ready to hire an attorney, find one in your area who can help.

Learn more about the law
Copied to clipboard