Report Title:

JUVENILES

Description:

Establishes uniform criteria to determine the fitness to proceed to trial for children and youth charged with felonies.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

2384

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2004

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

RELATING TO JUVENILES.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. Chapter 571, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new part to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"PART . FITNESS TO PROCEED AND COMPETENCY

571-A Fitness to proceed and competency. (a) In any juvenile delinquency proceeding in which the juvenile is charged with a felony and the juvenile's fitness to proceed or the juvenile's competency is put in issue by any party or the court, the provisions of this part shall apply, except that this part shall not apply once a petition for waiver is filed for an order to waive family court jurisdiction of the juvenile.

(b) When fitness to proceed or competency is at issue, the court shall order an examination to be performed by a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist who is specifically qualified by training and experience in the evaluation of juveniles, except that, if a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist who is specifically qualified by training and experience in the evaluation of juveniles is not available, the court shall order an examination to be performed by a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist.

571-B Mental examination. (a) Upon an order for examination, all proceedings shall be suspended and the period of delay until the juvenile is determined fit to proceed shall constitute an excluded period for the speedy trial provisions of section 834-1.

(b) The court shall require the prosecuting attorney to provide to the examiner any available information relevant to the examination, including, but not limited to:

(1) The names and addresses of all attorneys involved;

(2) Information about the alleged offense; and

(3) Any information about the juvenile's background that the prosecutor deems relevant.

(c) The court shall require the attorney for the juvenile to provide any available information relevant to the examination, including, but not limited to:

(1) Psychiatric records;

(2) School records; and

(3) Medical records.

(d) All information required under subsections (b) and (c) must be provided to the examiner within ten days after the court order for the examination, unless there is good cause for failure to provide the information within ten days and, when possible, this information shall be received by the examiner prior to the juvenile's admission to the facility providing the examination.

571-C Assessment of competency. (a) In assessing the juvenile's competency, the examiner shall:

(1) Obtain and review all records pertaining to the juvenile, including the information in paragraphs (3) and (4) and any other relevant records;

(2) Consider the social, developmental, and legal history of the juvenile, as related by the juvenile and a parent or guardian, and any other relevant source;

(3) Consider the current alleged offense;

(4) Conduct a competence abilities interview of the juvenile;

(5) Conduct an age-appropriate mental status exam using tests designed for juveniles;

(6) Conduct an age-appropriate psychological examination using tests designed for juveniles; and

(7) Consider any other test or information deemed relevant by the examiner.

(b) The examiner's written report shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1) Identification of the juvenile and the charges;

(2) Listing of assessment methods used;

(3) Description of what the juvenile was told about the purpose of the examination;

(4) Social, clinical, and developmental history and the sources from which this information was obtained;

(5) Mental status data, including any psychological testing conducted and results;

(6) Comprehensive intelligence testing;

(7) Competence data assessing the competence-to-stand-trial abilities;

(8) An opinion as to the juvenile's fitness to proceed; and

(9) An opinion as to whether, at the time the juvenile engaged in the conduct charged, as a result of physical or mental disease, disorder, or defect, the juvenile lacked capacity to:

(A) Possess the necessary mental state required for the offense charged;

(B) Conform the juvenile's conduct to the requirements of the law; and

(C) Appreciate the criminality of the juvenile's conduct.

(c) The examiner shall consider the following in making a written opinion:

(1) Whether the juvenile's capabilities entail an ability to understand and appreciate the charges and their seriousness and an ability to understand and appraise the likely outcomes;

(2) Whether the juvenile has:

(A) An ability to understand the charges;

(B) An ability to understand the roles of the judge, the defense attorney, the prosecutor, and the witnesses and to understand the adversarial nature of the process;

(C) An ability to adequately assist the juvenile's attorney and provide a reliable account of events; and

(D) An ability to understand the significance of pleas, waivers, and legal strategies.

(d) Examinations shall be filed with the court and distributed to the parties within ninety days from the date of the order requesting such examination.

(e) All such examinations shall be filed under seal with the court and shall be confidential.

(f) The parties may stipulate to the findings and conclusions of the examination report and the court may enter an order with respect to fitness based thereon.

(g) If the parties do not stipulate to the findings pursuant to subsection (l), a hearing shall be conducted.

(h) In order for the court to find that a juvenile lacked competency, the defense shall be required to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the juvenile lacked competency as a result of the juvenile's lack of capacity to:

(1) Possess the necessary mental state required for the offense charged;

(2) Conform the juvenile's conduct to the requirements of the law; or

(3) Appreciate the criminality of the juvenile's conduct.

(i) If the court finds that the defense met its burden with regard to the lack of capacity of the charged offense, but the juvenile had the capacity for a lesser included offense, the court shall convert the extended juvenile jurisdiction petition to a delinquency petition.

(j) If the court finds the defense met its burden with regard to the capacity of the charged offense and a lesser included offense, the court shall convert the delinquency petition into a petition for involuntary hospitalization pursuant to section 334-60.2.

571-C Assessment of fitness to proceed. (a) During the same examination in which the examiner accesses the juvenile's competency, the examiner shall assess the juvenile's fitness to proceed.

(b) In order for the court to find a juvenile unfit to proceed, the defense shall be required to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the juvenile is unfit to proceed as a result of one the following:

(1) The juvenile cannot understand the charges and potential consequences;

(2) The juvenile cannot understand the trial process and proceedings against the juvenile; or

(3) The juvenile does not have the capacity to assist the juvenile's attorney in a defense to prosecution.

(c) The court shall issue written findings as to whether the defense has met its burden with respect to such issues and whether the juvenile is fit or unfit to proceed.

(d) If the juvenile is found unfit to proceed, the court shall commit the juvenile to a detention facility or a residential treatment facility; provided that:

(1) During this period, the facility responsible for the juvenile shall be required to report to the court and the parties at least every thirty days on the juvenile's progress; and

(2) If the court determines that fitness to proceed cannot be restored in the foreseeable future, the court shall dismiss all charges and convert the delinquency petition to a petition for involuntary hospitalization pursuant to section 33460.2."

SECTION 2. Section 334-60.2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"334-60.2 Involuntary hospitalization criteria. A person may be committed to a psychiatric facility for involuntary hospitalization, if the court finds:

(1) That the person [is mentally ill or] has a physical or mental disease, disorder, or defect or is suffering from substance abuse;

(2) That the person is imminently dangerous to self or others, is gravely disabled, or is obviously ill; and

(3) That the person is in need of care or treatment, or both, and there is no suitable alternative available through existing facilities and programs which would be less restrictive than hospitalization."

SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

BY REQUEST