HCS/SB 800 - This act modifies several provisions relating to juvenile court proceedings, including: (1) raising the age to try children as adults; (2) juvenile court orders; (3) petitions for adoption; and (4) termination of parental rights.
RAISING THE AGE TO TRY CHILDREN AS ADULTS (Sections 211.021, 211.031, 211.032, 211.033, 211.041, 211.061, 211.071, 211.081, 211.091, 211.101, 211.161, 211.181, 211.321, 211.421, 211.425, 211.431, 221.044, and Section 1)
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. Expanded services shall not be effective until sufficient funds are appropriated.
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.
Finally, no person under the age of 18 may be detained in an adult jail unless the person has been certified as an adult.
These provisions shall become effective on January 1, 2021.
These provisions are substantially similar to provisions in the truly agreed to and finally passed HCS/SB 793 (2018), HCS/SB 693 (2018), and HB 1255 (2018) and similar to provisions in HB 2301 (2018), SB 792 (2018), SB 40 (2017), HB 274 (2017), SB 685 (2016), HB 1812 (2016), SB 213 (2015), and HB 300 (2015).
JUVENILE COURT ORDERS (Section 211.093)
Under current law, any order or judgment entered by a court concerning child protection takes precedence over any previous court order concerning the status or custody of a child for as long as the new court order remains in effect. This act adds orders of guardianships to the list of prior orders concerning the status or custody of a child over which a new court order shall take precedence.
Additionally, any court exercising jurisdiction over a child in specified cases shall have the authority to: (1) enter an order regarding the custody of the child, (2) enter a child support order, (3) establish rights of visitation, and (4) establish paternity. Any custody, support, or visitation order entered by the court shall remain in effect after the termination of the underlying juvenile court proceeding unless the order expressly states otherwise. If the court terminates jurisdiction without entering a continuing custody, support, or visitation order, then the child shall be returned to a parent, custodian, or legal guardian who exercised custody prior to the court's assumption of jurisdiction and any custody or visitation orders in effect at the time the court assumed jurisdiction shall be restored.
The juvenile court shall not hear any modification motions or other actions to rehear any order entered under this act after the court terminates jurisdiction.
Finally, this act requires the Children's Division to make all reasonable efforts to establish paternity within 60 days of the court assuming jurisdiction over the child in specified cases.
These provisions are identical to HB 1728 (2018), substantially similar to SB 851 (2018), and similar to HCB 11 (2018), SB 1110 (2016), and HB 2624 (2016).
PETITIONS FOR ADOPTION (Section 211.444)
This act permits a private attorney filing a petition for adoption to petition the juvenile court to terminate the rights of a parent or to receive specific consent to adopt or waiver of consent to adopt. This act also repeals existing provisions relating to the form and manner of the consent to adopt or waiver of consent to adopt.
This provision is identical to HB 2504 (2018) and substantially similar to SB 992 (2018), HB 2426 (2018), and HCB 12 (2018).
TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS (Section 211.447)
Under this act, a court may terminate the parental rights of a biological father if he is an alleged perpetrator of forcible rape or rape in the first degree that resulted in the conception and birth of the child if the court finds: (1) by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that the biological father committed the act against the biological mother; (2) by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that the child was conceived as a result of that act; and (3) by the preponderance of the evidence that the termination of parental rights is in the best interests of the child.
In any action to terminate the parental rights of a father under this act, the court may order, with the mother's consent, that the mother and child are entitled to obtain from the father payment for the reasonable expenses of pregnancy, childbirth or early child care; child support; inheritance rights under the probate code; the designation of the child as beneficiary of the father's life insurance; or any other reasonable payments. The father shall not be entitled to any custody, guardianship, visitation, or other parent-child relationship. No state agency shall require the mother to seek child support if the mother declines to do so under this act and such refusal shall not render the mother or child ineligible to receive public assistance benefits.
These provisions are identical to SCS/SB 795 (2018) and are similar to HB 1399 (2017) and HB 1087 (2017).
JUVENILE JUSTICE PRESERVATION FUND (SECTIONS 211.435, 488.315, and 558.003)
This act creates the "Juvenile Justice Preservation Fund", as well as a surcharge of $3.50 to be assessed on all civil actions filed in Missouri, a surcharge of $2.00 on all traffic violations of any county ordinance or any violation of traffic laws, and a fine of up to $500, issued at a prosecutors discretion, against offenders convicted of an offense against a child. The proceeds from such surcharges and fines shall be payable to the fund and used for the administration of the juvenile justice system. The fund will expire on August 28, 2024.
These provisions are identical to provisions in the truly agreed to and finally passed HCS/SB 793 (2018).