Funding for Teen Courts in West Virginia a reality!!!
During the 2005 Legislative Session, the Mercer County COFY Coalition assisted our state legislators with a proposal that would add a fee of up to $5 on all traffic violations within counties with Teen Courts. WVHB2492 passed and became law on July 1, 2005.
It was amended in 2006 to include all felonies, misdemeanors and local ordinances.
In 2010 the code was amended once again to allow municipalities to operate teen courts with charges filed in municipal courts.
The new legislation following the 2010 Session states...
WEST VIRGINIA CODE
§49-5-13d. Teen court program.
(a) Notwithstanding any provision of this article to the contrary, in any county or municipality that chooses to institute a teen court program in accordance with the provisions of this section, any juvenile who is alleged to have committed a status offense or an act of delinquency which would be a misdemeanor if committed by an adult or in the case of a violation of a municipal ordinance, an offense over which municipal courts have concurrent jurisdiction, and who is otherwise subject to the provisions of this article may be given the option of proceeding in the teen court program as an alternative to the filing of a formal petition under section seven of this article or proceeding to a disposition as provided by section eleven-a or thirteen of this article, as the case may be. The decision to extend the option to enter the teen court program as an alternative procedure shall be made by the circuit or municipal court if the court finds that the offender is a suitable candidate for the program. No juvenile may enter the teen court program unless he or she and his or her parent or guardian consent. Any juvenile who does not successfully cooperate in and complete the teen court program and any disposition imposed therein shall be returned to the circuit court for further disposition as provided by section eleven-a or thirteen of this article, as the case may be or return to a municipal court for further disposition for cases originating in circuit court consistent with any applicable ordinance.
(b) The following provisions apply to all teen court programs:
(1) The judge for each teen court proceeding shall be an acting or retired circuit court judge or an active member of the West Virginia State Bar, who serves on a voluntary basis.
(2) Any juvenile who selects the teen court program as an alternative disposition shall agree to serve thereafter on at least two occasions as a teen court juror.
(3) Volunteer students from grades seven through twelve of the schools within the county shall be selected to serve as defense attorney, prosecuting attorney, court clerk, bailiff and jurors for each proceeding.
(4) Disposition in a teen court proceeding shall consist of requiring the juvenile to perform sixteen to forty hours of community service, the duration and type of which shall be determined by the teen court jury from a standard list of available community service programs provided by the county juvenile probation system and a standard list of alternative consequences that are consistent with the purposes of this article. The performance of the juvenile shall be monitored by the county juvenile probation system for cases originating in the circuit court's jurisdiction, or municipal teen court coordinator or other designee for cases originating in the municipal court's jurisdiction. The juvenile shall also perform at least two sessions of teen court jury service and, if considered appropriate by the circuit court judge or teen court judge, participate in an education program. Nothing in this section may be construed so as to deny availability of the services provided under section eleven-a of this article to juveniles who are otherwise eligible for such service.
(c) The rules for administration, procedure and admission of evidence shall be determined by the chief circuit judge or teen court judge, but in no case may the court require a juvenile to admit the allegation against him or her as a prerequisite to participation in the teen court program. A copy of these rules shall be provided to every teen court participant.
(d) Each county or municipality that operates, or wishes to operate, a teen court program as provided in this section is hereby authorized to adopt a mandatory fee of up to five dollars to be assessed as provided in this subsection. Municipal courts may assess a fee pursuant to the provisions of this section upon authorization by the city council of the municipality. Assessments collected by the clerk of the court pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited into an account specifically for the operation and administration of a teen court program. The clerk of the court of conviction shall collect the fees established in this subsection and shall remit the fees to the teen court program.
Any mandatory fee established by a county commission or city council in accordance with the provisions of this subsection shall be paid by the defendant on a judgment of guilty or a plea of nolo contendere for each violation committed in the county or municipality of any felony, misdemeanor or any local ordinance, including traffic violations and moving violations but excluding municipal parking ordinances. Municipalities operating teen courts are authorized to use fees assessed in municipal court pursuant to this subsection for operation of a teen court in their municipality.
Note: Code updated with legislation passed through the 2010 2nd Extraordinary Session