Waiver to adult court

The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard SB 160 on waiver to adult court sponsored by Rep. Washburne. The bill permits a criminal court having jurisdiction over a juvenile charged with a direct file offense to withhold judgment and transfer jurisdiction back to the juvenile court for disposition if the juvenile is convicted of an offense other than the one requiring direct file in criminal court.  An amendment adding the word “adjudication” when transferring the case to the juvenile court for disposition was adopted by consent.   A second amendment added SB 90 to this legislation permitting an intake officer to impose conditions on the release of a child who was not taken into custody on a court order.  If the intake officer imposes conditions of release on a child, the juvenile court must hold a detention hearing within 48 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays.

Judge Mary Willis, President of the Indiana Judges Association and past president of the Indiana Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, spoke in favor of SB 160 and SB 90.  She noted SB 160 contains provisions similar to legislation passed three years ago concerning alternative sentencing for juveniles waived to adult court.  She reported the use of this new statutory scheme was recently upheld in Legg v. State, 22 N.E.3d 763 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014).  The Hoosier State Press Association raised a concern that if the automatically waived case returns to juvenile court as a misdemeanor, the proceeding would be closed. The author indicated current juvenile law will provide guidance on cases coming back on whether they should be open or closed.  A public defender, a representative from the Civil Rights Committee of the ISBA, a representative from the Children’s Rights Initiative, Children’s Coalition of Indiana each spoke in favor of SB 160. The Indiana Public Defender’s Council spoke in favor of SB 160 and the amendments.  The legislation was passed 9-0, as amended.

Read the bill at https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2016/bills/senate/160