Presentation on theme: "Juvenile Court in Minnesota. Minnesota Statutes Chapters 260B (delinquency) and 260C (CHIPS). “child” or “minor” is an individual under age 18. Jurisdiction:"— Presentation transcript:
Juvenile Court in Minnesota
Minnesota Statutes Chapters 260B (delinquency) and 260C (CHIPS). “child” or “minor” is an individual under age 18. Jurisdiction: Every county in Minnesota has a District Court. District Courts have original and exclusive jurisdiction over any child alleged to be delinquent. Delinquency cases are typically heard in juvenile court which is a branch of the District Court. Juvenile courts have jurisdiction over the person who has custody or control over the child and that person is required to be present at all hearings. Other parents or legal guardians shall receive notice of all hearings. 260B.151. Juvenile delinquency proceedings are brought in the county where the offense occurred. Disposition (sentencing) occurs in the county where the juvenile resides. 260B.105 “delinquent” – a child who has violated any state or local law or federal law or law of another state. Juvenile court jurisdiction cannot extend beyond age 19. 260B.193, subd. 5(a)
Age 10: children age 10 and older can be summoned to juvenile court and found to be delinquent. 260C.007, subd. 6(12) Age: 14: children ages 14 and older who are charged with a felony-level offense can be certified as an adult and transferred to adult court. 260B.125. Ages 14-17: the prosecutor can request delinquency proceedings be designated an extended jurisdiction juvenile (EJJ) if the child was ages 14-17 at the time of the alleged offense. If a child is found guilty in an EJJ prosecution, the child is given both a juvenile sentence and an adult sentence. If the child fails to complete the juvenile sentence, the adult sentence is imposed. 260B.130 Age 16: if the offense was a felony and the offense was committed by a child who was at least 16 at the time the offense was committed, the court shall open the delinquency hearings to the public. 260B.163, subd. 1 Age 16: children ages 16 and 17, if alleged to have committed murder in the 1st degree, cannot be found to be delinquent. They must go to adult court.
Mental Health Services When the juvenile court orders disposition in a delinquency matter, mental health services due any child … shall be made a part of any disposition affecting that child. Minn. Stat. 245.487, subd. 2. If the child’s mental health is in question, the court typically orders a mental health screening. The screening must be conducted by a mental health practitioner or a probation officer or social worker trained in the use of the screening instrument. The court or county agency must obtain written informed consent from the parent or legal guardian before a mental health screening is conducted unless the court, notwithstanding the parent’s failure to consent, determines that the screening is in the child’s best interest and orders the screening be done. A screening is not required when a screening or diagnostic assessment has been performed within the previous 180 days or the child is currently under the care of a mental health professional. 245.4874, subd. 1 (14)(c)(d)
Rules of Juvenile Delinquency Procedure Competency Rule 20: A child is incompetent and shall not be permitted to enter a plea, be tried, or receive a disposition for any offense when the child lacks sufficient ability to: (1) consult with a reasonable degree of rational understanding with the child’s counsel; or (2) understand the proceedings or participate in the defense due to mental illness or mental deficiency.
The prosecuting attorney, the child’s counsel or the court shall bring a motion to determine the competency of the child if there is reason to doubt the competency of the child during the pending proceedings. When such motion is made, the judge must suspend the proceedings and proceed as follows: Appoint at least one examiner as defined in the Minnesota Commitment Act, chapter 253B, to examine the child and report to the court on the child’s mental condition. The court may not order confinement for the examination if the child is otherwise entitled to release and if the examination can be done adequately on an outpatient basis. The court may require the completion of an outpatient examination as a condition of release. The court may order confinement for an inpatient examination for a specified period not to exceed sixty days if the examination cannot be adequately done on an outpatient basis or if the child is not released. The child’s attorney and the prosecuting attorney may each request an additional examination by a different examiner. The examiner must promptly notify the court if the child presents as an imminent risk of serious danger to another person, is imminently suicidal, or otherwise needs emergency intervention. Within sixty days, the examiner must send a written report to the judge who ordered the examination, the prosecuting attorney and the child’s counsel.
Courts do not do crisis intervention. The juvenile justice system should not be the last resort for kids with mental health problems, nor should it be the first time mental health needs are identified and addressed by a mental health provider. Juvenile court judges are asked to understand the myriad of underlying factors that affect the lives of juveniles and their families. One of the most pervasive of these factors is exposure to trauma. Research has repeatedly shown that the majority of youth in the juvenile justice system have experienced traumatic events. Rates of PTSD in juvenile justice-involved youth are estimated between 3%-50% making it comparable to the PTSD rates of soldiers returning from deployment in Iraq. Courts need to recognize and address the role of trauma in the lives of youth. A trauma-informed juvenile justice system understands that youth who are chronically exposed to trauma are often hypervigilant and can be easily triggered into a defensive or aggressive response toward adults and peers.
It does not go unnoticed by juveniles when their safety and well-being is not addressed but their delinquent behavior is. Such paradoxes/frustrations can increase the likelihood that juveniles will respond defiantly and with hostility toward court personnel and other professionals who are in positions of authority.
Every county attorney is required to establish a pretrial diversion program for juveniles. Among the goals of this diversion program are (1) providing eligible juveniles with an alternative to adjudication that emphasizes restorative justice, and (2) developing responsible alternatives to the juvenile justice system for eligible offenders. Goals shall be established for each offender using appropriate community resources, and also, referrals for assessments and treatment can be made as determined appropriate. 382.24.
The U.S. Supreme Court has recently attempted to define juveniles and separate them from the usual criminal court proceedings, specifically, sentencing. The Supreme Court has declared that juveniles are “constitutionally different than adults for purposes of sentencing.” The Court noted that juveniles may have a lack of maturity and an underdeveloped sense of responsibility leading them to recklessness, impulsivity and risk-taking behavior. The Court also recognized that juveniles are more vulnerable to negative influences and have limited control over their environment. The Court determined that the Eighth Amendment requires that punishment for crime should be graduated and proportioned to both the offender and the offense. Sentencing provisions that prevent the judge from considering mitigating factors such as the age of the offender and the offender’s background, mental and emotional development in these types of (serious) cases are unconstitutional. Miller v. Alabama, 132 S.Ct. 2455 (2012).