Connecticut Seal

Substitute House Bill No. 6567

Public Act No. 03-257

AN ACT CONCERNING YOUTHS IN CRISIS AND THE AGE OF A CHILD FOR PURPOSES OF JURISDICTION IN JUVENILE MATTERS.

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

Section 1. (Effective from passage) The Chief Court Administrator, the Commissioner of Children and Families, the Commissioner of Correction, the Chief State's Attorney, the Chief Public Defender, the Child Advocate and the executive director of the Commission on Children, or their designees, shall form an implementation team that shall review all matters, including funding, necessary to implement an increase, by not more than two years, in the age limit for purposes of jurisdiction in juvenile matters. Not later than January 15, 2004, the implementation team shall submit a report concerning the team's findings, any impediments and any recommendations with respect to such implementation to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the judiciary and the select committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to children. The report required by this section shall be submitted in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2003) (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 46b-150f and 46b-150g of the general statutes, the Probate Court Administrator shall establish, within available appropriations, a pilot program in the probate district of Middletown for the purpose of exercising jurisdiction over and administering youth in crisis cases arising in said district in which the youths in crisis are not truants.

(b) On or before January 1, 2005, the Probate Court Administrator shall report, in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes, to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the judiciary and the select committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to children, with respect to the status and effectiveness of the pilot program established pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

Sec. 3. Section 46b-150g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) Any police officer who receives a report from the parent or guardian of a youth in crisis, as defined in subparagraph (A) of subdivision (3) of section 46b-120, [may] shall attempt to locate the youth in crisis. If the officer locates such youth in crisis, such officer [may] shall report the location of the youth to the parent or guardian in accordance with the provisions of federal and state law after such officer determines that such report does not place the youth in any physical or emotional harm. In addition, the police officer [may] shall respond in one of the following ways: (1) Transport the youth in crisis to the home of the child's parent or guardian or [any other person] a suitable and worthy adult; (2) refer the youth in crisis to the [superior court for juvenile matters] probate court in the district where the youth in crisis is located, provided the probate judge for such probate court is willing to accept the referral; (3) hold the youth in crisis in protective custody for a maximum period of twelve hours until the officer can determine a more suitable disposition of the matter, provided (A) the youth in crisis is not held in any cell designed or used for adults, and (B) the officer may release the youth in crisis [at any time without taking further action; or] to the parent or guardian of the youth if the officer determines that returning the youth does not place the youth in any physical or emotional harm; (4) transport or refer a youth in crisis to any public or private agency serving children, with or without the agreement of the youth in crisis; (5) refer the youth in crisis to a youth service bureau, provided one exists in the local community; or (6) if the police officer is unable to transport, refer or hold the youth in crisis pursuant to subdivisions (1) to (5), inclusive, of this subsection, refer the youth in crisis to the superior court for juvenile matters in the district where the youth in crisis is located. If a youth in crisis is transported or referred to an agency pursuant to this section, such agency shall provide temporary services to the youth in crisis unless or until the parent or guardian of the youth in crisis at any time refuses to agree to those services.

(b) Any police officer acting in accordance with the provisions of this section shall be deemed to be acting in the course of the police officer's official duties.

Sec. 4. Section 46b-149b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) Any police officer or any official of a municipal or community agency, who in the course of [his] such police officer's or official's employment under subsection (d) of section 17a-15 or section 46b-120, 46b-121, 46b-149, 46b-149a, 46b-150f, as amended by this act, or 46b-150g, as amended by this act, provides assistance to a child or a family in need thereof, shall not be liable to such child or such family for civil damages for any personal injuries which result from the voluntary termination of service by the child or the family.

(b) Each municipal police department and the Division of State Police within the Department of Public Safety shall implement a uniform protocol for providing intervention and assistance in matters involving youths in crisis. Such uniform protocol shall be developed by the Police Officer Standards and Training Council established under section 7-294b.

Sec. 5. Section 46b-150f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) Any selectman, town manager, police officer or welfare department of any town, city or borough, any probation officer, any superintendent of schools, any child-caring institution or agency approved or licensed by the Commissioner of Children and Families, any youth service bureau, a parent or foster parent of a youth, or a representative of youth, who believes that the acts or omissions of a youth are such that such youth is a youth in crisis may file a written complaint setting forth those facts with the Superior Court which has venue over [that] the matter.

(b) A petition alleging that a youth is a youth in crisis shall be verified and filed with the Superior Court which has venue over the matter. The petition shall set forth plainly: (1) The facts which bring the youth within the jurisdiction of the court; (2) the name, date of birth, sex and residence of the youth; (3) the name and residence of the parent or parents, guardian or other person having control of the youth; and (4) a prayer for appropriate action by the court in conformity with the provisions of this section.

(c) Upon determination that a youth is a youth in crisis in accordance with policies established by the Chief Court Administrator, the court may make and enforce orders, including, but not limited to, orders: [(1) Prohibiting the youth in crisis from driving a motor vehicle for a time determined by the court; ] (1) Directing the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to suspend the motor vehicle operator's license of the youth in crisis for a period of time, as directed by the court, but not to exceed one year; (2) requiring work or specified community service; (3) mandating that the youth in crisis attend an educational program in the local community approved by the court; [and] (4) requiring mental health services; (5) referring the youth in crisis to a youth service bureau, provided one exists in the local community; and (6) reviewing the option of emancipation, pursuant to section 46b-150, of the youth in crisis or the parent or guardian of such youth in crisis. A youth in crisis found to be in violation of any order under this section shall not be considered to be delinquent and shall not be punished by the court by incarceration in any state-operated detention facility or correctional facility.

(d) The Judicial Department may use any funds appropriated for purposes of this chapter for costs incurred by the department or the court pursuant to this section.

Approved July 9, 2003