A N A C T
RELATING TO THE TOWN OF MIDDLETOWN JUVENILE HEARING BOARD
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. For the purpose of promoting the public health, safety, morals or general welfare, the town council of the town of Middletown shall have the power, in accordance with the provisions of this act, within the limits of said town, by ordinance, to pass, ordain, establish and amend an ordinance to establish a juvenile hearing board.
Without limiting the generality of the aforementioned such ordinance shall include the following provisions:
Section 1. Establishment. - Pursuant to chapter 45-2 of the Rhode Island general laws, a juvenile hearing board shall be established in the town of Middletown for the purpose of hearing all cases referred to it by the juvenile division of the Middletown police department or the chief of police of the town of Middletown, or his designee, with respect to persons under the age of eighteen (18) who are charged with violating the criminal laws of the state of Rhode Island, or the town of Middletown.
Said board shall be called the Middletown juvenile hearing board.
Section 2. Membership. - (a) The membership of the Middletown juvenile hearing board (the board) shall consist of five (5) members who shall be qualified electors of the town of Middletown. In addition, there may be two (2) auxiliary members who serve as active members in the event a regular member or members are unable to serve at any hearing or proceeding.
(b) The members shall be appointed by a majority vote of the town council of the town of Middletown.
(c) The term of the appointment shall be for three (3) years except that the initial appoints may be for a term of less than three (3) years in order to stagger the appointments.
(d) Appointed members of the board shall be eligible to be reappointed, and upon expiration of their term shall continue to serve until another be appointed in their place or until reappointed.
Section 3. Referral to juvenile hearing board. - (a) Persons who are under the age of eighteen (18) years may be referred to the board, which shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the Rhode Island family court, if the alleged act would support a finding of waywardness in the family court, including but not limited to violation of compulsory school attendance laws or if such act constitutes an offense which, if committed by an adult, would be a misdemeanor, provided, however, that no referral shall be made in the case of any person:
(i) who shall have been twice previously referred to the board; or
(ii) who shall have been once previously referred to the board and refused or failed to abide by the sanctions imposed or to have made the restitution recommended; or
(iii) shall at the time of the commission of the offense be within the custody and control of the Rhode Island family court, with the exception of guardianship proceedings.
(b) No referral to the board shall be made until such person, together with his/her legal guardian or legal representative shall have in writing, waived such person's right to an initial hearing in the family court with respect to the offense charged, has admitted to the offense and has agreed to abide by the decision of the board.
Section 4. Duties of the board. - (a) The board shall be authorized to hear all cases referred to it by the juvenile division of the Middletown police department, the chief of police of the Middletown police department, or his designee, and to impose and order sanctions other than incarceration.
Sanctions may include, but are not limited to:
(i) fines up to a maximum of one hundred dollars ($100.00) for each offense charged;
(ii) community service;
(iii) restitution for any injuries or property damage, where appropriate, resulting from the commission of the offense;
(iv) imposition of a reasonable curfew;
(v) denial, suspension or revocation of driving privileges for a period of up to two (2) years;
(vi) appropriate counseling.
In any such proceedings, the board shall, prior to the imposition of any sanctions, request the juvenile offender and his/her parents, legal guardians and legal representative to agree to the sanctions imposed, the amount of restitution ordered and the manner of making same. In ordering restitution, the board shall consider the juvenile offender's ability to pay and the amount of actual damages caused as a result of the commission of the offenses.
Section 5. Quorum - Rules. - (a) A majority of the board's members shall constitute a quorum and a majority of the members present shall be required to take any action. Any juvenile offender may be represented by counsel and may present evidence in his/her own behalf.
(b) The board shall have power from time to time to adopt and publish any and all rules and regulations necessary to carry out its functions under the provisions of this ordinance.
(c) The board shall give notice of the date, time and place of its meetings to the juvenile division of the Middletown police department, the chief of police, or his designee, the juvenile offender and his/her parents, legal guardians or legal representative not less than seven (7) days prior to the date of the hearing.
(d) Board proceedings shall be closed to the public and the provisions of chapter 42 of title 46 of the Rhode Island general laws shall not apply to such proceedings. All records of proceedings, including records concerning the arrest, apprehension or detention of any juvenile offender shall be withheld from public inspection but such records shall be available to the parent, legal guardian or legal representative of the juvenile for inspection.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage and shall apply to all juveniles alleged to have committed an offense after the effective date.