Lewd Gault Case Brief

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Gerald Gault was a 15 year-old accused of making an lewd telephone call to a neighbor, Mrs. Cook, on June 8, 1964. After Mrs. Cook filed a complaint, Gault and Ronald Lewis, were arrested and taken to the Children’s Detention Home. Gault was on probation at that time, after being in the company of another boy who had stolen a wallet. At the time of the arrest of the phone call incident, Gault’s parents were at work. The arresting officer at no time made any attempted to notify or contact the parents of Gault’s parents to inform them of his arrest. When Gault’s mother eventually learned of his arrest from the family of Ronald Lewis. When Mrs. Gault arrived at the Detention Home, she was told that a hearing was scheduled in juvenile court the following day. The arresting officer filed a petition with the court the same day of Gault’s initial court hearing. The petition was not served on Gault or his parents. In fact, they did not see the petition until more than two months later, on August 17, 1964, the day of Gerald’s habeas corpus hearing. The June 9 hearing was informal. Not only was Mrs. Cook not present, but no transcript…show more content…
The juvenile court judge committed Gault to juvenile detention until he reached the age of 21. At that time, appeal were not permitted in juvenile cases by Arizona law; therefore, a habeas petition was filed in the Supreme Court of Arizona and referred to the Superior Court for a hearing. The Superior Court dismissed the petition, and the Arizona Supreme Court affirmed. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case to determine the procedural rights of a juvenile defendant in delinquency proceedings where there is a possibility of incarceration. In a unanimous Decision: Justice Fortas wrote the opinion of the court. Justices Douglas, Clark, and Harlan each wrote concurring

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