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H.205

Introduced by   Representatives Jewett of Ripton, Donahue of Northfield, Fisher of Lincoln, Kainen of Hartford and Kiss of Burlington

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Juvenile proceedings; commencement of proceedings against minors in juvenile court

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to require that all criminal proceedings against minors be commenced in juvenile court.  For serious offenses, the state’s attorney may file a motion to transfer the proceedings to criminal court.

AN ACT RELATING TO REQUIRING CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS AGAINST MINORS TO BE COMMENCED IN JUVENILE COURT

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  33 V.S.A. § 5505 is amended to read:

§ 5505.  TRANSFER FROM OTHER COURTS

(a)  All criminal proceedings against defendants under the age of 18 at the time of the offense charged shall be commenced in the juvenile court.  If it appears to any court of this state in a criminal proceeding that the defendant was under the age of sixteen 18 years at the time the offense charged was alleged to have been committed and the offense charged is not one of those specified in section 5506(a) of this title, that court shall forthwith transfer the case to the juvenile court under the authority of this chapter.

(b)  If it appears to any court of this state in a criminal proceeding that the defendant was over the age of sixteen years and under the age of eighteen years at the time the offense charged was alleged to have been committed, or that the defendant had attained the age of 14 but not the age of 16 at the time an offense specified in section 5506(a) of this title was alleged to have been committed, that court may forthwith transfer the proceeding to the juvenile court under the authority of this chapter, and the minor shall thereupon be considered to be subject to this chapter as a delinquent child.

(c)  If it appears to the state’s attorney that the defendant was over the age of sixteen and under the age of eighteen at the time the offense charged was alleged to have been committed and the offense charged is not an offense specified in section 5506(a) of this title, the state’s attorney may file charges in a juvenile court or a court of criminal jurisdiction.  If charges in such a matter are filed in a court of criminal jurisdiction, that court may forthwith transfer the proceeding to the juvenile court under the authority of this chapter and the person shall thereupon be considered to be subject to this chapter as a delinquent child.

(d)  Any such transfer shall include a transfer and delivery of a copy of the accusatory pleading and other papers, documents, and transcripts of testimony relating to the case.  Upon any such transfer, that court shall order that the defendant be taken forthwith to a place of detention designated by the juvenile court or to that court itself, or shall release him the defendant to the custody of his the defendant’s parent or guardian or other person legally responsible for him the defendant, to be brought before the juvenile court at a time designated by that court.  The juvenile court shall then proceed as provided in this chapter as if a petition alleging delinquency had been filed with the court under section 5517 of this title on the effective date of such transfer.

(e)(c)  A defendant in a criminal proceeding who has attained the age of 10 but not the age of 16 at the time an offense specified in subsection 5506(a) of this title is alleged to have been committed, may file a motion requesting treatment as a youthful offender.  The court may transfer the proceeding to family court for youthful offender adjudication if it finds that:

(1)  the defendant enters a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to the offense charged pursuant to Rule 11 of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure;

(2)  the defendant is amenable to treatment or rehabilitation as a youthful offender; and

(3)  public safety will be secured by treating the defendant as a youthful offender.

(f)(d)  A defendant in a criminal proceeding who has attained the age of 16 but not the age of 18 at the time the offense is alleged to have been committed may file a motion requesting treatment as a youthful offender.  The court may transfer the proceeding to family court if it finds:

(1)  the defendant enters a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to the offense charged pursuant to Rule 11 of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure;

(2)  the defendant is amenable to treatment or rehabilitation as a youthful offender; and

(3)  public safety will be secured by treating the defendant as a youthful offender.

Sec. 2.  33 V.S.A. § 5506 is amended to read:

§ 5506.  TRANSFER FROM JUVENILE COURT

(a)  After a petition has been filed alleging delinquency, upon motion of the state’s attorney and after hearing, the juvenile court may transfer jurisdiction of the proceeding to a court of criminal jurisdiction, if the child had attained the age of 10 but not the age of 14 18 at the time the act was alleged to have occurred, and if the delinquent act set forth in the petition was any of the following:

(1)  arson causing death as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 501;

(2)  assault and robbery with a dangerous weapon as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 608(b);

(3)  assault and robbery causing bodily injury as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 608(c);

(4)  aggravated assault as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1024;

(5)  murder as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2301;

(6)  manslaughter as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2304;

(7)  kidnaping as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2405;

(8)  unlawful restraint as defined in 13 V.S.A. §§ 2406 and 2407;

(9)  maiming as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2701;

(10)  sexual assault as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 3252(a)(1) or (a)(2);

(11)  aggravated sexual assault as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 3253;

(12)  burglary into an occupied dwelling as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1201(c).

(b)  The state’s attorney of the county where the juvenile petition is pending may move in the juvenile court for an order transferring jurisdiction under subsection (a) of this section within ten days of the filing of the petition alleging delinquency.  The filing of the motion to transfer jurisdiction shall automatically stay the time for the hearing provided for in section 5519 of this title, which stay shall remain in effect until such time as the juvenile court may deny the motion to transfer jurisdiction.

(c)  Upon the filing of a motion to transfer jurisdiction under subsection (b) of this section, the juvenile court shall conduct a hearing in accordance with procedures specified in sections 5519-5525 of this title to determine whether:

(1)  there is probable cause to believe that the child committed an act listed in subsection (a) of this section; and

(2)  public safety and the interests of the community would not be served by treatment of the child under the provisions of law relating to juvenile courts and delinquent children.

(d)  In making its determination as required under subsection (c) of this section, the court may consider, among other matters:

(1)  the maturity of the child as determined by consideration of his the child’s age; home; environment; emotional, psychological and physical maturity, and relationship with and adjustment to school and the community;

(2)  the extent and nature of the child’s prior record of delinquency;

(3)  the nature of past treatment efforts and the nature of the child’s response to them;

(4)  whether the alleged offense was committed in an aggressive, violent, premeditated, or willful manner;

(5)  the nature of any personal injuries resulting from or intended to be caused by the alleged act;

(6)  the prospects for rehabilitation of the child by use of procedures, services, and facilities available through juvenile proceedings;

(7)  whether the protection of the community would be better served by transferring jurisdiction from the juvenile court to a court of criminal jurisdiction.

(e)  A transfer under this section shall terminate the jurisdiction of the juvenile court over the child only with respect to those delinquent acts alleged in the petition with respect to which transfer was sought.

(f)  The juvenile court, following completion of the transfer hearing, shall make written findings and, if the court orders transfer of jurisdiction from the juvenile court, shall state the reasons for that order.  If the juvenile court orders transfer of jurisdiction, the child shall be treated as an adult.  The state’s attorney shall commence criminal proceedings as in cases commenced against adults.

(g)  The order granting or denying transfer of jurisdiction shall not constitute a final judgment or order within the meaning of Rules 3 and 4 of the Vermont Rules of Appellate Procedure.

(h)  If a person, who has not attained the age of 16 18 at the time of the alleged offense, has been prosecuted as an adult and is not convicted of one of the acts listed in subsection (a) of this section, but is convicted only of one or more lesser offenses, jurisdiction shall be transferred to the juvenile court for disposition.  A conviction under this subsection shall be considered an adjudication of delinquency and not a conviction of crime, and the entire matter shall be treated as if it had remained in juvenile court throughout. In case of an acquittal for a matter specified in this subsection and in case of a transfer to juvenile court under this subsection, the court shall order the sealing of all applicable files and records of the court, and such order shall be carried out as provided in 33 V.S.A. § subsection 5538(c) of this title.

(i)  The record of a hearing conducted under subsection (c) of this section and any related files shall be open to inspection only by persons specified in 33 V.S.A. § subsections 5536(b) and (c) of this title, and by the attorney for the child.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us