Rules of Juvenile Procedure – Comment Period Closed – May 7, 2022

URJP017. The petition. Amends. Adds requirement for delinquency petitions regarding non-felony-level offenses to include the specific condition or conditions that allows the prosecuting attorney to file pursuant to Utah Code section 80-6-304(11).

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5 thoughts on “Rules of Juvenile Procedure – Comment Period Closed – May 7, 2022
  1. Paul Wake

    Bloody hell. Could we maybe add some more to this, like requiring an official copy of the minor’s birth certificate to be attached to the petition, and a certified copy of all relevant juvenile court records, and a video of the PO making efforts to NJ the case (along with a notarized copy of the videographer attesting to the accuracy of the video)?

  2. Stephen Starr

    My understanding of why this amendment is proposed is so that a judge can know why the juvenile’s charges are in court and not being handled non-judicially. First, this can be answered simply by the judge asking the probation officer at the start of the hearing why these charges are before the court. It happens all the time and it only take a second. Second, this would require a lot of extra work on the prosecutor’s part, at least here in Weber County. In Weber County, the prosecutor screens EVERY juvenile case for charges. We then draft a petition and a petition approval. The case is then sent to the probation officer who reviews it. If the case goes NJ, the prosecutor does not hear about it again. If the case is to be petitioned, the PO lets the prosecutor know and we file the petition. This new change would require the prosecutor to spend additional time changing the petition to include the new information. This would be an immense waste of time on our part. The system works well the way it is. There is no need to complicate the process by adding this superfluous requirement.

  3. Angela Adams

    My thought was that it is a good idea because I often have defense attorneys, while resolving cases, asking why the case was petitioned. I often don’t remember off the top of my head so have had to create a place in my file where we note the reason for the petition, i.e. failed NJ, declined NJ, inability to conduct the PI, etc. Also, judges ask about it. My initial reaction to this proposal was that it would be good to just include one line at the bottom of the petition to address that, early on, at the time when it’s being petitioned, and is in my fresh in my mind. The defense attorney knows and we don’t waste time with emails and questions and them not getting the straight answer from their client about it.

    Unlike Stephen’s method, in Washington County, I don’t screen every case but even as we move toward ultimately doing that, we will not be drafting a petition for a charges unless we are actually going to file it. So, we would not have to go back and change the petition as we would only be doing it once.
    Also, because the petitions are created in CARE with templates, and then tweaked as necessary by prosectors, I would think that the AOC could add this to the template of a petition and just create a drop down box to choose the condition that applies, just like other choices that are made when drafting a petiton in CARE.

    I think this could be a check and balance on petitions not being filed illegally when a condition is not present, not because anyone means to do that, but because human error could occur.

  4. Stephen Starr

    If this amendment passes, perhaps it can be an optional requirement where if this new information is not included on the petition, it won’t make the petition defective. Again, it is my opinion that it will require more work on someone’s part for very little benefit.

  5. Steven Beck

    “Because the juvenile courts are creatures of statute, they are courts of limited jurisdiction” (In re B.B., 2004 UT 39, ¶19). “‘It is axiomatic that a party wishing to bring a matter before a tribunal with limited subject matter jurisdiction must present sufficient facts to invoke the limited jurisdiction of that tribunal’” (Olson v. Utah Dept. of Health, 2009 UT App 303, ¶13 quoting Lopez v. Career Serv. Review Bd., 834 P.2d 568, 573 (Utah App. 1992).

    Utah Code Ann. §80-6-304(11) further restricts the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. The proposed amendment to Rule 17 of the Utah Rules of Juvenile Procedure does not impose an additional burden upon the State. Rather, it merely requires the State to “present sufficient facts to invoke the limited jurisdiction” of the juvenile court – a burden it’s already required to meet. As such, I strongly support the proposed amendment.