Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 15. Formal Proceeding -- Hearing -- Disposition

Consent Decree With Petition

41-5-1501. Consent decree with petition. (1) (a) Subject to the provisions of subsection (2), after the filing of a petition under 41-5-1402 and before the entry of a judgment, the court may, on motion of counsel for the youth or on the court's own motion, suspend the proceedings and continue the youth under supervision under terms and conditions negotiated with probation services and agreed to by all necessary parties. The court's order continuing the youth under supervision under this section is known as a "consent decree". Except as provided in subsection (1)(b), the procedures used and dispositions permitted under this section must conform to the procedures and dispositions specified in 41-5-1302 through 41-5-1304 relating to consent adjustments without petition.

(b) A youth may be placed in detention for up to 10 days on a space-available basis at the county's expense, which is not reimbursable under part 19 of this chapter.

(2) A consent decree under this section may not be used by the court unless the youth admits guilt for a charge of an offense set forth in the petition and accepts responsibility for the youth's actions.

(3) If the youth or the youth's counsel objects to a consent decree, the court shall proceed to findings, adjudication, and disposition of the case.

(4) If, either prior to discharge by probation services or expiration of the consent decree, a new petition alleging that the youth is a delinquent youth or a youth in need of intervention is filed against the youth or if the youth fails to fulfill the expressed terms and conditions of the consent decree, the petition under which the youth was continued under supervision may be reinstated in the discretion of the county attorney in consultation with probation services. In the event of reinstatement, the proceeding on the petition must be continued to conclusion as if the consent decree had never been entered.

(5) A youth who is discharged by probation services or who completes a period under supervision without reinstatement of the original petition may not again be proceeded against in any court for the same offense alleged in the petition, and the original petition must be dismissed with prejudice. This subsection does not preclude a civil suit against the youth for damages arising from the youth's conduct.

(6) If the terms of the consent decree extend for a period in excess of 6 months, the juvenile probation officer shall at the end of each 6-month period submit a report that must be reviewed by the court.

(7) A consent decree with petition under this section may not be used to dispose of a youth's alleged second or subsequent offense if that offense would be a felony if committed by an adult or third or subsequent offense if that offense would be a misdemeanor if committed by an adult unless it is recommended by the county attorney and accepted by the youth court judge.

History: En. 10-1224 by Sec. 24, Ch. 329, L. 1974; amd. Sec. 8, Ch. 100, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 10-1224; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 696, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 42, Ch. 550, L. 1997; Sec. 41-5-524, MCA 1995; redes. 41-5-1501 by Sec. 47, Ch. 286, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 523, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 10, Ch. 532, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 74, Ch. 2, L. 2009; amd. Sec. 10, Ch. 506, L. 2023.