Legislature(1995 - 1996)
04/03/1995 01:05 PM JUD
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE April 3, 1995 1:05 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Brian Porter, Chairman Representative Con Bunde Representative Al Vezey Representative Cynthia Toohey Representative David Finkelstein MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Joe Green, Vice Chairman Representative Bettye Davis COMMITTEE CALENDAR HB 234: "An Act relating to administrative adjudication under the Administrative Procedure Act." PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE CSSB 14(JUD): "An Act relating to criminal mischief." PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE HB 87: "An Act authorizing youth courts to provide for peer adjudication of minors who have allegedly committed violations of state or municipal laws, and renaming the community legal assistance grant fund and amending the purposes for which grants may be made from that fund in order to provide financial assistance for organization and initial operation of youth courts." PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE HB 201: "An Act relating to prisoner litigation, post-conviction relief, sentence appeals, amending Alaska Administrative Rule 10, Alaska Rules of Appellate Procedure 204, 208, 209, 215, 521, 603, and 604, and Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure 11, 33, 35, and 35.1; and providing for an effective date." SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD WITNESS REGISTER TERESA WILLIAMS, Assistant Attorney General Commercial Section Civil Division Department of Law P.O. Box 1031 West 4th Avenue, Suite 200 Anchorage, AK 99501-1994 Telephone: (907) 269-5100 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of HB 234 MARY VOLENDORF, Administrative Assistant to Senator Leman State Capitol, Room 113 Juneau, AK 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-2095 POSITION STATEMENT: Gave sponsor statement for SB 14 MARGOT KNUTH, Assistant Attorney General Criminal Division Department of Law P.O. Box 110300 Juneau, AK 99811-0300 Telephone: (907) 564-3428 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of SB 14 ELIZABETH ROBERTS, Legislative Aide to Representative Bettye Davis State Capitol, Room 430 Juneau, AK 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-3875 POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced HB 87 ELMER LINDSTROM, Special Assistant Office of the Commissioner Department of Health and Social Services P.O. Box 110600 Juneau, AK 99811-0600 Telephone: (907) 465-3030 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 87 PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 234 SHORT TITLE: ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUDICATIONS SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 03/06/95 590 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/06/95 590 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY 03/06/95 591 (H) 14 ZERO FISCAL NOTES (ADM, DEC, F&G) 03/06/95 591 (H) (DHSS, LABOR, LAW, DPS, DOT) 03/06/95 591 (H) (4-DCED, 2-DOE) 03/06/95 591 (H) GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER 03/08/95 665 (H) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DNR) 3/8/95 03/14/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/14/95 (H) MINUTE(STA) 03/16/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/16/95 (H) MINUTE(STA) 03/18/95 (H) STA AT 10:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/18/95 (H) MINUTE(STA) 03/20/95 810 (H) STA RPT 3DP 1NR 03/20/95 810 (H) DP: JAMES, GREEN, ROBINSON 03/20/95 810 (H) NR: IVAN 03/20/95 810 (H) 14 ZERO FISCAL NOTES (4-DCED, 2-DOE) 03/20/95 810 (H) (ADM, DEC, F&G, DHSS, LABOR, LAW, DPS) 03/20/95 810 (H) (DOT) 3/6/95 03/20/95 810 (H) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DNR) 3/8/95 03/31/95 (H) JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120 03/31/95 (H) MINUTES(JUD) BILL: SB 14 SHORT TITLE: INCREASED PENALTIES FOR JOYRIDING SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) LEMAN, Halford, Miller, Pearce, Taylor, Kelly, Green REPRESENTATIVE(S) Finkelstein, Toohey JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/06/95 16 (S) PREFILE RELEASED 1/6/95 01/16/95 17 (S) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/16/95 17 (S) JUD, FIN 02/01/95 (S) JUD AT 01:45 PM BELTZ ROOM 211 02/01/95 (S) MINUTE(JUD) 02/03/95 166 (S) COSPONSOR: MILLER 02/06/95 (S) JUD AT 01:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211 02/06/95 (S) MINUTE(JUD) 02/08/95 (S) MINUTE(JUD) 02/15/95 (S) JUD AT 01:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211 02/22/95 (S) JUD AT 01:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211 02/27/95 (S) JUD AT 01:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211 02/27/95 (S) MINUTE(JUD) 03/01/95 (S) MINUTE(JUD) 03/06/95 491 (S) JUD RPT CS 1DP 3NR SAME TITLE 03/06/95 491 (S) FISCAL NOTES TO SB (COURT #1, CORR #4) 03/06/95 491 (S) ZERO FNS TO SB (DPS #2, #3, LAW #5) 03/06/95 491 (S) FNS TO CS (COURT #6, DPS #7, LAW #10) 03/06/95 491 (S) ZERO FNS TO CS (DPS #8, CORR #9) 03/15/95 617 (S) FIN RPT 4DP 3NR (JUD)CS 03/15/95 617 (S) FN (ADM #11) 03/15/95 617 (S) PREVIOUS FNS (COURT #6, DPS #7, LAW #10) 03/15/95 617 (S) PREVIOUS ZERO FNS (DPS #8, CORR #9) 03/15/95 (S) FIN AT 09:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532 03/15/95 (S) MINUTE(FIN) 03/16/95 (S) RLS AT 12:00 PM FAHRENKAMP ROOM 203 03/16/95 (S) MINUTE(RLS) 03/20/95 697 (S) RULES TO CALENDAR 3/20/95 03/20/95 703 (S) READ THE SECOND TIME 03/20/95 703 (S) JUD CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT 03/20/95 703 (S) COSPONSOR(S) PEARCE, TAYLOR, 03/20/95 703 (S) KELLY, GREEN 03/20/95 703 (S) ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN CONSENT 03/20/95 703 (S) READ THE THIRD TIME CSSB 14(JUD) 03/20/95 704 (S) PASSED Y18 N- E2 03/20/95 709 (S) TRANSMITTED TO (H) 03/22/95 833 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/22/95 833 (H) JUDICIARY, FINANCE 03/22/95 869 (H) CROSS SPONSOR(S): FINKELSTEIN 03/24/95 920 (H) CROSS SPONSOR(S): TOOHEY 04/03/95 (H) JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120 BILL: HB 87 SHORT TITLE: AUTHORIZING YOUTH COURTS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) B.DAVIS,Davies,Robinson,Brown,James JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/17/95 51 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/17/95 51 (H) HES, JUD, FIN 01/18/95 76 (H) COSPONSOR(S): DAVIES 02/06/95 256 (H) COSPONSOR(S): ROBINSON 03/23/95 (H) HES AT 02:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/23/95 (H) MINUTE(HES) 03/24/95 889 (H) HES RPT 6DP 03/24/95 889 (H) DP: G.DAVIS, BUNDE, ROKEBERG, TOOHEY 03/24/95 889 (H) DP: ROBINSON, BRICE 03/24/95 889 (H) 4 ZERO FISCAL NOTES (COURT, 3-DHSS) 04/03/95 (H) JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120 BILL: HB 201 SHORT TITLE: PRISONER LITIGATION AND APPEALS SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/27/95 488 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/27/95 488 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 02/27/95 488 (H) 3 ZERO FISCAL NOTES (LAW, CORR, DPS) 02/27/95 488 (H) 2 ZERO FISCAL NOTES (ADM) 02/27/95 488 (H) GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER 03/07/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/07/95 (H) MINUTE(STA) 03/14/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/14/95 (H) MINUTE(STA) 03/16/95 (H) STA AT 08:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/16/95 (H) MINUTE(STA) 03/18/95 (H) STA AT 10:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/18/95 (H) MINUTE(STA) 03/20/95 807 (H) STA RPT 3DP 1NR 03/20/95 807 (H) DP: JAMES, GREEN, ROBINSON 03/20/95 807 (H) NR: IVAN 03/20/95 808 (H) 3 ZERO FNS (LAW, CORR, DPS) 2/27/95 03/20/95 808 (H) 2 ZERO FNS (ADM) 2/27/95 03/27/95 (H) JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120 03/27/95 (H) MINUTE(JUD) 03/29/95 (H) JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120 03/29/95 (H) MINUTE(JUD) 04/03/95 (H) JUD AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 120 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 95-41, SIDE A Number 000 The House Judiciary Standing Committee was called to order at 1:05 p.m. on Monday, April 3, 1995. A quorum was present. Representatives Davis, Finkelstein, and Green were absent. CHAIRMAN BRIAN PORTER stated that the following bills would be heard: HB 234, SB 14, and HB 87. He announced that HB 201 was pulled off of the schedule for further changes. He also mentioned that at the last meeting, when the committee passed out HB 125, they had attached a fiscal note from the Court System, which was actually nullified, because the committee substitute took the Court System out of the loop. The courts did not have any part in juvenile records notification, and therefore would not have a fiscal note. With the committee's permission, he would not forward that fiscal note on, which is now irrelevant. HB 234 - ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUDICATIONS TERESA WILLIAMS, Assistant Attorney General, Commercial Section, Civil Division, Department of Law testified via teleconference. It is the position of the Administration that administrative adjudications should be faster and less costly to the parties and to the state than court proceedings are. Current provisions, which are confusing and archaic, can cause delay. She said the changes were run through the Executive Committee of the Alaska Bar Association. At that meeting, it was found that these changes would be a major improvement, and would provide a great deal of clarity. One change would replace registered mail with certified mail. The provision for witness assistance has changed. Back in 1959, apparently $15 per day was adequate. MS. WILLIAMS suggested the following change: On page 3, line 17, instead of the word `subsistence', change it to `food and lodging'. That will eliminate any question that we are talking about fishing rights here. The discovery provision gives the agencies the discretion to allow reasonable discovery. The agencies currently only have the authorization to give reconsideration for 30 days after a decision is entered. Here we have used a comparable court rule that says you have 15 days instead of 30 days, giving the agency 15 days to reconvene and to give reconsideration to the request. CHAIRMAN BRIAN PORTER asked Ms. Williams if changing subsistence to food and lodging would include transportation costs. MS. WILLIAMS answered that transportation costs are addressed in Section 2, starting at line 11. She noted the word `subsistence' is used on line 26 as well. REPRESENTATIVE CYNTHIA TOOHEY asked Ms. Williams about the 14 zero fiscal notes. She understood that to mean that this will not cost anything more than it is costing already. MS. WILLIAMS replied that is correct. REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY felt this new language would take an extremely archaic statute and make it a little less archaic, but archaic still. He thought the language mandating where hearings would be held was cumbersome. He thought that language should be made simpler. It seems to require unnecessary traveling expenses. He thought it should be in Juneau if it is in the First Judicial District, Anchorage if in the Third Judicial District, and Fairbanks, unless agreed to by the parties otherwise. Number 300 MS. WILLIAMS did not have a position on that one way or the other. CHAIRMAN PORTER said without the ability to talk to some of the departments that hold these hearings, they at least have the ability to allow the parties to agree on a mutually acceptable site, so short of hearing of any problems with it, he would be hesitant to change it at this point. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked another question on the whole Administrative Procedures Act (APA). Why don't we adopt or coordinate with the rules of uniform arbitration in Title IX? MS. WILLIAMS said that at some point, some wholesale changes will be necessary to the APA, but the changes in this bill are ones that could be made quickly, and that have a zero fiscal note. In fact, they will save the state money. We needed changes we could make quickly, recognizing we were going to eventually have to take a much more serious look at the APA. That is an excellent idea for us to be looking at later, but she felt it would slow this bill down if they tried to craft something like that at this point. REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE made a motion to adopt Amendment Number 1, which would change the word `subsistence' to `food and lodging' on page 3, lines 17 and 26. Seeing no objection, it was so ordered. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY made a motion to pass HB 234 out of committee with individual recommendations and zero fiscal notes. Seeing no objection, CSHB 234(JUD) moved out of committee. Number 370 SB 14 - INCREASED PENALTIES FOR JOYRIDING MARY VOLENDORF, Administrative Assistant to Senator Leman, sponsor of CSSB 14(JUD), described the bill. This bill was introduced because of a recent increase in auto theft, especially in urban areas, and the lack of convictions. Under the current law, this type of joyriding is a class A misdemeanor, and for a second offense, it is a class C felony. Joyriding is commonly associated with juveniles, and SB 14 targets that group. Juveniles account for many of the joyriding offenses. Without SB 14, there is no means to prosecute juveniles for this crime. Instead, they are brought into the juvenile system and no real penalty is inflicted. Although locking juveniles away for this offense is not necessarily the answer, this is a good start in making them responsible for their actions. The juvenile would be prosecuted, charged and sentenced the same as an adult would. More importantly, the juvenile will also be responsible for paying restitution to the victim. This bill will help decrease the number of vehicles stolen and the tremendous dollar losses by insurance companies and the victims of theft. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if the age of majority in Alaska was 21 for felonies. CHAIRMAN PORTER answered it is 18. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY did not understand the purpose of this. CHAIRMAN PORTER said their was someone from the Department of Law who could answer questions. Number 425 MARGOT KNUTH, Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, Department of Law, came forward to testify on the substantive issues of this bill. She said the Department of Law supports SB 14. In Anchorage there has been an explosion of car theft offenses. The number of incidents has doubled in a two year time period. There are now 2,000 to 3,000 car thefts per year. Anything related to those thefts is going to cost the state money. This bill started out simply raising the offense of joyriding to a felony for even a first offense. The Department of Law was concerned about taking that approach for several reasons. One is that it costs substantially more to prosecute felonies, and the second is that we have finally realized that approximately one half of the offenders here are juveniles, and to increase an offense to a felony level does not address the juvenile problem at all. What it does is put a burden on Health and Social Services to have petitions to have adjudications filed for a property offense. This is fairly low on the spectrum of offenses that juvenile delinquency proceedings have resources to deal with, so our proposal was to try to realistically deal with the juvenile offenders by reducing the age of majority for this offense. MS. KNUTH stated this is meant to be a deterrent bill rather than a punitive bill. Our purpose is to try to catch the attention of juveniles who are committing these offenses with an emphasis on restitution and revocation of driving privileges. Currently, until you reach 18 years of age, you are being handled through Health and Social Services in juvenile matters, and very little is happening because of the tremendous resource difficulties they have. This would allow kids to be cited by officers, or complaints could be filled out by district attorneys that would bring them into district court, were they will be brought before a judge who, we hope, will impress them with the seriousness of the offense. We do not expect jail time to be imposed for this age group. We do not feel that is appropriate. It is an option. MS. KNUTH said the legislature has been addressing joyriding progressively for several years, and one of the first things that was done, is that second offenses became felonies. Another thing that was done is there was a mandatory jail sentence, even for first offenders, and as the problem has been growing, so have the efforts to address it. For juveniles, we have taken out the mandatory jail sentence, which is three days. That is in Section 3 of SB 14. A mandatory minimum three days sentence will apply only for juveniles who are 18 years of age or older. A judge could order a juvenile to incarceration time which would be served in a detention facility, but not in a jail with other adults. It is an option, but it would not be appropriate if this is a first offense for the juvenile. It is a property offense. The emphasis should be on deterrence and rehabilitation instead. What we would expect is Suspended Imposition of Sentences (SIS) to be granted to these juveniles with an order of restitution. With an SIS hanging over a kid's head, that will provide a motivation for making restitution that has probably been lacking in the juvenile proceedings simply because of the work load that they have and the limited resources. We have also taken out for the juvenile offenders that a second offense is an automatic felony, and instead, as long as the juvenile is under the age of 18, these offenses are misdemeanors. When they do turn 18, any joyriding offense they have will count as the first offense, and for the very next offense they commit over the age of 18, they will be subject to the felony provisions. If we have an unusual case in which the kid has a long record of problems like this, (most joyriding offenses do involve some damage to the vehicle or loss of use), there is a criminal mischief provision that says if more than $500 damage is done or economic loss is sustained, then that is a separate form of criminal mischief, and that is being left open as an offense that is being pursued against the juvenile that could go into the felony disposition. That would go through Health and Social Services' juvenile delinquency proceedings. MS. KNUTH mentioned that also you could charge it as just theft of property valued at over $500; and that could also be on that felony track, if an unusual case where it seemed to be appropriate. In the majority of circumstances, it is a crime of opportunity. A great many of these offenses have been committed when keys have been left in the car, or it has been otherwise easy to do, and it was not a premeditated thing. We do not have a lot of juvenile car rings, who are dedicated to an economic crime. We believe that by revocation of driving privileges, by emphasizing restitution, we are creating the potential that this will result in a conviction on the record if an SIS is not completed satisfactorily. We hope to finally start deterring more of these offenses and we hope to see a reduction in the number of joyriding offenses. Anchorage has one half of all the offenses that are occurring statewide. As a misdemeanor offense, the state will still be prosecuting unless the municipality of Anchorage amends its ordinance so that they can prosecute somebody under the age of 18. She expected their ordinance to be limited to adult offenders at this point. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY asked if there was any requirement for a cost to receive the drivers license back again in this bill. MS. KNUTH answered that the revocation would be the same as it is now, so the reinstatement of the license would fall under existing law, which does have that requirement. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY said SB 14 will be almost impossible to pass with this high of a fiscal note, but the state desperately needs this law. She suggested taking away their permanent fund dividend (PFD). MS. KNUTH said there is that option, but she was not sure the assumption could be made that the person would be eligible for the PFD. Her first choice for use of the PFD would be for restitution, and that would not be reflected in the fiscal notes. REPRESENTATIVE DAVID FINKELSTEIN mentioned that the movement of money would not flow in only one direction. It would not only flow from the state to the program, but from the juveniles paying restitution back out into the community. We do not weigh that factor into the fiscal notes. Sometimes when we pass these bills, the fiscal notes do not always make it into the budget. He feared that may happen in this case. He felt the fiscal note was high, but inappropriate. If we want to enforce the law, it is going to cost a little bit of money. Many people in his district feels this is a priority. Number 600 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said his constituents are clearly irritated that car theft is "joyriding." Car theft is a pretty serious crime. Kids are renting stolen cars from each other. He felt it should be grand theft auto, and he would be willing to pay the fiscal note on that. This bill is only a slap on the hand. The problem of using the PFD, is that if the perpetrator decides not to apply for his PFD, the victim gets nothing. MS. KNUTH said for the under 18 age group, the license revocation is going to be meaningful. One half of joyriding offense are committed by juveniles under age 18. It may be too little too late, but it also may not be. The state is very wary of treating those under 18 as adults for criminal offenses, and she did not feel this would represent a new direction or trend. The Department of Law as a whole, believes that our criminal justice system is set up appropriately. The age of responsibility is 18. You will not see us coming in and taking this approach for other types of offenses, but for this particular offense, it seems worth exploring. CHAIRMAN PORTER said the bill also provides the ability to charge the kids who are in the car with the person behind the wheel, so there is additional incentive to stay away from those kinds of activities. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked Ms. Knuth if she saw this bill working together with the bill passed previously which would hold parents of the juvenile responsible for up to $10,000 damage. MS. KNUTH said yes, she does. If you can motivate parents through this economic sanction to exercise more control, that would be a good thing. At least we will get restitution for the victims in these cases. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY asked if a juvenile can be charged with a felony. CHAIRMAN PORTER answered that a juvenile can be charged with any criminal offense, depending on which court jurisdiction they are into. We are excluding them from being charged with a felony under this bill, but there are options. Number 825 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked Ms. Knuth if juveniles are tried in adult court if they violate this law under current statute. MS. KNUTH answered yes, under this bill. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY thought she had said the purpose of this bill was so that they would not be charged as adults. MS. KNUTH apologized for the confusion. It is so that they would be, because right now they are only being handled by the Division of Family and Youth Services. The purpose of this bill is to instead send them to district court as an adult charged with a misdemeanor. Section 6 of the bill refers to AS 47.10.010 and that is the juvenile jurisdiction statute. What Section 6 says is that if you are a minor accused of violating this now, we are adding to it, criminal mischief, joyriding. That is what the two new provisions are here. Then the procedures of juvenile delinquency of AS 47.10.010, may not be followed, except that a parent, guardian, or legal custodian shall be present at all proceedings. The minor accused of the offense specified in the subsection shall be charged, prosecuted, and sentenced in the district court in the same manner as an adult. That is the section of the bill making that change that says, "You, who were treated as a juvenile, will now be treated as an adult for joyriding." One of them is simply joyriding, and the other is for the passengers in the car. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked if he was correct in saying we are making the change here to bring a juvenile misdemeanor into adult court. MS. KNUTH answered that is correct. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said that means we are taking persons under age 18 out of the category of a felony. MS. KNUTH said that is correct. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said that is where he is lost. MS. KNUTH clarified this. The reason is essentially philosophical. We do not think it is appropriate to treat, as an adult, somebody who is 14, 15, or 16 years old on a felony offense, for a property offense, not a crime of violence, and to have all of the consequences of a felony conviction happening to somebody who is under the age of responsibility in most circumstances. It is such a big step away from what our current practice is, to be facing adult consequences on a misdemeanor offense where the emphasis is on deterrence, license revocation, and restitution. It is a big step. TAPE 95-41, SIDE B Number 000 MS. KNUTH continued to say that the only offense we have automatic waivers for are only for 16 years and older, and they are for murder or class A felony offenses against a person. We have a very small category of automatic waivers into adult court. CHAIRMAN PORTER said it seems like we are taking away an option, because we are being told that now this would mean an automatic waiver situation, and he did not see that, frankly. In the section for a second offense of joyriding becoming a felony, as the law exists now, a juvenile offender who was charged for the second offense of joyriding, could be adjudicated as a felon through the juvenile court system. MS. KNUTH said that was correct. CHAIRMAN PORTER said we are now removing the ability to do that. MS. KNUTH said the Department of Law does not have any opposition to the concept he was putting forward, but the Legal Services drafted it that way. CHAIRMAN PORTER said we were told that we have to do that because otherwise the wording we have added someplace else would make this become an automatic waiver into adult court for juveniles in this circumstance. He did not feel that would be right at all. MS. KNUTH said her one thought on that is that if it were a second offense, and we did want to prosecute them in district court. CHAIRMAN PORTER said first of all we could not do that because it is a felony, and that would be heard in superior court. MS. KNUTH answered that he was exactly right. She would hate for district court to be the most effective place to have these kids, and to lose the ability to send them there because now they have to go to the Division of Family and Youth Services (DFYS) on a felony that DFYS cannot do very much about, because with their limited resources. They have to be dealing with guns on school grounds and serious assaults. That may have been the consideration for Legal Services. They may have wanted a way by which we could keep going back to district court, because at that point, district court can impose jail. They have a broader panoply of sanctions available to them than DFYS does. CHAIRMAN PORTER asked Ms. Knuth if the committee removed Section 1 from the bill and it passed, would a minor who was apprehended in his/her second joyriding offense be charged with a felony, as an adult? MS. KNUTH thought not. She thought they could under charge and say that we were treating them as if it were their first offense. CHAIRMAN PORTER said that is the same as it currently is. Under existing law, if a juvenile was apprehended on their second joyriding offense, they could be charged with a felony through the juvenile system. If we took this section out, they still could. MS. KNUTH said the questions would be, "Could we under charge them, as a first offender, and make them go to district court, as an adult?" She believed the answer is yes, so we would have two options available. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE wished to hear from the bill sponsor's representative as to why this was initially included in the bill. He wondered what the rationale was. MS. VOLENDORF understood that they would have the language in there for the person 18 years of age and older, just so that an adult would be charged with a class A felony, and it would give discretion to the prosecution to charge a juvenile with either a felony in the juvenile delinquency court, or with a class A misdemeanor again, in district court. In taking that out, she guessed that a juvenile could be charged with a class A felony. Number 150 MS. KNUTH said if you look at Section 6, the offense is 11.46.484 (a),(2), which is the joyriding offense. She and the first bill drafter, Jerry Luckhaupt, agreed that Section 6 is waiving you as an adult for (a),(2), which is the joyriding offense. Paragraph (c) is just a sentencing provision, and it is not a different crime, it just states what you do given the same crime, as to whether the sentence will be a misdemeanor or a felony. It would automatically waive a juvenile if it were a second 484 (a),(2) offense. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked if the last three lines shed light on the subject. "The minor accused of the offense specified in this subsection shall be charged and prosecuted as an adult." CHAIRMAN PORTER said, no, that only applies to this subsection. Number 180 MS. KNUTH said we initially had a new crime called "juvenile joyriding" which was parallel, and Legal Services merged it with the existing statute. To answer your question, there is a way to create the option of a juvenile delinquency for a second offense as a felony, but it would not be simply by removing Section 1. They would have to do some other drafting to take care of that problem. CHAIRMAN PORTER did not think the bill sponsor intended what Ms. Knuth was describing for Section 1 to do. He asked Ms. Volendorf if that was correct. MS. VOLENDORF answered that it was fine with Senator Leman to have them charged with a class A misdemeanor each time, even on a repetitive offense until they turn 18. MS. KNUTH said it was upon the Department of Law's assurance that we could charge them with a felony and go that route by using one of the other options. CHAIRMAN PORTER mentioned that there are two other elements of a felony that a juvenile could be charged with, but what we are doing is allowing juveniles to be charged as adults for a misdemeanor crime, whereas, currently, what they are getting is what can amount to a letter of reprimand three to six months later from DFYS, which is not accomplishing a thing. Also keep in mind that joyriding is joyriding, whether it is a juvenile or an adult, and a 25-year old who is caught joyriding is still just joyriding, unless these other elements come into effect - economic damage over $500, it is still just a misdemeanor crime. MS. KNUTH said this is an incremental approach, and if treating joyriding as a misdemeanor turns out not to be the answer, she has no doubt that the legislature will be motivated to revisit the issue. We may decide later that more measures are appropriate. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE made a motion to move CSSB 14(JUD) out of committee with individual recommendations and fiscal notes as attached. Hearing no objection, it was so ordered. HB 87 - AUTHORIZING YOUTH COURTS Number 350 ELIZABETH ROBERTS, Legislative Aide to Representative Bettye Davis, bill sponsor, introduced HB 87. She first mentioned the Close Up students who came in by the dozens to visit Representative Bettye Davis and to talk about this particular bill. The Close Up students were told to select a bill that they wanted to be passed more than any other bill this session. HB 87 was it because the concept of literally being tried by their peers sounded like real democracy to them. They felt that it took the grown-ups out of the judging position and put the kids where the grown-ups had been before. MS. ROBERTS informed the committee that youth courts have been in effect in Anchorage since 1989. It is an extremely successful program. Of the youth court participants, 188 were given an award by the American Bar Association and $5,000 was given to the program for having the best youth court partnership system in the United States. It is an eight to ten week course in which all of the high schools participate. There are 248 students in the youth court system at the moment who act as judges, jurors, prosecutors, and defense attorneys. It not only helps the defendant by allowing him/her to be tried by his peers, and then not have anything on his record, but it enables the students who are participating in youth courts to get a real idea of what democracy in government and the court system is all about. This legislation carries a zero fiscal note. It is ideally suited for rural Alaska, because either one community or several communities can participate. You can have as many as 500 kids or as few as 30 involved. MS. ROBERTS stated that the first youth court started in 1983 in Augusta, Texas and is still running. There are four others, but Anchorage has the most sophisticated one. It is the only one where the students are the judge, the jury, and the prosecutors. They have their own constitution and bylaws, and they meet quarterly with various adult judges and pro-bono attorneys to talk about fiscal responsibility and to plan their caseload. They have a youth bar association that meets weekly to discuss issues. They have to pass a test to be admitted into this association. This does not cost any money, generates a great deal of community enthusiasm, has a recidivism rate of 50 percent less than kids who go through the regular juvenile system, gives the defendant a second chance, and it works well. It has been working in Anchorage for six years. Juneau is already discussing the possibility of having one. It is a nice bill which helps a lot of people and does not cause any problems. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY mentioned to the committee members who were not on the HESS Committee, that they saw a very interesting film supporting this bill. She felt it had a lot of merit and urged passage of HB 87. ELMER LINDSTROM, Special Assistant, Office of the Commissioner, Department of Health and Social Services, stated that the department supports HB 87. They have had success working with the program in Anchorage. The department has enjoyed success with the youth model court in Anchorage as an alternative court process for very young first time offenders who are arrested for less serious offenses against property. The model succeeded, for the most part, as a function of the resources available in the Anchorage community. The Department believes that the Anchorage program could be replicated in other communities to the extent that there is local community involvement that allows it to go forward. However, our relationship with the program is simply that of a referral agency. We do refer the juveniles to the program. Number 430 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked what the criteria for referral is in Anchorage. MR. LINDSTROM said he did not know in great detail, but he did know it has to be a first offense and it has to be a very minor offense. Usually they are offenses against property. The DFYS would likely send a letter of reprimand, sometimes far down the road in time. This is an option that gets a youth's attention immediately and some immediate reinforcement that what they did, they ought not to have done. CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if both the juvenile and the parents have to agree to use the youth court system. MR. LINDSTROM answered that yes, there has to be concurrence all the way around to participate in the program. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked for examples and information on specific cases that have been through the youth court. MS. ROBERTS stated that the director of the youth court was not able to release any details or any of the records of the defendants who had been through youth court at this time. They have been having a small problem in Anchorage, because under the current statutes, they do not have the ability to subpoena. If someone agrees to testify and then changes his mind, there is nothing a youth court can do. Under our bill, we have inserted the provision for being able to subpoena a witness. CHAIRMAN PORTER asked why this was being put into Title 18, rather than Title 47. MS. ROBERTS said she did not know. REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY noted that the bill drafter, Mr. Chenoweth, had drafted it that way. CHAIRMAN PORTER said the bill goes to the Finance Committee next, so he thought perhaps the sponsor could ask the drafter what the rationale for that is. He felt it would be more appropriate under Title 47 rather than under Title 18. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY made a motion to move HB 87 out of committee with individual recommendations and zero fiscal notes. Hearing no objection, it was so ordered. ADJOURNMENT The House Judiciary Committee adjourned at 2:15 p.m.