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SENATE BILL NO. 243
INTRODUCED BY F. THOMAS
AN ACT PROVIDING THAT IF A YOUTH IS PROSECUTED IN YOUTH COURT AND LATER TRANSFERRED TO DISTRICT COURT, THE YOUTH MAY NOT BE SENTENCED TO AN ADULT CORRECTIONAL FACILITY; REVISING THE PURPOSE OF THE YOUTH COURT ACT; REVISING THE EXTENDED JURISDICTION PROSECUTION ACT; PROVIDING THAT THE ACT DOES NOT APPLY TO CERTAIN OFFENSES; PROVIDING THAT THE COMBINED TIME OF SENTENCE UNDER AN EXTENDED JURISDICTION PROSECUTION MAY NOT EXCEED THE TIME OF IMPRISONMENT THAT AN ADULT COULD RECEIVE UNDER AN ADULT PROSECUTION; PROVIDING THAT PLACEMENT WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS CANNOT EXCEED THAT AMOUNT OF TIME THAT AN ADULT CAN BE SENTENCED TO THE DEPARTMENT; CLARIFYING THAT A SENTENCE UNDER THE EXTENDED JURISDICTION PROSECUTION ACT IS A SINGLE SENTENCE; AMENDING SECTIONS 41-5-102, 41-5-206, 41-5-208, 41-5-1602, 41-5-1604, AND 41-5-1605, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE.
WHEREAS, juveniles who are 17 to 18 years of age frequently have difficulty completing their Youth Court sentences, particularly felony offenses, before they reach age 18; and
WHEREAS, extending juvenile jurisdiction with the possibility of an adult sanction for failure to comply with the conditions of a stayed sentence or for additional criminal behavior by the youth has been shown to be an effective incentive in other states to rehabilitate juveniles to keep them out of the adult correctional system and allow them to pay restitution, finish treatment, and complete their education; and
WHEREAS, the maximum extension or period of jurisdiction may not exceed the period of an adult sentence without violating equal protection; and
WHEREAS, limiting section 41-5-208, MCA, supervision transfers after the youth reaches the age of 18 to additional community corrections programs of the Department of Corrections subject to the same adult sentence limit on supervision will also allow juveniles to complete their sentences, to be held accountable, and to avoid an adult conviction, without violating equal protection of the laws.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Section 41-5-102, MCA, is amended to read:
"41-5-102. Declaration of purpose. The Montana Youth Court Act must be interpreted and construed to effectuate the following express legislative purposes:
(1) to preserve the unity and welfare of the family whenever possible and to provide for the care, protection, and wholesome mental and physical development of a youth coming within the provisions of the Montana Youth Court Act;
(2) to prevent and reduce youth delinquency through a system that does not seek retribution but that provides:
(a) immediate, consistent, enforceable, and avoidable consequences of youths' actions;
and to establish a program of supervision, care, rehabilitation, detention, competency development, and community
protection , for youth before they become adult offenders; and
(c) in appropriate cases
and, in appropriate cases, restitution as ordered by the youth court;
(3) to achieve the purposes of subsections (1) and (2) in a family environment whenever possible, separating the youth from the parents only when necessary for the welfare of the youth or for the safety and protection of the community;
(4) to provide judicial procedures in which the parties are
assured ensured a fair, accurate hearing and recognition and
enforcement of their constitutional and statutory rights."
Section 2. Section 41-5-206, MCA, is amended to read:
"41-5-206. Filing in district court prior to formal proceedings in youth court. (1) The county attorney may, in the county attorney's discretion, file with the district court a motion for leave to file an information in the district court if:
(a) the youth charged was 12 years of age or older at the time of the conduct alleged to be unlawful and the unlawful act would if it had been committed by an adult constitute:
(i) sexual intercourse without consent as defined in 45-5-503;
(ii) deliberate homicide as defined in 45-5-102;
(iii) mitigated deliberate homicide as defined in 45-5-103; or
(iv) the attempt, as defined in 45-4-103, of or accountability, as provided in 45-2-301, for either deliberate or mitigated deliberate homicide; or
(b) the youth charged was 16 years of age or older at the time of the conduct alleged to be unlawful and the unlawful act is one or more of the following:
(i) negligent homicide as defined in 45-5-104;
(ii) arson as defined in 45-6-103;
(iii) aggravated or felony assault as defined in 45-5-202;
(iv) robbery as defined in 45-5-401;
(v) burglary or aggravated burglary as defined in 45-6-204;
(vi) aggravated kidnapping as defined in 45-5-303;
(vii) possession of explosives as defined in 45-8-335;
(viii) criminal sale of dangerous drugs as defined in 45-9-101;
(ix) criminal production or manufacture of dangerous drugs as defined in 45-9-110;
(x) attempt, as defined in 45-4-103, of or accountability, as provided in 45-2-301, for any of the acts enumerated in subsections (1)(b)(i) through (1)(b)(x);
(xi) use of threat to coerce criminal street gang membership or use of violence to coerce criminal street gang membership, as defined in 45-8-403.
(2) The county attorney shall file with the district court a petition for leave to file an information in district court if the youth was 17 years of age at the time the youth committed an offense listed under subsection (1).
(3) The district court shall grant leave to file the information if the court finds that there is probable cause to believe that the youth has committed the alleged offense and that, considering the seriousness of the offense and in the interests of community protection, the case should be filed in the district court.
(4) The filing of an information in district court terminates the jurisdiction of the youth court over the youth with respect to the acts alleged in the information. A youth may not be prosecuted in the district court for a criminal offense originally subject to the jurisdiction of the youth court unless the case has been filed in the district court as provided in this section. A case may be transferred to district court after prosecution as provided in 41-5-208 or 41-5-1605.
(5) An offense not enumerated in subsection (1) that arises during the commission of a crime enumerated in subsection (1) may be:
(a) tried in youth court;
(b) transferred to district court with an offense enumerated in subsection (1) upon motion of the county attorney and order of the district court judge.
(6) If a youth is found guilty in district court of any of the offenses enumerated in subsection (1) and is sentenced to the
state prison, the commitment must be to the department of corrections not to exceed the period of time allowed in
46-18-201. The department shall confine the youth in whatever institution that it considers proper, including a state youth
correctional facility under the procedures of 52-5-111. However, a youth under 16 years of age may not be confined in a
state prison facility. During the period of confinement, school-aged youth with disabilities must be provided an education
consistent with the requirements of the federal Individuals
with With Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 1400, et seq.
(7) A youth whose case is filed in the district court may not be detained or otherwise placed in a jail or other adult detention facility before final disposition of the youth's case unless:
(a) alternative facilities do not provide adequate security; and
(b) the youth is kept in an area that provides physical separation as well as sight and sound separation from adults accused or convicted of criminal offenses."
Section 3. Section 41-5-208, MCA, is amended to read:
"41-5-208. Transfer of supervisory responsibility to district court after juvenile disposition -- nonextended
jurisdiction and nontransferred cases. (1) After adjudication by the court of a case that was not transferred to district
court under 41-5-206 and that was not prosecuted as an extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution under part
11 16 of this
chapter, the court may, on the youth's motion or the motion of the county attorney, transfer jurisdiction to the district court
and order the transfer of supervisory responsibility from juvenile probation services to adult probation services. A transfer
under this section may be made to ensure continued compliance with the court's disposition under 41-5-1512 or 41-5-1513
and may be made at any time after a youth reaches 18 years of age but before the youth reaches 21 years of age.
(2) Before transfer, the court shall hold a hearing on whether the transfer should be made. The hearing must be held in conformity with the rules on a hearing on a petition alleging delinquency, except that the hearing must be conducted by the court without a jury. The court shall give the youth, the youth's counsel, and the youth's parents, guardian, or custodian notice in writing of the time, place, and purpose of the hearing at least 10 days before the hearing. At the hearing, the youth is entitled to receive:
(a) written notice of the motion to transfer;
(b) an opportunity to be heard in person and to present witnesses and evidence;
(c) a written statement by the court of the evidence relied on and reasons for the transfer;
(d) the right to cross-examine witnesses, unless the court finds good cause for not allowing confrontation; and
(e) the right to counsel.
(3) After the hearing, if the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that transfer of continuing supervisory responsibility to the district court is appropriate, the court shall order the transfer.
(4) If a youth whose case has been transferred to district court under this section violates a disposition previously imposed under 41-5-1512 or 41-5-1513, the district court may, after hearing, impose conditions as provided under 46-18-201 through 46-18-203.
(5) If, at the time of transfer, the youth is incarcerated in a state youth correctional facility, the district court may order that the youth, after reaching 18 years of age:
(a) be incarcerated in a state adult correctional facility, boot camp, or prerelease center; or
(b) be supervised by the department.
(6) The district court's jurisdiction over a case transferred under this section terminates when the youth reaches 25 years of age."
Section 4. Section 41-5-1602, MCA, is amended to read:
"41-5-1602. Extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution -- designation. (1) A youth court case involving a youth alleged to have committed an offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult, except an offense punishable by death or life imprisonment or when a sentence of 100 years could be imposed, is an extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution if:
(a) the youth was at least 14 years of age at the time of the alleged offense, the county attorney requests that the case be designated an extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution, a hearing is held under 41-5-1603, and the court designates the case as an extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution;
(b) the county attorney designates in the delinquency petition that the proceeding is an extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution and the youth is alleged to have committed:
(i) an offense that is listed under 41-5-206, except an offense punishable by death or life imprisonment or when a sentence of 100 years could be imposed; or
(ii) any offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult, except an offense punishable by death or life imprisonment or when a sentence of 100 years could be imposed, in which the youth allegedly used a firearm, if the youth was at least 12 years of age at the time of the alleged offense; or
(c) after a hearing upon a motion for transfer of the matter of prosecution to the district court under 41-5-206, the court designates the case as an extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution.
(2) To enforce the court's disposition in an extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution, the court shall retain jurisdiction as provided in 41-5-205."
Section 5. Section 41-5-1604, MCA, is amended to read:
"41-5-1604. Disposition in extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecutions. (1) (a) After designation as an extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution, the case must proceed with an adjudicatory hearing, as provided in 41-5-1502. If a youth in an extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution admits to or is adjudicated to have committed an offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult, except an offense punishable by death or life imprisonment or when a sentence of 100 years could be imposed, the court shall, subject to subsection (1)(b), impose a single judgment consisting of:
(a)(i) impose one or more juvenile dispositions under 41-5-1512 or 41-5-1513; and (b)(ii) impose any sentence allowed by the statute that establishes the penalty for the offense of which the youth is
convicted and that would be permissible if the offender were an adult. The execution of the sentence imposed under this
subsection must be stayed on the condition that the youth not violate the provisions of the disposition order and not commit
a new offense.
(b) The combined period of time of a juvenile disposition under subsection (1)(a)(i) plus an adult sentence under subsection (1)(a)(ii) may not exceed the maximum period of imprisonment that could be imposed on an adult convicted of the offense or offenses that brought the youth under the jurisdiction of the youth court. This subsection does not limit the power of the department to enter into a parole agreement with the youth pursuant to 52-5-126.
(2) If a youth prosecuted as an extended jurisdiction juvenile after designation by the county attorney in the delinquency petition under 41-5-1602(1)(b) admits to or is adjudicated to have committed an offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult that is not an offense described in 41-5-1602(1)(b), except an offense punishable by death or life imprisonment or when a sentence of 100 years could be imposed, the court shall adjudicate the youth delinquent and order a disposition under 41-5-1513.
(3) If a youth in an extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution admits to or is adjudicated to have committed an offense
that would not be a felony if committed by an adult, the court
may impose, with the youth's consent, a disposition provided
under subsection (1)(b). If the youth does not consent to disposition under subsection (1)(b), the court shall impose a
disposition as provided under subsection (1)(a)."
Section 6. Section 41-5-1605, MCA, is amended to read:
"41-5-1605. Revocation of stay -- disposition. (1) If a court has imposed on a youth a sentence stayed under
(1)(b)(1)(a)(ii) and the youth violates the conditions of the stay or is alleged to have committed a new offense, the
court may, without notice, direct that the youth be taken into immediate custody. The court shall notify the youth, the
youth's counsel, and the youth's parents, guardian, or custodian in writing of the reasons alleged to exist for revocation of
the stay of execution of the sentence.
If the youth challenges the reasons for the revocation, the The court shall hold a revocation hearing at which the
youth is entitled to receive:
(i) written notice of the alleged violation;
(ii) evidence of the alleged violation;
(iii) an opportunity to be heard in person and to present witnesses and evidence;
(iv) the right to cross-examine witnesses, unless the court finds good cause for not allowing confrontation; and
(v) the right to counsel.
(b) After the revocation hearing, if the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence presented that the conditions of the stay have been violated or that the youth has committed a new offense, the court shall provide the youth with a written statement of the evidence relied on and reasons for revocation and shall:
(i) continue the stay and place the youth on probation;
(ii) impose one or more dispositions under 41-5-1512 or 41-5-1513 if the youth is under 18 years of age; or
(iii) subject to 41-5-206(6) and (7) and 41-5-1604(1)(b), order execution of the sentence imposed under
(1)(b)(1)(a)(ii). The court shall order credit for any time served prior to revocation under a disposition under
(3) Upon revocation and disposition under subsection (2)(b)(iii), the youth court shall transfer the case to the district court. Upon transfer, the offender's extended jurisdiction juvenile status is terminated and youth court jurisdiction is terminated. Ongoing supervision of the offender is with the department, rather than the youth court's juvenile probation services."
Section 7. Severability. If a part of [this act] is invalid, all valid parts that are severable from the invalid part remain in effect. If a part of [this act] is invalid in one or more of its applications, the part remains in effect in all valid applications that are severable from the invalid applications.
Section 8. Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.
- END -
Latest Version of SB 243 (SB0243.ENR)
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