HB 87 AM: "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."
00HOUSE BILL NO. 87 am 01 "An Act authorizing youth courts to provide for peer adjudication of minors who 02 have allegedly committed violations of state or municipal laws, and renaming the 03 community legal assistance grant fund and amending the purposes for which 04 grants may be made from that fund in order to provide financial assistance for 05 organization and initial operation of youth courts." 06 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 07 * Section 1. PURPOSE OF ACT. The purpose of this Act is to provide a means by which 08 young people under the age of 18, with the concurrence of the juvenile intake unit of the 09 Department of Health and Social Services, may choose to work with their peers and with 10 interested adults in order to resolve their legal problems outside the traditional juvenile justice 11 system. 12 * Sec. 2. CONSIDERATIONS RELATING TO THE ACT'S ADOPTION. (a) ". . . 13 [P]ursuant to [state] constitutional authority granting rulemaking power to the Alaska supreme 14 court," the Alaska Court System has adopted a body of rules applicable to the practice and
01 procedures governing certain juvenile proceedings, the Alaska Delinquency Rules. To the 02 extent of any inconsistency between them, the supreme court has observed, the delinquency 03 rules supersede and prevail over related procedural provisions of the state statutes. 04 (b) The court's delinquency rules authorize the informal disposition of alleged juvenile 05 delinquency matters before the filing with the court of a petition for juvenile delinquency 06 adjudication. They assign primary responsibility for those informal dispositions to the juvenile 07 intake unit of the Department of Health and Social Services. 08 (c) The authorization and expansion of the youth court model made by this Act as a 09 pre-petition diversion program is prompted by the success enjoyed by the Anchorage Youth 10 Court model since its inception in 1989. In the Anchorage Youth Court model, interested 11 young people and adults, with the generous support and assistance of the juvenile intake 12 office, Department of Health & Social Services, the Alaska Court System, the Alaska Bar 13 Association, the Anchorage Bar Association, law enforcement and school district officials, 14 professionals, and parents, have developed and implemented a mechanism by which to respond 15 to juvenile legal problems and to adjudicate them informally, promptly, and effectively, in a 16 way that is meaningful to the offender, the victim, and the community. 17 (d) This Act is adopted in furtherance of the recommendation expressed in Legislative 18 Resolve 61 adopted by the Seventeenth Alaska State Legislature urging expanded use of youth 19 courts within the state. 20 * Sec. 3. AS 44.47.200 is amended to read: 21 Sec. 44.47.200. [COMMUNITY] LEGAL ASSISTANCE AND JUVENILE 22 JUSTICE GRANT FUND. There is created in the department the [COMMUNITY] 23 legal assistance and juvenile justice grant fund. From legislative appropriations to the 24 fund, the department shall make grants 25 (1) to eligible communities and regions for the purpose of enabling 26 them to obtain legal assistance; and 27 (2) to a nonprofit corporation established under AS 47.10.265 to 28 operate as a youth court. 29 * Sec. 4. AS 44.47.210 is amended to read: 30 Sec. 44.47.210. ELIGIBILITY. First and second class cities and 31 unincorporated villages, and regional associations of those communities, may apply to
01 the department for a grant under AS 44.47.200(1) [AS 44.47.200]. Grants shall be 02 made only to those communities or regions that would otherwise be unable to obtain 03 legal assistance. A regional or village corporation formed under 43 U.S.C. 1601 - 04 1608 (Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act) is not eligible for a grant under 05 AS 44.47.200(1) [AS 44.47.200]. 06 * Sec. 5. AS 44.47.210 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 07 (b) Nonprofit corporations proposing to establish and operate youth courts 08 under AS 47.10.265 may apply to the department for an organizational grant under 09 AS 44.47.200(2). A grant under this subsection must be matched on a dollar-for-dollar 10 basis by the grantee in cash or in kind. The commissioner may waive the match 11 required under this subsection on a showing satisfactory to the commissioner by the 12 prospective applicant that matching funds are not available. 13 * Sec. 6. AS 44.47.220 is amended to read: 14 Sec. 44.47.220. GRANTS. Grants made under AS 44.47.200(1) 15 [AS 44.47.200] shall be used for a single legal project and not for the provision of 16 general legal counsel. The department shall assure that the grant is spent for necessary 17 legal assistance and that appropriate accounting procedures are maintained. Grants 18 made under AS 44.47.200(1) and this subsection may not exceed $20,000. 19 * Sec. 7. AS 44.47.220 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 20 (b) Grants made under AS 44.47.200(2) shall be used to defray the costs of 21 organization of youth courts under AS 18.50.100. The department shall assure that the 22 grant is spent for necessary organizational assistance and that appropriate accounting 23 procedures are maintained. Grants made under AS 44.47.200(2) and this subsection 24 may not exceed $5,000. Only one grant may be made to a grantee under authority of 25 this subsection. 26 * Sec. 8. AS 47.10.020(a) is amended to read: 27 (a) Whenever circumstances subject a minor to the jurisdiction of 28 AS 47.10.010 - 47.10.142, the court shall 29 (1) provide, under procedures adopted by court rule, that, for a minor 30 who is alleged to be a delinquent minor under AS 47.10.010(a)(1), a state agency shall 31 make a preliminary inquiry to determine if any action is appropriate and may take
01 appropriate action to adjust or dispose of the matter without a court hearing; if, under 02 this paragraph, 03 (A) the state agency makes a preliminary inquiry and takes 04 appropriate action to adjust or dispose of the matter without a court hearing, 05 the minor may not be detained or taken into custody as a condition of the 06 adjustment or disposition and, subject to (d) of this section, the matter shall be 07 closed by the agency if the minor successfully completes all that is required of 08 the minor by the agency in the adjustment or disposition; in a municipality or 09 municipalities in which a youth court has been established under 10 AS 47.10.265, adjustment or disposition of the matter under this paragraph 11 may include referral to the youth court; 12 (B) the agency concludes that the matter may not be adjusted 13 or disposed of without a court hearing, the agency may file a petition under (2) 14 of this subsection setting out the facts; or 15 (2) appoint a competent person or agency to make a preliminary inquiry 16 and report for the information of the court to determine whether the interests of the 17 public or of the minor require that further action be taken; if, under this paragraph, the 18 court appoints a person or agency to make a preliminary inquiry and to report to it, 19 then upon the receipt of the report, the court may informally adjust or dispose of the 20 matter without a hearing, or it may authorize the person having knowledge of the facts 21 of the case to file with the court a petition setting out the facts; if the court informally 22 adjusts or disposes of the matter, the minor may not be detained or taken into the 23 custody of the court as a condition of the adjustment or disposition, and the matter 24 shall be closed by the court upon adjustment or disposition. 25 * Sec. 9. AS 47.10 is amended by adding a new section to read: 26 ARTICLE 3A. YOUTH COURTS. 27 Sec. 47.10.265. YOUTH COURTS. (a) The department may use youth courts 28 to hear, determine, and dispose of cases involving a minor whose alleged act that 29 brings the minor within the jurisdiction of AS 47.10.010 - 47.10.142 constitutes a 30 violation of a state law that is a misdemeanor or a violation or that constitutes a 31 violation of a municipal ordinance that prescribes a penalty not exceeding the penalties
01 for a class A misdemeanor under state law. 02 (b) Unless otherwise directed by the commissioner, the jurisdiction of a youth 03 court is coextensive with the boundaries of the municipality in which the youth court 04 is located. Only one youth court may be established within the boundaries of a 05 municipality. Nothing in this subsection prohibits two or more municipalities from 06 operating a single youth court for the municipalities by agreement between them. 07 (c) A nonprofit corporation may obtain recognition from the commissioner to 08 serve as a youth court. The corporation may exercise only the powers that are 09 delegated to a youth court by the commissioner, and shall exercise those powers as 10 authorized by the corporation's articles of incorporation and bylaws. The bylaws of 11 the corporation must set out standards and procedures by which the corporation, in its 12 capacity as a youth court, 13 (1) establishes a system by which the minor may be held accountable 14 for the conduct that brings the minor within the jurisdiction of the youth court by 15 being tried, represented, and adjudicated by the minor's peers; 16 (2) guarantees the constitutional rights of the minor that are guaranteed 17 by the state and federal constitutions; 18 (3) may secure jurisdiction over a minor; the youth court may secure 19 jurisdiction over the minor only with the consent of the minor and the agreement of 20 the minor's legal custodian; 21 (4) sets out the process for disposing of matters referred to it for 22 resolution; 23 (5) provides a process for appeal of a verdict or sentence, and defines 24 the basis for appeals; 25 (6) reserves the right to refer to the department, under 26 AS 47.10.020(a)(1), a matter transmitted to the youth court for disposition in which 27 the minor fails, without good cause, to comply with all requirements ordered by the 28 youth court as a part of sentence imposed on the minor; and 29 (7) prepares and delivers a report of the disposition of the matter 30 referred to it for resolution to the commissioner. 31 (d) Subject to the privileges that witnesses have in the courts of this state, the
01 commissioner may compel by subpoena, at a specified time and place, the 02 (1) appearance and sworn testimony of a person who the commissioner 03 reasonably believes may be able to give information relating to a matter before a youth 04 court; and 05 (2) production by a person of a record or object that the commissioner 06 reasonably believes may relate to a matter before a youth court. 07 (e) If a person refuses to comply with a subpoena issued under (d) of this 08 section, the superior court may, upon application of the commissioner, compel 09 obedience by proceedings for contempt in the same manner as in the case of 10 disobedience to the requirements of a subpoena issued by the court or refusal to testify 11 in the court. 12 (f) The commissioner shall make and keep records of all cases referred to a 13 youth court. The records of a youth court proceeding 14 (1) relating to a minor who complies with all requirements ordered by 15 the youth court as a part of sentence imposed on the minor shall be sealed by the 16 commissioner and may not be used for any purpose; and 17 (2) except as to a record described in (1) of this subsection, shall be 18 afforded at least the same protection and are subject to at least the same procedural 19 safeguards in matters relating to access, use, and security as they would be under 20 AS 47.10.093.