Centers

Work Groups: 2003-2005

Juvenille Code Revision: 2003-2005 Projects

Juvenile Fitness to Proceed Requirement - Kathie Berger, Chair

  • Proposal (PDF, project was deferred to 2007)

Like an adult criminal defendant, a youth in a delinquency proceeding has a constitutional right to raise the issue of fitness to proceed and to stand trial before he or she can be adjudicated in juvenile court. The Oregon Juvenile Code, however, is silent on the subject of fitness. No procedure is set forth in the Code for the determination of fitness, and no options for the court are specified for when a youth is found unfit. As a result, courts are left to fashion an outcome for the youth with no guidance in the law. Clear options are needed to help ensure that both the best interests of the youth and the best interests of victims and the community are protected. This project then requires exploring what statutory structure, if any, would best fit juvenile court delinquency proceedings when youth may be unfit to proceed.

Members:

  • Summer Gleason
  • Amy Holmes Hehn
  • Julie McFarlane
  • Angela Sherbo
  • Ingrid Swenson

Juvenile P.S.R.B. - Mary Claire Buckley, Chair

Although juveniles have a right to raise a mental disease and defect defense in a delinquency proceeding, presently Oregon has no procedure to follow if the defense is successfully raised.

For the 2003 session, this Sub-Work Group completed a bill that used a Juvenile Psychiatric Security Review Board as a model for creating new procedures for raising the defense. The Sub-Work Group looked at federal provisions for funding ideas and to other states for models when drafting the bill. Presently courts either amend the delinquency petition to a dependency petition and put the youth in the custody of SCF or use ORS 419C.507 to try to fashion a remedy. The Oregon Youth Authority (OYA) has acknowledged that it is ill-equipped to treat youth offenders with severe mental illnesses, even though the number of those youth in the OYA close custody system has been increasing. Due to the fiscal impact of this bill, the bill remained in committee upon adjournment of the 2003 Legislative Session. The Sub-Work Group will continue to tweak the bill during the interim and seek to advance the bill in 2005. The focus of the Sub-Work Group's work during the 2004 Interim is working out the fiscal impact of the bill.

Members:

  • Karen Andall
  • Kathie Berger
  • Bill Bouska
  • Monica Brown, LFO
  • Mary Claire Buckley
  • Mickey Serice

Juvenile Code Split Cleanup - Timothy Travis, Chair

In 1993, the Juvenile Code, found in ORS Chapter 419, was divided into three chapters: Chapter419A, 419B, and 419C. This division was done in support of shifting public policy, away from a parens patrie model in delinquency law, and towards concepts of public safety, accountability and rehabilitation of offenders. The previous statutory scheme which viewed child dependency (abuse /neglect) and juvenile delinquency as different aspects of the same problem, no longer fulfills this evolving policy. This Work Group will look anew at what is in the three chapters and determine both what should be removed from the chapters given the current policy and what should be added that is currently missing.

Members:

  • Karen Andall
  • KayT Garrett
  • Linda Guss
  • Tim Loewen
  • Julie McFarlane
  • Mickey Serice
  • Virginia Vanderbilt

Putative Father - KayT Garrett, Chair

Biological fathers who have demonstrated a commitment to the responsibilities of parenthood have certain constitutional rights regarding notice in juvenile court proceedings involving their children. Presently, the ORS does not reflect the constitiutional standard, and there are inconsistencies throughout the statutes. There are particular inconsistencies regarding notice requirements in domestic relations and juvenile court proceedings. This Work Group will study and then define the rights that putative fathers are entitled to in proceedings with an aim to develop proposed legislation that both accurately reflects constitutional requirements and is consistent with other provisions of the ORS, administrative rules, and current practices relating to parents, fathers, and paternity.

Members:

  • Emily Cohen
  • Esther Cronin
  • Judge Deanne Darling
  • Jean Fogarty
  • David Gannett
  • Linda Guss
  • Prof. Leslie Harris
  • Amy Holmes Hehn
  • Linda Hughes
  • Judge Terry Leggert
  • Julie McFarlane
  • Judge Maureen McKnight
  • Judge Daniel Murphy
  • David Nebel, Interested Participant
  • Robin Pope
  • Mickey Serice
  • Catherine Stelzer

Juvenile Expunction Statutes (Deferred)

Present juvenile expunction statutes (ORS 419A.260-419A.262) are confusing to the bench and bar. Additionally, there are statutes in the criminal code that refer to the juvenile expunction statutes, but there is no mention in the juvenile expunction statutes of the criminal code. Considering that many juvenile court expunctions are handled pro se, this Sub-Work Group is considering restructuring the statutes so they are complete and more logical.

Parents with Guardian Ad Litem - Julie McFarlane, Chair

The ORS is unclear on the role of guardians in termination of parental rights proceedings. Such unclear issues include, among others, the following: can guardians demand a trial, how long can they assert a position for a parent, when in the process should it be determined to appoint a guardian, how should conflict of interest issues surrounding the role of counsel be handled. This sub-work group will look at codifying procedures and standards to govern guardian ad litems.

Members:

  • Kathie Berger
  • Linda Guss
  • Mickey Serice
  • Ingrid Swenson
  • Timothy Travis

Confidentiality Issues with Juvenile Court Records

The Juvenile Code lacks statutory provisions regarding confidentiality of juvenile records. Practitioners, judges, and the media have differing opinions and practices as to what is confidential and clarification is needed. The Juvenile Code Revision Work Group is considering this topic as either a possible sub-work group project or a separate Work Group project.

This law reform project proposal needs to be drafted; Michael Livingston is taking the lead on drafting the proposal for the Commission and will be getting input from persons listed below.

Members:

  • Kathie Berger
  • Amy Holmes Hehn
  • Lana Holman
  • Judge Terry Leggert
  • Angela Sherbo

Rights and Procedures for Parents in Certain Private Adoption Proceedings

Senate Bill 921 requires petitioners for adoption to serve summons with a motion and an order to show cause on certain parents who do not consent to an adoption (eliminating the citation procedure). The bill codifies the right to appointed counsel for a non-consenting parents in certain circumstances. The bill permits the court to take action authorized by law, if the parent fails to answer or appear at the hearing.

Intervenor Cleanup

Senate Bill 229 requires that in a dependency proceeding in juvenile court, the court give preference in placement of the child or ward to a person with a caregiver relationship with the child or ward. This bill also clarifies the definition of "caregiver relationship."