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  • Acts
  • 1998
  • Chapter 98 AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE PROSECUTION OF JUVENILE OFFENDERS.

Whereas , The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to regulate forthwith the prosecution of juvenile offenders in the commonwealth, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:


SECTION 1. Subsection (a) of section 72 of chapter 119 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 1996 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out the first paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-

The divisions of the juvenile court department shall continue to have jurisdiction over children who attain their eighteenth birthday pending final adjudication of their cases, including all remands and retrials following appeals from their cases, or during continuances or probation, or after their cases have been placed on file, or for any other proceeding arising out of their cases. Except as provided in subsection (b), nothing herein shall authorize the commitment of a person to the department of youth services after he has attained his nineteenth birthday.

SECTION 2. Said section 72 of said chapter 119, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out subsection (b) and inserting in place thereof the following subsection:-

(b) If the commonwealth has proceeded by indictment, the divisions of the juvenile court department shall continue to have jurisdiction over such persons who attain their eighteenth birthday pending the final adjudication of their cases, including all remands and retrials following appeals from their cases, or pending the determination allowed under section 58, or during continuances or probation, or after their cases have been placed on file, or for any other proceeding arising out of their cases. Nothing herein shall authorize the commitment of a youthful offender to the department of youth services after he has attained his twenty-first birthday.

SECTION 3. Notwithstanding any language contained in section 72 of chapter 119 of the General Laws relating to the age limitation for persons over whom the juvenile court may exercise power and authority, as said section 72 appeared during all times relevant to the provisions of this section, the divisions of the juvenile court department and the juvenile sessions of the trial courts shall continue to have jurisdiction over persons whose cases were properly commenced in juvenile court, regardless of the current age of the person charged, pending final adjudication of such cases, including all remands and retrials following appeals from such cases, or during continuances or probation, or after such cases have been placed on file, or for any other proceeding arising out of such cases, unless such persons were transferred to another division of the trial court, in which case jurisdiction over such persons shall remain with such other division.

SECTION 4. Sections 1 and 2 of this act shall apply to complaints filed and indictments returned for offenses allegedly committed on or after October 1, 1996.

SECTION 5. Section 3 of this act shall apply to complaints filed and indictments returned for offenses allegedly committed between December 31, 1991 and September 30, 1996, inclusive; provided, however, that nothing in this act shall be deemed to confer jurisdiction on the juvenile court over persons who are charged with committing murder in the first or second degree, and who at the time of said murder had attained the age of 14, if said murder was allegedly committed on or after July 27, 1996.

Approved April 23, 1998.