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A Juvenile v. Commonwealth (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-201-13)

NOTICE: All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us     SJC‑11585   A JUVENILE  vs.  COMMONWEALTH.     December 23, 2013.     Supreme Judicial Court, Superintendence of inferior courts, Appeal from order of single justice. Juvenile Court, Delinquent child. Practice, Criminal, Juvenile delinquency proceeding, Transfer hearing. Delinquent Child.     A juvenile against whom a delinquency complaint has issued in the Juvenile Court, charging him with certain offenses, appeals from a judgment of a single justice of this court denying, without a hearing, his petition for relief under G. L. c. 211, § 3.  We affirm.   The alleged offenses occurred when the juvenile was sixteen years old.  The Commonwealth has moved for a transfer hearing pursuant to G. L. c. 119, § 72A, which applies to juvenile offenders who are apprehended after their eighteenth birthdays.  Under the statute, a Juvenile Court judge, after making a probable cause determination, has discretion either to order that the juvenile be discharged or to “dismiss the delinquency complaint and cause a criminal complaint to be issued.”[1]  The juvenile moved to dismiss the charges on the ground that there had been prejudicial delay in apprehending him.  The motion was denied.  The juvenile’s G. L. c. 211, § 3, petition sought relief from that denial.     The case is before us pursuant to S.J.C. Rule 2:21, as amended, 434 Mass. 1301 (2001), which requires an appellant in these circumstances to “set forth the reasons why review of the trial court decision cannot adequately be obtained on appeal from any final adverse judgment in the trial court or by other available means.”[2]  The juvenile has not carried his burden under the rule.  It is well established that “[t]he denial of a motion to dismiss in a criminal case is not appealable until after trial, and we have indicated many times that G. L. c. 211, § 3, may not be used to circumvent that rule.  Unless a single justice decides the matter on the merits or reserves and reports it to the full court, neither of which occurred here, a defendant cannot receive review under G. L. c. 211, § 3, from the denial of his motion to dismiss.”  Limbaugh v. Commonwealth, 465 Mass. 1018, 1019 (2013), quoting Bateman v. Commonwealth, 449 Mass. 1024, 1024-1025 (2007).  We see no reason why the same should not be true of the denial of a motion to dismiss in a juvenile delinquency case.  The juvenile […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - December 23, 2013 at 10:08 pm

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