Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 187

February Session, 2018

 

LCO No. 893

 

*00893_______KID*

Referred to Committee on COMMITTEE ON CHILDREN

 

Introduced by:

 

(KID)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING THE TRANSFER OF A CHILD CHARGED WITH CERTAIN OFFENSES TO THE CRIMINAL DOCKET AND THE GROUNDS FOR DETENTION OF AN ARRESTED CHILD.

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

Section 1. Subsections (a) and (b) of section 46b-127 of the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2018):

(a) (1) The court shall automatically transfer from the docket for juvenile matters to the regular criminal docket of the Superior Court the case of any child charged with the commission of a capital felony under the provisions of section 53a-54b in effect prior to April 25, 2012, a class A felony, [or] a class B felony, [except as provided in subdivision (3) of this subsection,] or a violation of section 53a-54d, provided such offense was committed after such child attained the age of [fifteen] fourteen years and counsel has been appointed for such child if such child is indigent. Such counsel may appear with the child but shall not be permitted to make any argument or file any motion in opposition to the transfer. The child shall be arraigned in the regular criminal docket of the Superior Court at the next court date following such transfer, provided any proceedings held prior to the finalization of such transfer shall be private and shall be conducted in such parts of the courthouse or the building in which the court is located that are separate and apart from the other parts of the court which are then being used for proceedings pertaining to adults charged with crimes.

(2) A state's attorney may, at any time after such arraignment, file a motion to transfer the case of any child charged with the commission of a class B felony or a violation of subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 53a-70 to the docket for juvenile matters for proceedings in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

[(3) No case of any child charged with the commission of a violation of section 53a-55, 53a-59b, 53a-71 or 53a-94, subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 53a-101, section 53a-112, 53a-122 or 53a-129b, subdivision (1), (3) or (4) of subsection (a) of section 53a-134, section 53a-196c, 53a-196d or 53a-252 or subsection (a) of section 53a-301 shall be transferred from the docket for juvenile matters to the regular criminal docket of the Superior Court, except as provided in this subdivision. Upon motion of a prosecutorial official, the superior court for juvenile matters shall conduct a hearing to determine whether the case of any child charged with the commission of any such offense shall be transferred from the docket for juvenile matters to the regular criminal docket of the Superior Court. The court shall not order that the case be transferred under this subdivision unless the court finds that (A) such offense was committed after such child attained the age of fifteen years, (B) there is probable cause to believe the child has committed the act for which the child is charged, and (C) the best interests of the child and the public will not be served by maintaining the case in the superior court for juvenile matters. In making such findings, the court shall consider (i) any prior criminal or juvenile offenses committed by the child, (ii) the seriousness of such offenses, (iii) any evidence that the child has intellectual disability or mental illness, and (iv) the availability of services in the docket for juvenile matters that can serve the child's needs. Any motion under this subdivision shall be made, and any hearing under this subdivision shall be held, not later than thirty days after the child is arraigned in the superior court for juvenile matters.]

(b) (1) Upon motion of a prosecutorial official, the superior court for juvenile matters shall conduct a hearing to determine whether the case of any child charged with the commission of a class C, D or E felony or an unclassified felony shall be transferred from the docket for juvenile matters to the regular criminal docket of the Superior Court. The court shall not order that the case be transferred under this subdivision unless the court finds that (A) such offense was committed after such child attained the age of [fifteen] fourteen years, (B) there is probable cause to believe the child has committed the act for which the child is charged, and (C) the best interests of the child [and] or the public will not be served by maintaining the case in the superior court for juvenile matters. Such probable cause may be shown by sworn affidavit in lieu of testimony. In making such findings, the court shall consider (i) any prior criminal or juvenile offenses committed by the child, (ii) the seriousness of such offenses, (iii) any evidence that the child has intellectual disability or mental illness, and (iv) the availability of services in the docket for juvenile matters that can serve the child's needs. Any motion under this subdivision shall be made, and any hearing under this subdivision shall be held, not later than thirty days after the child is arraigned in the superior court for juvenile matters.

(2) If a case is transferred to the regular criminal docket pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection, [or subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of this section,] the court sitting for the regular criminal docket may return the case to the docket for juvenile matters at any time prior to a jury rendering a verdict or the entry of a guilty plea for good cause shown for proceedings in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

Sec. 2. Subsection (c) of section 46b-133 of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2018):

(c) Upon the arrest of any child by an officer, such officer may (1) release the child to the custody of the child's parent or parents, guardian or some other suitable person or agency, (2) at the discretion of the officer, release the child to the child's own custody, or (3) seek a court order to detain the child in a juvenile detention center. No child may be placed in detention unless a judge of the Superior Court determines, based on the available facts, that (A) there is probable cause to believe that the child has committed the acts alleged, (B) there is no less restrictive alternative available, and (C) there is (i) [probable cause to believe that the child will pose a risk to public safety if released to the community prior to the court hearing or disposition, (ii) a need to hold the child in order to ensure the child's appearance before the court, as demonstrated by the child's previous failure to respond to the court process, or (iii) a need to hold the child for another jurisdiction] a strong probability that the child will run away prior to the court hearing, (ii) a strong probability that the child will commit or attempt to commit other offenses injurious to the child or to the community prior to the court disposition, (iii) probable cause to believe that the child's continued residence in the child's home pending disposition poses a risk to the child or the community because of the serious and dangerous nature of the act or acts the child is alleged to have committed, (iv) a need to hold the child for another jurisdiction, (v) a need to hold the child to assure the child's appearance before the court, in view of the child's previous failure to respond to the court process, or (vi) a finding by the court that the child has violated one or more of the conditions of a suspended detention order. No child shall be held in any detention center unless an order to detain is issued by a judge of the Superior Court.

Sec. 3. Subsection (a) of section 46b-133g of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2018):

(a) Not later than January 1, [2017] 2019, the Court Support Services Division of the Judicial Department shall develop and implement a detention risk assessment instrument to be used to determine, based on the risk level, whether there is: (1) [Probable cause to believe that a child will pose a risk to public safety if released to the community prior to the court hearing or disposition, or (2)] A strong probability that the child will run away prior to the court hearing or disposition, (2) a strong probability that the child will commit or attempt to commit other offenses injurious to the child or to the community prior to the court disposition, (3) probable cause to believe that the child's continued residence in the child's home pending disposition poses a risk to the child or the community because of the serious and dangerous nature of the act or acts the child is alleged to have committed, or (4) a need to hold the child in order to ensure the child's appearance before the court, as demonstrated by the child's previous failure to respond to the court process. Such instrument shall be used when assessing whether a child should be detained pursuant to section 46b-133, as amended by this act. Any detention risk screening shall be subject to the protections of subsection (k) of section 46b-124.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

July 1, 2018

46b-127(a) and (b)

Sec. 2

July 1, 2018

46b-133(c)

Sec. 3

July 1, 2018

46b-133g(a)

Statement of Purpose:

To change the minimum age of automatic transfer from the docket for juvenile matters to the criminal docket of the Superior Court to fourteen in instances where a child is charged with certain offenses, permit the court to transfer a child charged with certain offenses from the docket for juvenile matters to the criminal docket if the court finds that such transfer is in the best interests of the child or the public and to require the Court Support Services Division of the Judicial Branch to develop and implement a detention risk assessment instrument.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]