H. B. 4052
(By Delegates Manuel, Doyle,
Trump, Faircloth and Amores)
[Introduced January 21, 1998; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section two, article five, chapter
forty-nine of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to allowing victims
or their representatives to attend court proceedings
involving juveniles accused of committing a felony in which
the victim has an interest, at the discretion of the court.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section two, article five, chapter forty-nine of the
code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. JUVENILE PROCEEDINGS.
§49-5-2. Juvenile jurisdiction of circuit courts, magistrate
courts and municipal courts; constitutional guarantees; hearings; evidence and transcripts.
(a) The circuit court shall have original jurisdiction of proceedings brought under this article.
(b) If during a criminal proceeding in any court it is
ascertained or appears that the defendant is under the age of
nineteen years and was under the age of eighteen years at the
time of the alleged offense, the matter shall be immediately
certified to the juvenile jurisdiction of the circuit court. The
circuit court shall assume jurisdiction of the case in the same
manner as cases which are originally instituted in the circuit
court by petition.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article,
magistrate courts shall have concurrent juvenile jurisdiction
with the circuit court for a violation of a traffic law of West
Virginia or for any violation of chapter twenty of this code.
Juveniles shall be liable for punishment for violations of
these laws in the same manner as adults except that magistrate
courts shall have no jurisdiction to impose a sentence of
incarceration for the violation of such these laws.
(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article,
municipal courts shall have concurrent juvenile jurisdiction with
the circuit court for a violation of any municipal ordinance
regulating traffic or for any municipal curfew ordinance which is
enforceable. Municipal courts may impose the same punishment for
such these violations as a circuit court exercising its juvenile jurisdiction could properly impose, except that municipal courts
shall have no jurisdiction to impose a sentence of incarceration
for the violation of such these laws.
(e) A juvenile may be brought before the circuit court for
proceedings under this article only by the following means:
(1) By a juvenile petition requesting that the juvenile be
adjudged neglected or delinquent;
(2) By certification or transfer to the juvenile
jurisdiction of the circuit court from the criminal jurisdiction
of the circuit court, from any foreign court, or from any
magistrate court or municipal court in West Virginia; or
(3) By a warrant, capias or attachment which charges a
juvenile with an act of delinquency, is issued by a judge,
referee or magistrate, and is returnable to the circuit court.
(f) If a juvenile commits an act which would be a crime if
committed by an adult, and the juvenile is adjudged a delinquent
such the act, the jurisdiction of the court which adjudged
the juvenile a delinquent shall continue until the juvenile
becomes twenty-one years of age. The court shall have the same
power over the person that it had before he or she became an
adult, and shall have the further power to sentence the person to
a term of incarceration which cannot exceed six months. This
authority shall not preclude the court from exercising criminal jurisdiction over the person if he or she violates the law after
becoming an adult or if the proceedings have been transferred to
the court's criminal jurisdiction pursuant to section ten of this
(g) A juvenile shall be entitled to be admitted to bail or
recognizance in the same manner as an adult and shall have the
protection guaranteed by article III of the West Virginia
(h) A juvenile shall have the right to be effectively
represented by counsel at all stages of proceedings under the
provisions of this article. If the juvenile or the juvenile's
parents or custodian executes an affidavit showing that the
juvenile cannot afford an attorney, the court shall appoint an
attorney, who will be paid in accordance with article twenty-one,
chapter twenty-nine of this code.
(i) In all proceedings under this article, the juvenile
shall have a meaningful opportunity to be heard. This includes
the opportunity to testify and to present and cross-examine
witnesses. The general public shall be excluded from all
proceedings except persons whose presence is requested by the
parties and other persons whom the circuit court determines have
a legitimate interest in the proceedings: Provided, That in
cases in which a juvenile is accused of committing a felony, an alleged victim or the alleged victim's representative may attend
any related juvenile proceedings at the discretion of the
presiding judicial officer.
(j) At all adjudicatory hearings held under this article,
all procedural rights afforded to adults in criminal proceedings
shall be applicable unless specifically provided otherwise in
(k) At all adjudicatory hearings held under this article,
the rules of evidence applicable in criminal cases shall apply,
including the rule against written reports based upon hearsay.
(l) Extrajudicial statements, other than res gestae, which
were made by a juvenile under fourteen years of age to
law-enforcement officials or while in custody shall not be
such the statements were made in the presence
of the juvenile's counsel. Extrajudicial statements, other than
res gestae, which were made by a juvenile who is under sixteen
years of age but above the age of thirteen to law-enforcement
officers or while in custody, shall not be admissible unless made
in the presence of the juvenile's counsel or made in the presence
of, and with the consent of, the juvenile's parent or custodian
who has been fully informed regarding the juvenile's right to a
prompt detention hearing, the juvenile's right to counsel,
including appointed counsel if the juvenile cannot afford counsel, and the juvenile's privilege against self-incrimination.
(m) A transcript or recording shall be made of all transfer,
adjudicatory and dispositional hearings. At the conclusion of
any hearing, the circuit court shall make findings of fact and
conclusions of law, both of which shall appear on the record.
The court reporter shall furnish a transcript of the proceedings
at no charge to any indigent juvenile who seeks review of any
proceeding under this article if an affidavit is filed stating
that neither the juvenile nor the juvenile's parents or custodian
have the ability to pay for the transcript.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to allow victims or their
representatives to attend court proceedings involving juveniles
accused of committing a felony in which the victim has an
interest, at the discretion of the court.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.