1999 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Turner
Senate Bill 2301
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 43-21-157, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CORRECT A TECHNICAL ERROR IN THE STATUTORY REFERENCES SO AS TO CLARIFY JURISDICTION OF THE YOUTH COURT; TO AMEND SECTION 43-21-159, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE YOUTH COURT JURISDICTION OVER VIOLATIONS OF THE MISSISSIPPI IMPLIED CONSENT LAW; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 43-21-157, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-21-157. (1) If a child who has reached his thirteenth birthday is charged by petition to be a delinquent child, the youth court, either on motion of the youth court prosecutor or on the youth court's own motion, after a hearing as hereinafter provided, may, in its discretion, transfer jurisdiction of the alleged offense described in the petition or a lesser included offense to the criminal court which would have trial jurisdiction of such offense if committed by an adult. The child shall be represented by counsel in transfer proceedings.
(2) A motion to transfer shall be filed on a day prior to the date set for the adjudicatory hearing but not more than ten (10) days after the filing of the petition. The youth court may order a transfer study at any time after the motion to transfer is filed. The transfer study and any other social record which the youth court will consider at the transfer hearing shall be made available to the child's counsel prior to the hearing. Summons shall be served in the same manner as other summons under this chapter with a copy of the motion to transfer and the petition attached thereto.
(3) The transfer hearing shall be bifurcated. At the transfer hearing, the youth court shall first determine whether probable cause exists to believe that the child committed the alleged offense. For the purpose of the transfer hearing only, the child may, with the assistance of counsel, waive the determination of probable cause.
(4) Upon such a finding of probable cause, the youth court may transfer jurisdiction of the alleged offense and the youth if the youth court finds by clear and convincing evidence that there are no reasonable prospects of rehabilitation within the juvenile justice system.
(5) The factors which shall be considered by the youth court in determining the reasonable prospects of rehabilitation within the juvenile justice system are:
(a) Whether or not the alleged offense constituted a substantial danger to the public;
(b) The seriousness of the alleged offense;
(c) Whether or not the transfer is required to protect the community;
(d) Whether or not the alleged offense was committed in an aggressive, violent, premeditated or willful manner;
(e) Whether the alleged offense was against persons or against property, greater weight being given to the offense against persons, especially if personal injury resulted;
(f) The sophistication, maturity and educational background of the child;
(g) The child's home situation, emotional condition and life-style;
(h) The history of the child, including experience with the juvenile justice system, other courts, probation, commitments to juvenile institutions or other placements;
(i) Whether or not the child can be retained in the juvenile justice system long enough for effective treatment or rehabilitation;
(j) The dispositional resources available to the juvenile justice system;
(k) Dispositional resources available to the adult correctional system for the child if treated as an adult;
(l) Whether the alleged offense was committed on school property, public or private, or at any school-sponsored event, and constituted a substantial danger to other students;
(m) Any other factors deemed relevant by the youth court; and
(n) Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit the transfer of jurisdiction of an alleged offense and a child if that child, at the time of the transfer hearing, previously has not been placed in a juvenile institution.
(6) If the youth court transfers jurisdiction of the alleged offense to a criminal court, the youth court shall enter a transfer order containing:
(a) Facts showing that the youth court had jurisdiction of the cause and of the parties;
(b) Facts showing that the child was represented by counsel;
(c) Facts showing that the hearing was held in the presence of the child and his counsel;
(d) A recital of the findings of probable cause and the facts and reasons underlying the youth court's decision to transfer jurisdiction of the alleged offense;
(e) The conditions of custody or release of the child pending criminal court proceedings, including bail or recognizance as the case may justify, as well as a designation of the custodian for the time being; and
(f) A designation of the alleged offense transferred and of the court to which the transfer is made and a direction to the clerk to forward for filing in such court a certified copy of the transfer order of the youth court.
(7) The testimony of the child respondent at a transfer hearing conducted pursuant to this chapter shall not be admissible against the child in any proceeding other than the transfer hearing.
(8) When jurisdiction of an offense is transferred to the circuit court, or when a youth has committed an act which is in original circuit court jurisdiction pursuant to Section 43-21-151 * * *, the jurisdiction of the youth court over the youth is forever terminated, except that such jurisdiction is not forever terminated if the circuit court transfers or remands the transferred case to the youth court or if a child who has been transferred to the circuit court or is in the original jurisdiction of the circuit court is not convicted. However, when jurisdiction of an offense is transferred to the circuit court pursuant to this section or when an offense committed by a youth is in original circuit court jurisdiction pursuant to Section 43-21-151 * * *, the circuit court shall thereafter assume and retain jurisdiction of any felony offenses committed by such youth without any additional transfer proceedings. Any misdemeanor offenses committed by youth who are in circuit court jurisdiction pursuant to this section or Section 43-21-151 * * * shall be prosecuted in the court which would have jurisdiction over that offense if committed by an adult without any additional transfer proceedings. The circuit court may review the transfer proceedings on motion of the transferred child. Such review shall be on the record of the hearing in the youth court. The circuit court shall remand the offense to the youth court if there is no substantial evidence to support the order of the youth court. The circuit court may also review the conditions of custody or release pending criminal court proceedings.
(9) When any youth has been the subject of a transfer to circuit court for an offense committed in any county of the state or has committed any act which is in the original jurisdiction of the circuit court pursuant to Section 43-21-151 * * *, that transfer or original jurisdiction shall be recognized by all other courts of the state and no subsequent offense committed by such youth in any county of the state shall be in the jurisdiction of the youth court unless transferred to the youth court pursuant to Section 43-21-159(3). Transfers from youth courts of other states shall be recognized by the courts of this state and no youth who has a pending charge or a conviction in the adult court system of any other state shall be in the jurisdiction of the youth courts of this state, but such youths shall be in the jurisdiction of the circuit court for any felony committed in this state or in the jurisdiction of the court of competent jurisdiction for any misdemeanor committed in this state.
SECTION 2. Section 43-21-159, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-21-159. (1) When a person appears before a court other than the youth court, and it is determined that the person is a child under jurisdiction of the youth court, such court shall, unless the jurisdiction of the offense has been transferred to such court as provided in this chapter, or unless the child has previously been the subject of a transfer from the youth court to the circuit court for trial as an adult and was convicted, immediately dismiss the proceeding without prejudice and forward all documents pertaining to the cause to the youth court; and all entries in permanent records shall be expunged. The youth court shall have the power to order and supervise the expunction or the destruction of such records in accordance with Section 43-21-265. The youth court is authorized to expunge the record of any case within its jurisdiction in which an arrest was made, the person arrested was released and the case was dismissed or the charges were dropped or there was no disposition of such case. In cases where the child is charged with a hunting or fishing violation or a traffic violation, except for driving offenses under the Mississippi Implied Consent Law, whether it be any state or federal law * * * or municipal ordinance or county resolution or where the child is charged with a violation of Section 67-3-70, the appropriate criminal court shall proceed to dispose of the same in the same manner as for other adult offenders and it shall not be necessary to transfer the case to the youth court of the county. Unless the cause has been transferred, or unless the child has previously been the subject of a transfer from the youth court to the circuit court for trial as an adult * * * and was convicted, the youth court shall have power on its own motion to remove jurisdiction from any criminal court of any offense including a hunting or fishing violation, a traffic violation, or a violation of Section 67-3-70, committed by a child in a matter under the jurisdiction of the youth court and proceed therewith in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(2) After conviction and sentence of any child by any other court having original jurisdiction on a misdemeanor charge, and within the time allowed for an appeal of such conviction and sentence, the youth court of the county shall have the full power to stay the execution of the sentence and to release the child on good behavior or on other order as the youth court may see fit to make unless the child has previously been the subject of a transfer from the youth court to the circuit court for trial as an adult and was convicted. When a child is convicted of a misdemeanor and is committed to, incarcerated in or imprisoned in a jail or other place of detention by a criminal court having proper jurisdiction of such charge, such court shall notify the youth court judge or the judge's designee of the conviction and sentence prior to the commencement of such incarceration. The youth court shall have the power to order and supervise the destruction of any records involving children maintained by the criminal court in accordance with Section 43-21-265. However, the youth court shall have the power to set aside a judgment of any other court rendered in any matter over which the youth court has exclusive original jurisdiction, to expunge or destroy the records thereof in accordance with Section 43-21-265, and to order a refund of fines and costs.
(3) Nothing in subsection (1) or (2) shall apply to a youth who has a pending charge or a conviction for any crime over which circuit court has original jurisdiction.
(4) In any case wherein the defendant is a child as defined in this chapter and of which the circuit court has original jurisdiction, the circuit judge, upon a finding that it would be in the best interest of such child and in the interest of justice, may at any stage of the proceedings prior to the attachment of jeopardy transfer such proceedings to the youth court for further proceedings unless the child has previously been the subject of a transfer from the youth court to the circuit court for trial as an adult and was convicted or has previously been convicted of a crime which was in original circuit court jurisdiction, and the youth court shall, upon acquiring jurisdiction, proceed as provided in this chapter for the adjudication and disposition of delinquent child proceeding proceedings. If the case is not transferred to the youth court and the youth is convicted of a crime by any circuit court, the trial judge shall sentence the youth as though such youth was an adult. The circuit court shall not have the authority to commit such child to the custody of the Department of Youth Services for placement in a state-supported training school.
(5) In no event shall a court sentence an offender over the age of eighteen (18) to the custody of the Division of Youth Services for placement in a state-supported training school.
(6) When a child's driver's license is suspended by the youth court for any reason, the clerk of the youth court shall report the suspension, without a court order under Section 43-21-261, to the Commissioner of Public Safety in the same manner as such suspensions are reported in cases involving adults.
(7) No offense involving the use or possession of a firearm by a child who has reached his fifteenth birthday and which, if committed by an adult would be a felony, shall be transferred to the youth court.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.