IN THE INTEREST OF C.R., A MINOR, AND F.R., A MINOR: D.R. APPELLANT
MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CHILD PROTECTION SERVICES APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 05/26/2017
COUNTY YOUTH COURT HON. SUSAN RHEA SHELDON TRIAL JUDGE
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: DEAN HOLLEMAN MARY CATHERINE PENROSE
MITCHELL PATRICK TAYLOR GUILD
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: LAWRENCE ELDER HAHN
BARNES, C.J., WESTBROOKS AND C. WILSON, JJ.
D.R. appeals an order from the Marion County Youth Court
adjudicating his two children, F.R. and C.R., as abused
children. Because we lack jurisdiction, we dismiss
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
In April 2017, the Mississippi Department of Child Protection
Services (CPS) received a report of alleged abuse of F.R. and
C.R. by their father, D.R. The report stemmed from D.R.
spanking F.R. on January 25, 2017.
After CPS conducted forensic interviews of the children and
D.R., the Marion County Youth Court Referee filed
"Intake Orders," referring the matters for formal
proceedings by the youth court. The Marion County prosecuting
attorney then filed two petitions with the youth court,
alleging that F.R. and C.R. were abused children within the
purview of the Youth Court Law, Mississippi Code Annotated
sections 43-21-101 through - 915 (Rev. 2015).
The youth court held an adjudication hearing on both
petitions on May 22, 2017. Following the hearing, the youth
court adjudicated F.R. and C.R. as abused
children. The youth court then entered a disposition
order without holding a disposition hearing. In its
disposition order, the youth court merely withheld
disposition, relinquished jurisdiction, and transferred the
matter to a chancery court for further proceedings. D.R. now
(prior to disposition) appeals from the youth court's
The issue of jurisdiction has not been raised by the parties
on appeal. But "[w]hether raised by the parties or not,
this Court is required to note its own lack of
jurisdiction." Darnell v. Darnell, 199 So.3d
695, 696 (¶3) (Miss. 2016) (quoting Michael v.
Michael, 650 So.2d 469, 471 (Miss. 1995)). D.R. has
appealed directly from the youth court's adjudication
order without first allowing the youth court or the chancery
court to conduct a disposition hearing and enter a
disposition order as required by law. Accordingly, D.R.'s
appeal must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
Pursuant to Mississippi Code Annotated section 43-21-601(1)
(Rev. 2015), "[i]f [a] child has been adjudicated . . .
an abused child, the youth court shall immediately
set a time and place for a disposition hearing which
shall be separate, distinct and subsequent to the
adjudicatory hearing." (Emphasis added). Further,
"[a]fter consideration of all the evidence and the
relevant factors [presented at the disposition hearing], the
youth court shall enter a disposition order . . .