The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 33: Human Services

Chapter 52: DELINQUENCY PROCEEDINGS

Sub-Chapter 01: Commencement Of Proceedings.

33 V.S.A. § 5204. Transfer from Family Division of the Superior Court



§ 5204. Transfer from Family Division of the Superior Court

(a) After a petition has been filed alleging delinquency, upon motion of the state's attorney and after hearing, the Family Division of the Superior Court may transfer jurisdiction of the proceeding to the Criminal Division of the Superior Court, if the child had attained the age of 16 but not the age of 18 at the time the act was alleged to have occurred and the delinquent act set forth in the petition was not one of those specified in subdivisions (1)-(12) of this subsection or if the child had attained the age of 10 but not the age of 14 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) kidnapping as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 2405;

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

(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 Family Division of the Superior Court for an order transferring jurisdiction under subsection (a) of this section at any time prior to adjudication on the merits. The filing of the motion to transfer jurisdiction shall automatically stay the time for the hearing provided for in section 5225 of this title, which stay shall remain in effect until such time as the Family Division of the Superior 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 Family Division of the Superior Court shall conduct a hearing in accordance with procedures specified in subchapter 2 of this chapter 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 the Family Division of the Superior Court 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 or her 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 Family Division to the Criminal Division of the Superior Court.

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

(f)(1) The Family Division, following completion of the transfer hearing, shall make findings and, if the Court orders transfer of jurisdiction from the Family Division, shall state the reasons for that order. If the Family Division 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.

(2) Notwithstanding subdivision (1) of this subsection, the parties may stipulate to a transfer of jurisdiction from the Family Division at any time after a motion to transfer is made pursuant to subsection (b) of this section. The Court shall not be required to make findings if the parties stipulate to a transfer pursuant to this subdivision. Upon acceptance of the stipulation to transfer jurisdiction, the Court shall transfer the proceedings to the Criminal Division and 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 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 Family Division of the Superior 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 the Family Division throughout. In case of an acquittal for a matter specified in this subsection and in case of a transfer to the Family Division 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 subsection 5119(e) 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 subsections 5117(b) and (c) of this title in accordance with section 5119 of this title and by the attorney for the child. (Added 2007, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2009; amended 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238; 2011, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), § 4.)