In Re: Alexander M.
A court may not possess jurisdiction over a guardian ad litem's "uncared for" petition that concerns a juvenile's conditions of confinement following arrest. On or about Sept. 2, 2011, Alexander, 15, was arrested on charges of sexual assault and placed in the custody of the Department of Correction. A judge awarded temporary custody to the Department of Children and Families. A guardian ad litem filed a petition, at first alleging that Alexander was "uncared for," pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §46b-120(9), because Alexander's home could not provide the special care that Alexander required. The guardian ad litem asserted, "The child requires appropriate residential treatment with specialized treatment and care the youth's home and current residence cannot provide." The guardian ad litem amended the "uncared for" petition and claimed that the Manson Youth Institution in Cheshire is not capable of furnishing the appropriate treatment to Alexander and that, if released to his parents, his parents lack the ability to treat Alexander. In July 2012, a court granted permission to DCF to intervene. The Department of Correction filed a motion to strike and argued the guardian ad litem's "uncared for" petition was insufficient, because it lacked information about Alexander's special needs and the DOC's alleged inability to care for Alexander. Alexander's mother filed an objection to the DOC's motion to strike. C.G.S. §46b-120(8) provides, "[A] child or youth may be found `uncared for' who is homeless or whose home cannot provide the specialized care that the physical, emotional or mental condition of the child or youth requires." Allegations that Alexander suffers from a "physical, emotional or mental condition" and that the Department of Correction cannot adequately provide specialized treatment were conclusory. "The petition," wrote the court, "does not allege the nature of the youth's physical, emotional or mental condition that requires specialized care, the type of specialized care or residential placement that Alexander purportedly needs, and why DOC cannot meet his needs." The court also was not persuaded it possessed jurisdiction in connection with an "uncared for" petition to deal with allegations concerning confinement. The court granted the DOC's motion to strike.