Bill Summary for S 146 (2017-2018)

Summary date: 

Feb 28 2017

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2017-2018 Session
Senate Bill 146 (Public) Filed Tuesday, February 28, 2017
AN ACT TO RAISE THE AGE OF JUVENILE JURISDICTION TO INCLUDE SIXTEEN- AND SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLDS, EXCEPT IN THE CASE OF CERTAIN FELONIES; TO PROVIDE A VICTIM THE OPPORTUNITY TO REQUEST REVIEW OF DECISION NOT TO FILE A PETITION; TO INCREASE THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE ON JUVENILES TO LAW ENFORCEMENT AND FOR COURT PROCEEDINGS; TO IMPLEMENT SCHOOL-JUSTICE PARTNERSHIPS STATEWIDE TO REDUCE SCHOOL-BASED REFERRALS TO THE JUVENILE COURT SYSTEM; TO REQUIRE REGULAR JUVENILE JUSTICE TRAINING FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS; AND TO ESTABLISH THE JUVENILE JURISDICTION ADVISORY COMMITTEE.
Intro. by Lowe, Ford.

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Bill summary

Part I

Amends the definition of delinquent juvenile in GS 7B-1501(7) to add the term also includes any juvenile who, while less than 18 years of age but at least 16 years of age, commits a crime or infraction under State law or under an ordinance of local government, excluding violation of the motor vehicle laws, or who commits indirect contempt by a juvenile as defined in GS 5A-31. Currently, the term is defined as any juvenile who, while less than 16 years of age but at least 6 years of age, commits a crime or infraction under State law or under an ordinance of local government, including violation of the motor vehicle laws, or who commits indirect contempt by a juvenile as defined in GS 5A-31.

Amends GS 7B-1601, which provides for jurisdiction of delinquent juveniles, to establish that when the district court obtains jurisdiction over a juvenile alleged to be delinquent for an offense committed while the juvenile was at least 16 years of age but less than 17 years of age, jurisdiction continues until terminated by an order of the court or until the juvenile reaches the age of 19 years. Further provides that if the offense was committed while the juvenile was at least 17 years of age, jurisdiction continues until terminated by order of the court or until the juvenile reaches the age of 20 years. Further provides that when delinquency proceedings for a juvenile alleged to be delinquent for an offense committed while the juvenile was at least 16 years of age but less than 17 years of age cannot be concluded before the juvenile reaches the age of 19 years, the court retains jurisdiction for the sole purpose of conducting proceedings pursuant to Article 22 of GS Chapter 7B (Probable cause hearing and transfer hearing) and either transferring the case to superior court for trial as an adult or dismissing the petition. Provides that when a delinquency proceeding for a juvenile alleged to be delinquent for an offense committed while the juvenile was at least 17 years of age cannot be concluded before the juvenile reaches the age of 20 years, the court retains jurisdiction for the sole purpose of conducting proceedings pursuant to Article 22 of GS Chapter 7B and either transferring the case to superior court for trial as an adult or dismissing the petition. Makes clarifying changes to existing subsections (b) and (c) concerning jurisdiction over a juvenile and delinquency proceedings to clarify that those existing provisions pertain to a juvenile alleged to be delinquent for an offense committed prior to the juvenile reaching the age of 16 years. 

Provides that when the court has not obtained jurisdiction over a juvenile before the juvenile reaches the age of 18, for a felony and any related misdemeanors the juvenile allegedly committed on or after the juvenile's thirteenth birthday and prior to the juvenile's eighteenth birthday (was, sixteenth birthday), the court has jurisdiction for the sole purpose of conducting proceedings pursuant to Article 22 of GS Chapter 7B and either transferring the case to superior court for trial as an adult or dismissing the petition.

Amends GS 7B-1604(a) to establish that any juvenile, including a juvenile who is under the jurisdiction of the district court, who commits a criminal offense on or after the date the juvenile reaches the age of 18 years (currently, who commits a criminal offense on or after the juvenile's sixteenth birthday) is subject to prosecution as an adult.

Amends GS 7B-1901(a) to provide that if a juvenile is at least 16 years old and is taken into custody without a court order pursuant to GS 7B-1900(1) and if the person having the juvenile in temporary custody, while exercising reasonable discretion, decides that continued custody is unnecessary, the juvenile can be released without the presence of the juvenile's parent, guardian, or custodian. GS 7B-1900(1) allows a law enforcement officer to take a juvenile into temporary custody without a court order if grounds exist for the arrest of an adult in identical circumstances under GS 15A-401(b), which specifies when an arrest may be made without a warrant. Makes conforming changes.

Amends GS 7B-2200, concerning the transfer of jurisdiction of a juvenile to superior court, to limit the transfer of jurisdiction of a juvenile under this statute to when the juvenile was at least 13 years of age but less than 16 years of age (was, if the juvenile was 13 years of age or older) at the time the juvenile allegedly committed an offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult. Also qualifies the provisions of this statute by including an "except as otherwise provided in GS 7B-2200.5" clause to the statute.

Enacts new GS 7B-2200.5 to provide for the transfer of jurisdiction to superior court of a juvenile who was at least 16 years of age at the time the juvenile allegedly committed an offense that would be a Class A, B, C, D, or E felony if committed by an adult. Sets out requirements for notice, hearing, and a finding of either return of a bill of indictment or probable cause as specified. Further provides for the transfer of jurisdiction to superior court, upon motion of the prosecutor or the juvenile's attorney or the court's own motion, of a juvenile who was at least 16 years of age at the time the juvenile allegedly committed an offense that would be a Class F, G, H, or I felony if committed by an adult. Provides for transfer only after notice, hearing, and a finding of probable cause. Makes conforming changes to GS 7B-2202(a).

Amends GS 7B-2506, which sets out alternatives the court exercising jurisdiction over a juvenile who has been adjudicated delinquent may use, to clarify that the options a judge can choose in subdivision (1) can be used in the case of any juvenile under the age of 18 years who needs more adequate care or supervision or who needs placement. Additionally, limits the alternative allowing a judge to excuse a juvenile from compliance with compulsory school attendance law when suitable alternative plans can be arranged to only allow the option if the juvenile is under the age of 16 years. 

Amends GS 7B-2507, concerning delinquency history levels, to establish and assign point levels for a juvenile's prior convictions that are to be added to the points assigned to each of the juvenile's prior adjudications or convictions and probation status to determine the delinquency history level of a delinquent juvenile. Assigns specified points for prior convictions based on the class of felony or misdemeanor, and includes points specifically for prior misdemeanor convictions for impaired driving, impaired driving in a commercial vehicle, and death by vehicle. Makes conforming changes. 

Amends GS 7B-2513, concerning commitment of a delinquent juvenile to the Division of Juvenile Justice (Division), to break down the existing language of subsection (a) into several subsections, and limit application of the existing term limits to a juvenile who committed the offense prior to reaching the age of 16 years. Additionally establishes that for an offense a juvenile committed while the juvenile was at least 16 years of age but less than 17 years of age, the term of commitment to the Division for placement in a youth development center cannot exceed the juvenile's nineteenth birthday. Provides that for an offense the juvenile committed while the juvenile was at least 17 years of age, the term of commitment cannot exceed the juvenile's twentieth birthday. 

Amends GS 7B-2515(a) to require the Division to notify the juvenile and the juvenile's parent, guardian, or custodian of the Division's intention not to release the juvenile who was committed before the juvenile reached the age of 16 years (previously did not specify the juvenile must be committed prior to reaching the age of 16 years) prior to the juvenile's eighteenth birthday, or if the Division determines the commitment should be continued beyond the maximum commitment period as set out in GS 7B-2516(a1) (as amended by this act; conforming change, was GS 7B-2513(a)).

Amends GS 7B-2603(b) to provide that pending release, a juvenile is to be detained pursuant to GS 7B-2204 (right to pretrial release, detention). Eliminates existing provisions concerning the detention of a juvenile pending release.

Makes conforming changes to GS 7B-3101(a)(2) (Notification of school when court transfers jurisdiction over a juvenile to superior court), GS 5A-31(a) (offense of contempt by a juvenile), GS 5A-34(b) (criminal and civil contempt applicable to specified minors), GS 14-208.6B (registration requirements for juveniles transferred to and convicted in superior court), GS 14-316.1 (contributing to delinquency and neglect by parents and others), GS 115C-404(a) (juvenile court information confidential), and GS 143B-805(6) (defining juvenile for use in provisions concerning the Division of Juvenile Justice). 

Adds to the duties of the Division of Juvenile Justice set out in GS 143B-806(b) the duty to provide for the transportation to and from any State or local juvenile facility of any person under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court for any purpose required by GS Chapter 7B or upon order of the court. 

Effective July 1, 2018, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.

Part II

Amends GS 7B-1703(c), requiring the juvenile court counselor to notify the complainant with the reasons for the counselor's decision not to file a juvenile petition upon evaluation of a complaint, to require the juvenile court counselor to also notify the victim, if the victim is someone other than the complainant, immediately in writing with reasons for the counselor's decision not to file a petition. Additionally requires the notice to include the victim's right to have the decision reviewed by the prosecutor. Makes conforming changes to include the victim's right to require review by the prosecutor and the prosecutor's duty to review the determination that the petition should not be filed under GS 7B-1704 and GS 7B-1705.

Amends GS 143B-806 by adding to the Division's duties the development and administration of a system to provide information to victims and complainants on the status of pending complaints and the right to request reversal of a decision not to file a petition.

Part III

Amends GS 7B-3000, concerning juvenile records, to enact a new subsection to allow a juvenile court counselor to share information obtained from a juvenile's record with law enforcement officers sworn in North Carolina if the information is necessary to assist the law enforcement officer in exercising his or her discretion during the investigation of an alleged offense. Prohibits the juvenile court counselor from allowing a law enforcement officer to photocopy any part of the record. Additionally adds consultations with law enforcement officers to the case information that must be included in the juvenile court counselor's record required under GS 7B-3001(a).

Directs the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to expand access to its automated electronic information management system for juvenile courts, JWise, to include prosecutors and attorneys representing juveniles in juvenile court proceedings. Limits this access to examining electronic records related to juvenile delinquency information. Prohibits other information in JWise, such as any records pertaining to abuse, neglect, and dependency or termination of parental rights, from being made available to a prosecutor or juvenile's attorney through JWise. Directs the AOC to develop a statewide search function for all users of the JWise computer system to improve tracking information of juvenile records. Effective July 1, 2018.

Part IV

Amends GS 115C-47 to add a new subdivision (61a) to require the local boards of education to develop a school-justice partnership with local law enforcement agencies in the local school administrative unit with the goal of reducing rates of in-school arrest, expulsions, and out-of-school suspensions. Sets out three goals the partnership is to focus on. Requires that the agreement local boards of education may enter into with the sheriff, chief of police of a local police department, or county police department under existing subdivision (61) to provide security at the schools must incorporate elements of the school-justice partnership established under new subdivision (61a).

Amends GS 115C-276, which sets out the duties of the superintendent, to add data pertaining to each student arrested in school to the data a superintendent must maintain. Also requires the data to include whether a student had multiple arrests in that academic year. 

Applies beginning with the 2017-18 school year. 

Part V

Amends GS 143B-806(b) to add to the duties of the Division of Juvenile Justice the duty to develop and implement a statewide plan for regular training of law enforcement officers on juvenile justice issues, in consultation with the Department of Justice. Sets out three areas the plan must include opportunities for which officers must be trained in, including best practices for handling incidents involving juveniles, adolescent development and psychology, and promoting relationship building with youth as a key to delinquency prevention.

Part VI

Establishes the Juvenile Jurisdiction Advisory Committee (Committee) within the Division of Juvenile Justice. Provides for the membership of the Committee, consisting of 27 members as specified. Requires appointments to the Committee to be made no later than October 1, 2017. Sets forth parameters for filling vacancies on the Committee and the provisions for Committee meetings. Requires the initial meeting of the Committee to be called on or before November 1, 2017. Requires cooperation by government agencies and directs the Committee to consult with appropriate State departments, agencies, and board representatives. Sets out the duties of the Committee, which include developing a specific plan for the implementation of any changes in the juvenile justice system that would be required in order to extend jurisdiction in delinquency matters and proceedings to include 16- and 17-year-old persons within the juvenile justice system. 

Directs the Committee to submit an interim report by January 15, 2018, to the General Assembly with copies to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Justice and Public Safety and to the Appropriation Committees on Justice and Public Safety of both houses. Requires the Committee to submit additional interim reports with updates on the planning steps completed annually by January 15. Directs a final report on the implementation of this act, the Committee's findings and recommendations, by January 15, 2023, to the General Assembly and Governor. Terminates the Committee on February 1, 2023, or upon the filing of its final report, whichever occurs earlier. 

Provides that the Committee can apply for, receive, and accept grants of non-State funds or other contributions as appropriate to assist in the performance of its duties. 

Part VII

Clarifies that prosecutions or delinquency proceedings initiated for offenses committed before any particular section of this act becomes effective are not abated or affected by this act, and the statutes that are in effect on the date the offenses are committed remain applicable to those prosecutions. 

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