2006 Regular Session
To: Juvenile Justice; Public Health and Human Services
By: Representative Holland
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 43-21-151, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO EXPAND YOUTH COURT JURISDICTION BY AUTHORIZING YOUTH COURTS TO MODIFY AN EXISTING CHILD SUPPORT ORDER ENTERED BY A CHANCERY COURT ONLY TO THE EXTENT OF MODIFYING THE PAYEE OR TERMINATING THE SUPPORT OBLIGATION IN CASES WHERE THE YOUTH COURT OTHERWISE ACQUIRED JURISDICTION OVER THE CHILD BECAUSE THE CHILD WAS ALLEGED TO BE NEGLECTED, ABUSED, DELINQUENT, IN NEED OF SUPERVISION, OR A DEPENDENT CHILD, AND THE YOUTH COURT HAS ADJUDICATED THE CHILD SO TO BE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 43-21-151, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-21-151. (1) The youth court shall have exclusive original jurisdiction in all proceedings concerning a delinquent child, a child in need of supervision, a neglected child, an abused child or a dependent child except in the following circumstances:
(a) Any act attempted or committed by a child, which if committed by an adult would be punishable under state or federal law by life imprisonment or death, will be in the original jurisdiction of the circuit court;
(b) Any act attempted or committed by a child with the use of a deadly weapon, the carrying of which concealed is prohibited by Section 97-37-1, or a shotgun or a rifle, which would be a felony if committed by an adult, will be in the original jurisdiction of the circuit court; and
(c) When a charge of abuse of a child first arises in the course of a custody action between the parents of the child already pending in the chancery court and no notice of such abuse was provided prior to such chancery proceedings, the chancery court may proceed with the investigation, hearing and determination of such abuse charge as a part of its hearing and determination of the custody issue as between the parents, notwithstanding the other provisions of the Youth Court Law. The proceedings in chancery court on the abuse charge shall be confidential in the same manner as provided in youth court proceedings.
When a child is expelled from the public schools, the youth court shall be notified of the act of expulsion and the act or acts constituting the basis for expulsion.
(2) Jurisdiction of the child in the cause shall attach at the time of the offense and shall continue thereafter for that offense until the child's twentieth birthday, unless sooner terminated by order of the youth court. The youth court shall not have jurisdiction over offenses committed by a child on or after his eighteenth birthday, or over offenses committed by a child on or after his seventeenth birthday where such offenses would be a felony if committed by an adult.
(3) No child who has not reached his thirteenth birthday shall be held criminally responsible or criminally prosecuted for a misdemeanor or felony; however, the parent, guardian or custodian of such child may be civilly liable for any criminal acts of such child. No child under the jurisdiction of the youth court shall be held criminally responsible or criminally prosecuted by any court for any act designated as a delinquent act, unless jurisdiction is transferred to another court under Section 43-21-157.
(4) The youth court shall also have jurisdiction of offenses committed by a child which have been transferred to the youth court by an order of a circuit court of this state having original jurisdiction of the offense, as provided by Section 43-21-159.
(5) The youth court shall regulate and approve the use of teen court as provided in Section 43-21-753.
(6) When a child in the jurisdiction of the youth court has previously been the subject of a chancery court order requiring the noncustodial parent to pay child support to the custodial parent due to divorce or to establishment of paternity for a child, and the youth court determines that the child is neglected, abused, dependent, in need of supervision or delinquent, and removes the child from the custody of the child support payee, the youth court shall have jurisdiction to modify the child support order only to change the payee from the primary custodial parent to the Division of Family and Children's Services or the private person into whose custody the youth court places the child, or to terminate the support obligation because the court placed the children in the obligor's custody. Modification or termination by the youth court shall remain in effect only as long as custody of the child remains as ordered by the youth court. If the child is returned to the custodial parent named in the chancery court child support order, the noncustodial parent's obligation to pay the custodial parent shall be automatically reinstated if the youth court has entered an order reinstating the payment of such support and if the noncustodial parent is notified of the reinstatement.
The youth court shall furnish written notice of its action modifying the child support order to the chancery court in which the support order was decreed. A copy of that part of the youth court order modifying the payee or terminating the support obligation shall be entered on the general docket of the chancery court and in the chancery case file.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2006.