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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76556 Find in a Library
Title: Waiver of Juvenile Court Jurisdiction Under Iowa's New Juvenile Justice Act
Journal: Drake Law Review  Volume:29  Issue:2  Dated:(1979-1980)  Pages:405-432
Author(s): C A Scholten
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 28
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper examines the evolving concept of due process in juvenile court waiver in Iowa subsequent to the Supreme Court's 1966 Kent decision and then analyzes the waiver provisions of the 1979 Iowa Juvenile Justice Act.
Abstract: The juvenile justice system is currently undergoing the most extensive legislative scrutiny and change since its inception in 1899. In Kent v. the United States, the Supreme Court confronted the doctrine of parens patriae and ruled that waiver of a juvenile case to the adult court should satisfy specific procedural safeguards. The Court did not enunciate criteria for waiver but allowed States to develop their own standards. The following cases are summarized to illustrate the situation of the juvenile in Iowa prior to 1979: Mallory v. Paradise, State v. Halverson, State v. Speck, and State v. Clay. Although a juvenile was entitled to an appearance before the juvenile court when first apprehended and a separate transfer hearing on a proposed waiver, the juvenile judge had considerable discretion in determining whether or not to retain jurisdiction. Furthermore, a waiver order was considered interlocutory and not subject to direct appeal by the juvenile. Iowa's 1979 waiver statute codified the case law demand for procedural due process, while continuing to recognize the special nature of juvenile proceedings. The new law includes the right to notice, the right to counsel, the right to a hearing restricted to waiver before an adjudication on the merits, the right of access to written materials the court will consider in making a waiver determination, and the right to subpoena witnesses. On the other hand, a child adjudicated to have committed a delinquent act is not deemed to have been convicted of a crime, and a juvenile convicted in an adult court is not automatically subject to adult sanctions. Records of a juvenile sentenced by the adult court are sealed if certain conditions are met after discharge. The statute also establishes criteria for the waiver hearing: the juvenile must be age 14 or older, reasonable grounds that the juvenile committed the offense must be demonstrated, and the court must determine that the waiver would be in the best interests of the child and the community because the child shows no reasonable prospect of rehabilitation. Although the new law is a major improvement over previous statutes, it still contains problem areas, particularly the confusing language regarding rehabilitation versus best interests and the juvenile's uncertain ability to appeal an adverse waiver decision. Approximately 200 footnotes are included.
Index Term(s): Iowa; Judicial decisions; Judicial discretion; Juvenile codes; Juvenile court waiver; Parens patriae; Right to Due Process; Rights of minors
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