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TENNESSEE COMPILATION OF SELECTED LAWS ON CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES, 2011 EDITION

TENNESSEE CODE ANNOTATED

Title 37 Juveniles

Chapter 1 Juvenile Courts and Proceedings

Part 1 General Provisions

37-1-134. Transfer from juvenile court.

(a) After a petition has been filed alleging delinquency based on conduct that is designated a crime or public offense under the laws, including local ordinances, of this state, the court, before hearing the petition on the merits, may transfer the child to the sheriff of the county to be held according to law and to be dealt with as an adult in the criminal court of competent jurisdiction. The disposition of the child shall be as if the child were an adult if:

(1) The child was sixteen (16) years or more of age at the time of the alleged conduct, or the child was less than sixteen (16) years of age if such child was charged with the offense of first degree murder, second degree murder, rape, aggravated rape, rape of a child, aggravated rape of a child, aggravated robbery, especially aggravated robbery, kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping or especially aggravated kidnapping or an attempt to commit any such offenses. The district attorney general may not seek, nor may any child transferred under the provisions of this section receive, a sentence of death for the offense for which the child was transferred;

(2) A hearing on whether the transfer should be made is held in conformity with §§ 37-1-124, 37-1-126 and 37-1-127;

(3) Reasonable notice in writing of the time, place and purpose of the hearing is given to the child and the child's parents, guardian or other custodian at least three (3) days prior to the hearing; and

(4) The court finds that there are reasonable grounds to believe that:

(A) The child committed the delinquent act as alleged;

(B) The child is not committable to an institution for the developmentally disabled or mentally ill; and

(C) The interests of the community require that the child be put under legal restraint or discipline.

(b) In making the determination required by subsection (a), the court shall consider, among other matters:

(1) The extent and nature of the child's prior delinquency records;

(2) The nature of past treatment efforts and the nature of the child's response thereto;

(3) Whether the offense was against person or property, with greater weight in favor of transfer given to offenses against the person;

(4) Whether the offense was committed in an aggressive and premeditated manner;

(5) The possible rehabilitation of the child by use of procedures, services and facilities currently available to the court in this state; and

(6) Whether the child's conduct would be a criminal gang offense, as defined in § 40-35-121, if committed by an adult.

(c) The transfer pursuant to subsection (a) terminates jurisdiction of the juvenile court with respect to any and all delinquent acts with which the child may then or thereafter be charged, and the child shall thereafter be dealt with as an adult as to all pending and subsequent criminal charges; provided, that if a child transferred pursuant to this section is acquitted in criminal court on the charge or charges resulting in such transfer, or if such charge or charges are dismissed in such court, this subsection (c) shall not apply and the juvenile court shall retain jurisdiction over such child. If a child is in the legal custody of the department at the time of transfer, such custody shall terminate at the transfer hearing, except that if a child is already committed to the department, the court may determine if it is in the best interest of the child to remain in the legal custody of the department until conviction occurs. In any case, legal custody by the department shall terminate upon any conviction in adult criminal court. If there is no conviction and charges so transferred are dismissed or acquittal occurs, the presiding trial judge shall notify the transferring juvenile court judge of such dismissal or acquittal so that the juvenile court may at its discretion set a hearing to ascertain status of the child as to the department's custody.

(d) If a person eighteen (18) years of age or older is to be charged with an offense that was alleged to have been committed prior to such person's eighteenth birthday, the petition shall be brought in the juvenile court that would have had jurisdiction at the time of the offense. The juvenile court shall either adjudicate the case under its continuing jurisdiction authority under § 37-1-102(b)(4)(B) and (C) or undertake transfer proceedings consistent with this section.

(e) No child, either before or after reaching eighteen (18) years of age, shall be prosecuted for an offense previously committed unless the case has been transferred as provided in subsection (a).

(f) (1) Statements made by the child at the juvenile court hearing under this section are not admissible against the child, over objection, in the criminal proceedings following the transfer.

(2) In any county in which, on July 1, 1996, the general sessions court or juvenile court makes audio recordings, the court shall make or cause to be made an audio recording of each transfer hearing conducted pursuant to this section. Such recording shall include all proceedings in open court and such other proceedings as the judge may direct and shall be preserved as a part of the record of the hearing. The juvenile who is the subject of the hearing may, at the juvenile's own expense, transcribe the recording of the hearing and a transcript so prepared may be used for the purpose of an appeal as provided by law. In all other counties, transfer hearings shall be recorded using the procedure provided in title 40, chapter 14, part 3.

(g) If the case is not transferred, the judge who conducted the hearing shall not over objection of an interested party preside at the hearing on the petition. If the case is transferred to a court of which the judge who conducted the hearing is also the judge, the judge likewise is disqualified from presiding in the prosecution.

(h) After a child has been sentenced to an adult institution, the department of correction may file a petition requesting the committing court to allow the department to transfer the defendant to an institution for juvenile delinquents administered by the department of children's services. Upon the approval by such court, the defendant may be transferred by the department of correction to a child-caring institution to be held until the defendant's eighteenth birthday. At the defendant's eighteenth birthday, the defendant may be transferred to an adult institution if there is time remaining on the defendant's term. If the term expires prior to the eighteenth birthday, the defendant shall be released. Any child sentenced by a committing court pursuant to this section shall, for the purpose of parole, be treated as if such child were an adult. The provisions of this section relative to housing of juveniles who have obtained the age of eighteen (18) shall not be affected by subsections (i), (j) and (k).

(i) When a child transferred under this section is detained, the juvenile court may, in its discretion, order confinement in a local juvenile detention facility, or a juvenile detention facility with which it contracts or an adult detention facility separate and removed from adult detainees. The court having adult criminal jurisdiction may thereafter order detention in an adult detention facility separate and removed from adult detainees; provided, however, that during the period while such child is detained separately from adult detainees, such child shall otherwise abide by the same regulations and policies governing conditions of imprisonment that apply to adult detainees who are charged with similar offenses. Similar regulations and policies governing educational opportunities for adults shall be implemented for a child so detained, but such regulations and policies shall in no way affect or alter the manner in which a local education agency is required to provide educational services to a child under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, compiled in 20 U.S.C. § 1471 et seq.

(j) Any person, who was transferred under this section and who was less than sixteen (16) years of age at the time of the offense and who is subsequently convicted and committed, shall be housed in a juvenile correctional facility until such person reaches sixteen (16) years of age, at which time such person may be transferred upon the order of the committing court to an adult facility. Any person committed to an adult facility under this section shall be housed separate and removed from adult inmates. In exercising the commissioner's discretion under § 41-1-403 to determine the institutional location of any such person, the commissioner of correction shall take into consideration the proximity of the institution to the person's home. However, during any period while such person is confined separately from adult inmates within such regional facility, such person shall otherwise abide by the same regulations and policies governing conditions of imprisonment that apply to adult inmates who are confined for similar offenses. Similar regulations and policies governing educational opportunities for adults shall be implemented for a child so detained, but such regulations and policies shall in no way affect or alter the manner in which a local education agency is required to provide educational services to a child under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, compiled in 20 U.S.C. § 1471 et seq.

(k) Any person who is transferred under this section and who was sixteen (16) years of age or older at the time of the offense and is subsequently convicted and committed shall be housed in a juvenile correctional facility unless the committing court orders commitment to an adult facility. Any person committed to an adult facility under this section shall be housed, separate and removed from adult inmates. In exercising the commissioner's discretion under § 41-1-403 to determine the institutional location of any such person, the commissioner of correction shall take into consideration the proximity of the institution to the person's home. However, during any period while such person is confined separately from adult inmates within such regional facility, such person shall otherwise abide by the same regulations and policies governing conditions of imprisonment that apply to adult inmates who are confined for similar offenses. Similar regulations and policies governing educational opportunities for adults shall be implemented for a child so detained, but such regulations and policies shall in no way affect or alter the manner in which a local education agency is required to provide educational services to a child under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, compiled in 20 U.S.C. § 1471 et seq.

Acts 1970, ch. 600, § 34; 1975, ch. 296, § 1; 1976, ch. 745, § 2; 1980, ch. 838, §§ 1, 2; Acts 1982, ch. 637, §§ 1-4; T.C.A., § 37-234; Acts 1989, ch. 278, § 39; 1990, ch. 958, § 1; 1990, ch. 982, § 2; 1994, ch. 823, §§ 1, 2; 1994, ch. 895, §§ 1, 2; 1995, ch. 267, § 1; 1995, ch. 354, §§ 1-3; 1995, ch. 379, § 1; 1996, ch. 767, § 1; 1996, ch. 1079, §§ 73, 95; 1998, ch. 782, § 1; imp. am. Acts 2000, ch. 947, § 6; 2005, ch. 265, § 2; 2010, ch. 860, § 1; 2011, ch. 486, §§ 2, 3.

Compiler's Notes. Acts 1994, ch. 823, § 3 provided that this section applies only to offenses committed on or after July 1, 1994.

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