HCS/SB 693 - This act modifies the age in which a child can be prosecuted in the juvenile court system and modifies procedures in guardianship and conservatorship proceedings.
PROSECUTION IN THE JUVENILE COURT SYSTEM (211.021 - 221.044, 488.315, 558.003)
Under current law, children who are 17 years of age are prosecuted for criminal offenses in courts of general jurisdiction. This act provides that, unless the child is certified as an adult or is being prosecuted for a traffic or curfew violation, children who are 17 years of age must be prosecuted in the juvenile court system.
This act repeals a provision of current law making certain amendments to definitions relating to juvenile courts effective upon appropriations by the General Assembly for juvenile officers.
Under current law, children between the ages of 12 and 17 who are alleged to have committed certain offenses can be prosecuted in a court of general jurisdiction rather than in juvenile court. Under this act, this age range is changed to a range between 12 and 18 years.
Current law allows offenders who are under 17 and a half years of age and have been certified as adults to be eligible for dual jurisdiction of both the juvenile and adult criminal codes. Dual jurisdiction allows an offender who has been found guilty in an adult court to complete a juvenile sentence in a Division of Youth Services facility. This act provides that offenders under the age of 18 are eligible for the program.
Under this act, no person under the age of 18 may be detained in an adult jail, unless the person has been certified as an adult.
The act creates the Juvenile Justice Preservation Fund, which shall consist of the following surcharges and fines as established in the act: a $2 court surcharge collected in traffic violation cases, a $3.50 surcharge collected in civil actions, and up to a $5 fine charged in criminal cases where the victim was a child. The monies in the fund shall be used solely for the administration of the juvenile justice system.
These provisions are effective on January 1, 2021.
These provisions are identical to provisions contained in HCS/HB 1255 (2018), substantially similar to provisions contained in the truly agreed to and finally passed version of SB 793 (2018) and the truly agreed to and finally passed version of SB 800 (2018), and similar to HB 2301 (2018), SB 40 (2017), HB 274 (2017), SB 685 (2016), HB 1812 (2016), SB 213 (2015), and HB 300 (2015).
GUARDIANSHIP AND CONSERVATOR PROCEEDINGS (475.050, 475.075)
This act provides that in guardianship and conservator proceedings, a court must determine that the incapacitated or disabled person's choice, spouse, or family member is deficient in his or her ability to serve prior to selecting a third person as a guardian of the incapacitated person or conservator of a disabled person. If there is a claim that a person is deficient because of the living conditions, then the court shall require an investigation by the Department of Health and Senior Services of the living conditions. A court must also make a determination that the living conditions are dangerous or unsanitary prior to making the finding that a person is deficient for the purposes of guardianship.
The act also states that, prior to a hearing on a petition for the appointment of a guardian or conservator, notice must be provided to certain parties by certified mail and published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the hearing is held.
These provisions are identical to HB 2069 (2018) and similar to provisions in the truly agreed to and finally passed version of SB 806 (2018), SB 104 (2017), and SB 1083 (2016).