HB 7332

Version: File+No.+502+R000502+FC
Author: Public Safety and Security Committee

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House of Representatives

January Session, 2019

House Bill No. 7332

House of Representatives, April 8, 2019

The Committee on Public Safety and Security reported through REP. VERRENGIA of the 20th Dist., Chairperson of the Committee on the part of the House, that the bill ought to pass.

AN ACT CONCERNING PUBLIC SAFETY AND THE WELFARE OF REPEAT JUVENILE OFFENDERS AND THEIR VICTIMS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

1Section 1. Subsections (a) and (b) of section 46b-127 of the general

2statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof

3(Effective October 1, 2019):

4(a) (1) The court shall automatically transfer from the docket for

5juvenile matters to the regular criminal docket of the Superior Court

6the case of any child (A) (i) charged with the commission of (I) a

7capital felony under the provisions of section 53a-54b in effect prior to

8April 25, 2012, (II) a class A felony, [or] (III) a class B felony, except as

9provided in subparagraph (A)(ii) of this subdivision or subdivision (3)

10of this subsection, or (IV) a violation of section 53a-54d, [provided] or

11(ii) previously adjudicated as delinquent for or convicted of or pled

12guilty or nolo contendere to two or more felony offenses, and charged

13with the commission of larceny under subdivision (3) of subsection (a)

14of section 53a-122, subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 53a-123

15or subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 53a-124, and (B) such

16offense was committed after such child attained the age of fifteen years

17and counsel has been appointed for such child if such child is indigent.

18Such counsel may appear with the child but shall not be permitted to

19make any argument or file any motion in opposition to the transfer.

20The child shall be arraigned in the regular criminal docket of the

21Superior Court at the next court date following such transfer, provided

22any proceedings held prior to the finalization of such transfer shall be

23private and shall be conducted in such parts of the courthouse or the

24building in which the court is located that are separate and apart from

25the other parts of the court which are then being used for proceedings

26pertaining to adults charged with crimes.

27(2) A state's attorney may, at any time after such arraignment, file a

28motion to transfer the case of any child charged with the commission

29of a class B felony, larceny under subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of

30section 53a-123 or subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 53a-124,

31or a violation of subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 53a-70, to

32the docket for juvenile matters for proceedings in accordance with the

33provisions of this chapter.

34(3) No case of any child charged with the commission of a violation

35 of section 53a-55, 53a-59b, 53a-71 or 53a-94, subdivision (2) of

36subsection (a) of section 53a-101, section 53a-112, 53a-122 or 53a-129b,

37subdivision (1), (3) or (4) of subsection (a) of section 53a-134, section

3853a-196c, 53a-196d or 53a-252 or subsection (a) of section 53a-301 shall

39be transferred from the docket for juvenile matters to the regular

40criminal docket of the Superior Court, except as provided in this

41subdivision or subdivision (1) of this subsection. Upon motion of a

42prosecutorial official, the superior court for juvenile matters shall

43conduct a hearing to determine whether the case of any child charged

44with the commission of any such offense shall be transferred from the

45docket for juvenile matters to the regular criminal docket of the

46Superior Court. The court shall not order that the case be transferred

47under this subdivision unless the court finds that (A) such offense was

48committed after such child attained the age of fifteen years, (B) there is

49probable cause to believe the child has committed the act for which the

50child is charged, and (C) after considering the best interests of the

51child, [and] the best interests of the public will not be served by

52maintaining the case in the superior court for juvenile matters. In

53making such findings, the court shall consider (i) any prior criminal or

54juvenile offenses committed by the child, (ii) the seriousness of such

55offenses, (iii) any evidence that the child has intellectual disability or

56mental illness, and (iv) the availability of services in the docket for

57juvenile matters that can serve the child's needs. Any motion under

58this subdivision shall be made, and any hearing under this subdivision

59shall be held, not later than thirty days after the child is arraigned in

60the superior court for juvenile matters.

61(b) (1) [Upon] Except as provided in subsection (a) of this section

62with respect to larceny, upon motion of a prosecutorial official, the

63 superior court for juvenile matters shall conduct a hearing to

64determine whether the case of any child charged with the commission

65of a class C, D or E felony or an unclassified felony shall be transferred

66from the docket for juvenile matters to the regular criminal docket of

67 the Superior Court. The court shall not order that the case be

68transferred under this subdivision unless the court finds that (A) such

69offense was committed after such child attained the age of fifteen

70years, (B) there is probable cause to believe the child has committed

71the act for which the child is charged, and (C) after considering the

72best interests of the child, [and] the best interests of the public will not

73be served by maintaining the case in the superior court for juvenile

74matters. In making such findings, the court shall consider (i) any prior

75 criminal or juvenile offenses committed by the child, (ii) the

76seriousness of such offenses, (iii) any evidence that the child has

77intellectual disability or mental illness, and (iv) the availability of

78services in the docket for juvenile matters that can serve the child's

79needs. Any motion under this subdivision shall be made, and any

80hearing under this subdivision shall be held, not later than thirty days

81after the child is arraigned in the superior court for juvenile matters.

82(2) If a case is transferred to the regular criminal docket pursuant to

83subdivision (1) of this subsection or subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of

84this section, the court sitting for the regular criminal docket may return

85the case to the docket for juvenile matters at any time prior to a jury

86rendering a verdict or the entry of a guilty plea for good cause shown

87for proceedings in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

PS Joint Favorable

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.

OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact: None

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The bill makes changes to court procedure, expanding crimes that result in automatic transfer from juvenile to adult court, and does not result in a fiscal impact.

The Out Years

State Impact: None

Municipal Impact: None

OLR Bill Analysis

HB 7332

AN ACT CONCERNING PUBLIC SAFETY AND THE WELFARE OF REPEAT JUVENILE OFFENDERS AND THEIR VICTIMS.

SUMMARY

Under existing law, the juvenile court must automatically transfer a delinquency case to the adult criminal court docket if the child is at least age 15 and charged with murder with special circumstances, a class A felony, or certain class B felonies. Otherwise, the transfer of a case of a juvenile charged with a felony is at the court's discretion and may only occur if, following a motion by the prosecutor and a hearing on the transfer, the court makes certain findings.

This bill requires cases involving juveniles charged with stealing a motor vehicle, regardless of value, to be automatically transferred from juvenile to adult criminal court if the juvenile was (1) age 15 or older at the time of the offense and (2) previously adjudicated delinquent for, convicted of, or pled guilty or nolo contendere to, two or more felony offenses and (3) if indigent, appointed counsel.

By law, stealing a motor vehicle is:

1.a class D felony, if the motor vehicle's value is $10,000 or less

(CGS 53a-124(a)(1));

2.a class C felony, if the motor vehicle's value exceeds $10,000

(CGS 53a-123(a)(1)); and

3.a class B felony, if the motor vehicle's value exceeds $20,000

(CGS 53a-122(a)(3)) (currently, this is one of the class B felonies for which transfer from juvenile to adult court is discretionary rather than mandatory).

The bill also modifies the circumstances in which the juvenile court can make discretionary transfers to adult court by changing the findings the court must make before ordering such a transfer.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2019

DISCRETIONARY TRANSFER CRITERIA

Currently, following a prosecutor's motion and a hearing, the court may order the transfer of a case involving certain felonies (e.g., first degree identity theft or second degree sexual assault) from juvenile to adult court if, among other things, the best interests of the child and the public will not be served by maintaining the case in juvenile court. Under the bill, the court may instead order such a transfer if, after considering the best interests of the child, the court finds that the best interests of the public will not be served by maintaining the case in juvenile court. The bill retains current law's requirements that the court:

1.before ordering such a transfer, additionally find that (a) the offense was committed after the child turned 15 and (b) there is probable cause to believe the child committed the alleged act and

2.when making a determination whether to transfer, consider the child's criminal history, the seriousness of the offense, any evidence that the child has a disability or mental illness, and the availability of juvenile court services that can meet the child's needs.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Safety and Security Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea 20 Nay 4 (03/19/2019)