Bill Summary for S 303 (2023-2024)

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Summary date: 

Apr 4 2023

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2023-2024 Session
Senate Bill 303 (Public) Filed Monday, March 13, 2023
AN ACT TO MAKE VARIOUS CHANGES AND TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS TO THE LAWS GOVERNING THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE COURTS, AND TO AMEND THE STATUTES GOVERNING THE PRACTICE OF LAW BY OUT-OF-STATE ATTORNEYS IN NORTH CAROLINA.
Intro. by Britt, Sanderson, McInnis.

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Bill summary

Senate committee substitute replaces the content of the 1st edition with the following.

Amends GS 7B-2200.5 to require transfer of jurisdiction over a juvenile to superior court for trial as an adult if the juvenile was at least 16 at the time the juvenile allegedly committed an offense that would be a Class A, B1, B2, C, D, E, F, or G felony if committed by an adult, upon notice of the return of a true bill of indictment provided in GS 15A-630 (previously required either (1) notice to the juvenile and a finding by the court that a bill of indictment has been returned against the juvenile charging the commission of an offense that would constitute a Class A, B1, B2, C, D, E, F, or G felony if committed by an adult or (2) notice, hearing, and a finding of probable cause that the juvenile committed an offense that constitutes a Class A, B1, B2, C, D, E, F, or G felony if committed by an adult). Maintains prosecutor discretion to prosecute in superior court a matter that would otherwise be subject to mandatory transfer for offenses that would be a Class D, E, F, or G felony if committed by an adult. Repeals subsection (c), which required the probable cause hearing (to determine if the alleged offense would require transfer of jurisdiction) to be conducted within 90 days of the date of the juvenile's first appearance, with the court permitted to continue for good cause. 

Amends GS 7B-2200 to require transfer of jurisdiction of a juvenile under 16, but at least 13, to superior court for trial as an adult if the alleged felony constitutes a Class A felony, upon notice of the return of a true bill of indictment provided in GS 15A-630 (previously required a finding of probable cause).

Makes conforming changes to GS 7B-2202 relating to required hearings to determine probable cause for all other felony cases in which the juvenile was at least 13 when the offense was allegedly committed. 

Enacts GS 7B-3103 authorizing courts to order the Division of Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety, or any law enforcement agency, to release to the public specified information about a juvenile upon making three written findings in the order: (1) that a petition has been filed alleging the juvenile has committed an offense that would subject the juvenile to transfer to superior court pursuant to GS 7B-2200 or GS 7B-2200.5, (2) there is a judicial determination that the juvenile presents a danger to self or others, and (3) there is a judicial determination that good cause exists. Enumerates information about the juvenile that may be disclosed, including a photograph, first and last name, the offense alleged, whether secure custody was issued, and a statement of the juvenile's threat to self or others. Prohibits disclosure if the juvenile is taken into custody. Requires removal of information from any publicly available law enforcement agency or Division website or controlled account when the juvenile subject to the order or emergency disclosure is taken into custody. Requires the disclosing entity to make a reasonable effort to notify a parent, legal guardian, or custodian of the juvenile before disclosure. Authorizes the Division to release the information when exigent circumstances exist; requires the releasing party to subsequently seek the required release order as soon as reasonably practicable and no later than the first available session of a court in the county after release. Requires removal of the information released from any agency or Division website or controlled account if the court does not issue the release order at that first session.

Amends GS 7B-2101 regarding juvenile interrogation procedures. Requires juveniles who are at least 16 and in custody to be advised, prior to questioning, that the juvenile has a right to have a caretaker present during questioning (in addition to current law that includes the right to have a parent, guardian, or custodian present for questioning, applicable to all juveniles). Defines caretaker as any person other than a parent, guardian, or custodian who has responsibility for the health and welfare of the juvenile in a residential setting; includes stepparent; foster parent; adult member of the household; adult entrusted with the juvenile's care; potential adoptive parent during a visit or trial placement with a juvenile in custody of the county department; house or cottage parent who has primary responsibility for supervising a juvenile's health and welfare in a residential child care facility or residential educational facility; or employee or volunteer of a division, institution, or school operated by the Department of Health and Human Services. 

Effective December 1, 2023, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.

Changes the act's long title.