Senate Bill No. 388
(By Senators Prezioso, Oliverio, Hunter and Minear)
[Originating in the Committee on Judiciary;
reported February 11, 2000.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section thirteen-d, article five,
chapter forty-nine of the code of West Virginia, one thousand
nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to the teen
court program; giving counties the option to institute
program; removing requirement that program be administered by
the governor's committee on crime, delinquency and correction;
eliminating continuing legal education credit for
participation in the program; allowing teenagers to act as
jurors in program; and removing the provision that declares
these programs to be pilot projects.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section thirteen-d, 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.
§49-5-13d. Teen court program.
(a) Notwithstanding any provision of this article to the
contrary, in any county that chooses to institute a teen court
program in accordance with the provisions of this section, any
juvenile who is alleged to have committed a status offense or an
act of delinquency which would be a misdemeanor if committed by an
adult and who is otherwise subject to the provisions of this
article may be given the option of proceeding in
a the teen court
program as an alternative to the filing of a formal petition under
section seven of this article or proceeding to a disposition as
provided by section eleven-a or thirteen of this article, as the
case may be. The decision to extend the option to enter the teen
court program as an alternative procedure shall be made by the
circuit court , juvenile probation officer, the department and
parent, guardian or custodian of the juvenile: Provided , That
before the option is extended, the circuit court first if the court
finds that the offender is a suitable candidate for the program.
No juvenile may enter the teen court program unless he or she and
his or her parent or guardian consent. Any juvenile who does not
successfully cooperate in and complete the teen court program and
any disposition imposed therein shall be returned to the circuit
court for further disposition as provided by section eleven-a or thirteen of this article, as the case may be.
The teen court program shall be administered by the
governor's committee on crime, delinquency and correction. The following provisions apply to all teen court programs:
(1) The judge for each teen court proceeding shall be an
acting or retired circuit court judge or an active member of the
West Virginia state bar, who serves on a voluntary basis.
members shall be offered continuing legal education credit for this
(2) Any juvenile who selects the teen court program as an
alternative disposition shall agree to serve thereafter on at least
two occasions as a teen court juror.
(3) Volunteer students from grades seven through twelve of the
schools within the county shall be selected to serve as defense
attorney, prosecuting attorney, court clerk,
and bailiff and jurors
for each proceeding.
(4) Disposition in a teen court proceeding shall consist of
requiring the juvenile to perform sixteen to forty hours of
community service, the duration and type of which shall be
determined by the teen court jury from a standard list of available
community service programs provided by the county juvenile
probation system and a standard list of alternative consequences
which that are consistent with the purposes of this article. The performance of the juvenile shall be monitored by the county
juvenile probation system. The juvenile shall also perform at
least two sessions of teen court jury service and, if considered
appropriate by the circuit court judge, participate in an education
program. Nothing in this section may be construed so as to deny
availability of the services provided under section eleven-a of
this article to juveniles who are otherwise eligible therefor.
(d) (c) The rules for administration, procedure and admission
of evidence shall be determined by the chief circuit judge, but in
no case may the court require a juvenile to admit the allegation
against him or her as a prerequisite to participation in the teen
court program. A copy of these rules shall be provided to every
teen court participant.
(e) Teen court programs operated pursuant to this section are
pilot projects to be utilized from the effective date of this
section until the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred
ninety-nine, in the circuit courts in three of the counties of this
state. The supreme court of appeals is to determine the counties
in which the pilot projects will be utilized based upon its
determination of those counties which have recently experienced the
most significant increases in the commission of criminal and status
offenses by juveniles.
(NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to make changes in the teen
court program. It deletes continuing legal education credit for
participation in the program and removes the provision that
declares these programs to be pilot projects.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would