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Standards Relating to Pretrial Court Proceedings

NCJ Number
Date Published
151 pages
These standards for pretrial juvenile court proceedings cover report, petition, and summons; notification of rights; discovery; the right to a probable cause hearing; respondent's right to counsel; waiver of the juvenile's rights; and juvenile court calendaring.
For the most part, these standards adopt the implicit premise of the Supreme Court's relevant decisions which indicate that unless the special protective and rehabilitative aims of the juvenile justice system require otherwise, criminal procedure safeguards should apply. The most far-reaching departure from existing law in the standards is to make the juvenile's representation by counsel mandatory. Attention is given to the respective roles of the juvenile, counsel, parents, and the court in matters of waiver of rights. For the most part, the standards leave waiver decisions to the youth, advised by counsel and parents. Standards recommend application of liberal, bilateral discovery along the lines recommended by the American Bar Association for criminal cases. The major innovation in this area is to make discovery depositions available to both the petitioner and respondent without prior court approval. A standard gives juveniles, detained and undetained, the right to an adversary probable cause hearing in cases not tried promptly, and judicial reliance on hearsay evidence to support the finding is prohibited. With appropriate cautions against indiscriminate use, the standards also recommend the use of omnibus hearings and pretrial conferences in the calendaring of delinquency proceedings. A bibliography is not included. (Author summary modified)

Date Published: January 1, 1980