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Pennsylvania Code



Subchapter H. STANDARDS GOVERNING THE INTER-COUNTY TRANSFER OF DELINQUENCY CASES


Sec. Preamble


200.701.    Venue.
200.702.    Inter-county transfer.
200.703.    Courtesy supervision.
200.704.    Transmission of information.

Authority

   The provisions of this Subchapter H issued under section 4 of the act of December 21, 1959 (11 P. S. §  270-4), unless otherwise noted.

Source

   The provisions of this Subchapter H adopted May 12, 2006, effective May 13, 2006, 36 Pa.B. 2282, unless otherwise noted.

Preamble


 The cases of children who commit delinquent acts in other than their county of residence present unique challenges to Pennsylvania’s juvenile courts, as do the cases of children whose county of residence changes during the course of juvenile court proceedings. Early and ongoing communication between officials in the affected counties is the first essential step in successfully processing these cases.

 Both Pa.R.J.C.P. 300 (Venue) and the Juvenile Act, at 42 Pa.C.S. §  6321(b) (relating to commencement of proceedings) provide that proceedings may be commenced in either the county in which the alleged delinquent act occurred or the child’s county of residence. However, this subchapter recommends that allegations of delinquency should normally be referred for juvenile court intake in the county in which the alleged delinquent act occurred because of its proximity to victims, witnesses, and law enforcement personnel.

 When the court proceeds to an adjudicatory hearing for a nonresident child, both Pa.R.J.C.P. 302(A) (Adjudication of Delinquency) and this subchapter provide that the court shall hear the evidence on the petition or accept an admission, and rule on the offenses.

 Upon finding that a nonresident child has committed a delinquent act, and specifying the grading and counts thereof, Pa.R.J.C.P. 302(A) provides that the court may then transfer the case to the child’s county of residence for a hearing to determine if the juvenile is in need of treatment, supervision or rehabilitation. However, the transfer of such cases is not required by this rule.

 This subchapter recommends that the court, upon determining that a nonresident child has committed a delinquent act, should transfer the case to the child’s county of residence. The court in the county of residence can then conduct the hearing to determine if the child is in need of treatment, supervision or rehabilitation and make final disposition of the case. Normally, the county of residence is most familiar with the circumstances of the family and will be providing supervision of the case if the child is found to be delinquent.

§ 200.701. Venue. (See Pa.R.J.C.P. 300)

 (a)  A delinquency proceeding must be commenced in either the county in which the delinquent act was allegedly committed or the child’s county of residence. Allegations of delinquency should normally be brought through the submission of a written allegation to the juvenile probation department or an attorney for the Commonwealth, consistent with local practice, in the county in which the alleged delinquent act occurred.

 (b)  The child may file a motion for change of venue if there is substantial prejudice to the child. The court shall decide the motion.

§ 200.702. Inter-county transfer. (See Pa.R.J.C.P. 302(A))

 (a)  In cases where a child is alleged to be delinquent through the submission of a written allegation to a juvenile probation department in other than the child’s county of residence, the juvenile probation department should promptly initiate contact with the juvenile probation department in the county of residence to discuss the matter and jointly determine the most appropriate manner for processing the case. For the purpose of this subsection, the county of residence is defined as that county in which the child’s custodial parent, legal guardian or custodian reside, unless emancipation of the child has been established by court finding.

 (b)  Consistent with local practice, attorneys for the Commonwealth in both the county of residence and the county in which the alleged delinquent act occurred shall be provided notice of the submission of any such allegation by their respective juvenile probation departments to ensure a unified and coordinated effort.

 (c)  In certain cases, it may be appropriate to transfer a matter to the county of residence immediately following the intake conference. In such cases, the juvenile probation department in the county that received the written allegation should provide the attorney for the Commonwealth in that county with notice of the decision resulting from the intake conference.

   (1)  The decision to transfer a matter to the county of residence following an intake conference should be jointly determined by the juvenile probation departments and the attorneys for the Commonwealth of the respective jurisdictions.

   (2)  No transfer to the county of residence should occur over the objection of the attorney for the Commonwealth, unless the court orders the transfer following a hearing pursuant to Pa.R.J.C.P. 311 (relating to intake conference).

 (d)  If formal court action is required in a case where a child is alleged to have committed a delinquent act in other than the child’s county of residence, adjudicatory proceedings should normally be conducted in the county in which the delinquent act occurred, unless a specific arrangement to the contrary has been agreed to by the attorneys for the Commonwealth in both jurisdictions. In certain cases, it may be appropriate for adjudicatory proceedings to occur in the county of residence, rather than the county in which the delinquent act occurred, including situations where the court in the county of residence is in closer proximity to the victim, law enforcement agency or others involved in the case.

 (e)  In adjudicatory proceedings involving a nonresident child, the court shall hear evidence on the petition or accept an admission, and shall make and file its findings as to whether the delinquent acts ascribed to the child were committed by the child.

 (f)  If the court finds that the child committed the acts by reason of which the child was alleged to be delinquent, it shall enter the finding on the record and may then transfer the case to the county of residence for a hearing to determine the child’s need for treatment, supervision or rehabilitation. Consistent with local practice in the county of residence, notice of this transfer for hearing and disposition, along with all relevant information, should be provided to the district attorney or juvenile probation department in the county of residence.

   (1)  While Pa.R.J.C.P. 302(A) (relating to inter-county transfer) permits the transfer of the case to the county of residence following a determination that a nonresident child committed a delinquent act, a transfer is not required.

   (2)  The recommended practice is that the case should be transferred to the court in the county of residence for a hearing to determine whether the child is in need of treatment, supervision or rehabilitation, and for that court to make final disposition of the case. Normally, the county of residence is most familiar with the circumstances of the family and will be providing supervision of the case if the child is found to be delinquent.

   (3)  If restitution is owed, the transferring court should enter a finding of the amount of restitution owed and to whom it should be paid, if ordered.

 (g)  The jurisdiction that makes final disposition of a delinquency matter under 42 Pa.C.S. Chapter 63 (relating to the Juvenile Act) is responsible for implementing the disposition, including the costs of placement or treatment, and the collection of fines, costs and restitution.

 (h)  Except upon an agreement to the contrary, the responsibility for the return of a child to the child’s county of residence should be that of the county of residence. In all cases, the return of a child to the child’s county of residence should occur promptly.

 (i)  If transfer to criminal proceedings is considered an option in a particular case, officials from the county in which the alleged offenses occurred should immediately contact the appropriate officials in the county of residence to discuss the appropriateness of the various dispositional alternatives, toward the goal of reaching agreement on a course of action. In such a case, however, the ultimate decision regarding whether to seek transfer of the case to criminal proceedings rests with the attorney for the Commonwealth in the county in which the alleged delinquent acts occurred.

§ 200.703. Courtesy supervision. (See Pa.R.J.C.P. 302(B))

 (a)  If the court in the county in which the delinquent act occurred places the child on a consent decree or enters a dispositional order following an adjudication of delinquency, the court may transfer supervision of the child to the child’s county of residence. Likewise, in cases where a child’s county of residence changes following disposition, the court in the former county of residence may transfer supervision of the child to the new county of residence.

 (b)  A county providing courtesy supervision may, with cause, withdraw the supervision at any time and return the matter for further action to the county which entered the disposition order.

§ 200.704. Transmission of information. (See Pa.R.J.C.P. 302(C))

 In proceedings involving courtesy supervision or the inter-county transfer of a delinquency case, the transferring court shall order the transfer of certified copies of all documents, reports and summaries to the receiving court.



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