Chapter 3.72 RCW

YOUTH COURT

Sections

3.72.005Definitions.
3.72.010Youth court creationJurisdiction.
3.72.020Youth court agreement.
3.72.030Purpose and limitations of youth courts, student courts.
3.72.040Youth court programs.
3.72.050Fee.


Definitions.

The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Court" when used without further qualification means the district court under chapter 3.30 RCW, the municipal department under chapter 3.46 RCW, or the municipal court under chapter 3.50 or 35.20 RCW.
(2) "Traffic infraction" means those acts defined as traffic infractions by RCW 46.63.020.
(3) "Transit infraction" means an infraction issued by a transit authority as defined in RCW 9.91.025(2)(c), including those infractions authorized under RCW 35.58.580, 36.57A.230, and 81.112.220.
(4) "Youth court" means an alternative method of hearing and disposing of traffic infractions, transit infractions, or civil infractions for juveniles age sixteen or seventeen.



Youth court creationJurisdiction.

(1) A court created under chapter 3.30, 3.46, 3.50, or 35.20 RCW may create a youth court. The youth court shall have jurisdiction over civil, traffic, and transit infractions alleged to have been committed by juveniles age sixteen or seventeen. The court may refer a juvenile to the youth court upon request of any party or upon its own motion. However, a juvenile shall not be required under this section to have his or her civil, traffic, or transit infraction referred to or disposed of by a youth court.
(2) To be referred to a youth court pursuant to this chapter, a juvenile:
(a) May not be under the jurisdiction of any court for a civil infraction or for a violation of any provision of Title 46 RCW or for unlawful transit conduct under RCW 9.91.025;
(b) May not have any convictions for a violation of any provision of Title 46 RCW or for unlawful transit conduct under RCW 9.91.025; and
(c) Must acknowledge that there is a high likelihood that he or she would be found to have committed the civil, traffic, or transit infraction.
(3)(a) Nothing in this chapter shall interfere with the ability of juvenile courts to refer matters to youth courts that have been established to provide a diversion for matters involving juvenile offenders who are eligible for diversion pursuant to RCW 13.40.070 (6) and (8) and who agree, along with a parent, guardian, or legal custodian, to comply with the provisions of RCW 13.40.600.
(b) Nothing in this chapter shall interfere with the ability of student courts to work with students who violate school rules and policies pursuant to RCW 28A.300.420.
(4) A youth court under this chapter may accept referrals of traffic infractions, transit infractions, and civil infractions committed by juveniles age twelve through fifteen from a juvenile court diversion unit under RCW 13.40.250(5), provided that the youth court follows all conditions of RCW 13.40.250(5). In this circumstance, the youth court shall maintain concurrent jurisdiction with the juvenile court only for the purpose of supervision of the diversion agreement.

NOTES:




Youth court agreement.

(1) A youth court agreement shall be a contract between a juvenile accused of a traffic infraction, transit infraction, or civil infraction and a court whereby the juvenile agrees to fulfill certain conditions imposed by a youth court in lieu of a determination that the infraction occurred. Such agreements may be entered into only after the law enforcement authority has determined that probable cause exists to believe that a traffic infraction, transit infraction, or civil infraction has been committed and that the juvenile committed it. A youth court agreement shall be reduced to writing and signed by the court and the youth accepting the terms of the agreement. Such agreements shall be entered into as expeditiously as possible.
(2) Conditions imposed on a juvenile by a youth court shall be limited to one or more of the following:
(a) Community service not to exceed one hundred fifty hours, not to be performed during school hours if the juvenile is attending school;
(b) Attendance at defensive driving school or driver improvement education classes or, in the discretion of the court, a like means of fulfilling this condition. The state shall not be liable for costs resulting from the youth court or the conditions imposed upon the juvenile by the youth court;
(c) A monetary penalty, not to exceed one hundred dollars. All monetary penalties assessed and collected under this section shall be deposited and distributed in the same manner as costs, fines, forfeitures, and penalties are assessed and collected under RCW 2.68.040, * 3.46.120, 3.50.100, 3.62.020, 3.62.040, 35.20.220, and 46.63.110(7), regardless of the juvenile's successful or unsuccessful completion of the youth court agreement;
(d) Requirements to remain during specified hours at home, school, or work, and restrictions on leaving or entering specified geographical areas;
(e) Participating in law-related education classes;
(f) Providing periodic reports to the youth court or the court;
(g) Participating in mentoring programs;
(h) Serving as a participant in future youth court proceedings;
(i) Writing apology letters; or
(j) Writing essays.
(3) Youth courts may require that the youth pay any costs associated with conditions imposed upon the youth by the youth court.
(a) A youth court disposition shall be completed within one hundred eighty days from the date of referral.
(b) The court, as specified in RCW 3.72.010, shall monitor the successful or unsuccessful completion of the disposition.
(4) A youth court agreement may extend beyond the eighteenth birthday of the youth.
(5) Any juvenile who is, or may be, referred to a youth court shall be afforded due process in all contacts with the youth court regardless of whether the juvenile is accepted by the youth court or whether the youth court program is successfully completed. Such due process shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(a) A written agreement shall be executed stating all conditions in clearly understandable language and the action that will be taken by the court upon successful or unsuccessful completion of the agreement;
(b) Violation of the terms of the agreement shall be the only grounds for termination.
(6) The youth court shall, subject to available funds, be responsible for providing interpreters when juveniles need interpreters to effectively communicate during youth court hearings or negotiations.
(7) The court shall be responsible for advising a juvenile of his or her rights as provided in this chapter.
(8) When a juvenile enters into a youth court agreement, the court may receive only the following information for dispositional purposes:
(a) The fact that a traffic infraction, transit infraction, or civil infraction was alleged to have been committed;
(b) The fact that a youth court agreement was entered into;
(c) The juvenile's obligations under such agreement;
(d) Whether the juvenile performed his or her obligations under such agreement; and
(e) The facts of the alleged infraction.
(9) A court may refuse to enter into a youth court agreement with a juvenile. When a court refuses to enter a youth court agreement with a juvenile, it shall set the matter for hearing in accordance with all applicable court rules and statutory provisions governing the hearing and disposition of traffic infractions, transit infractions, and civil infractions.
(10) If a monetary penalty required by a youth court agreement cannot reasonably be paid due to a lack of financial resources of the youth, the court may convert any or all of the monetary penalty into community service. The modification of the youth court agreement shall be in writing and signed by the juvenile and the court. The number of hours of community service in lieu of a monetary penalty shall be converted at the rate of the prevailing state minimum wage per hour.

NOTES:

*Reviser's note: RCW 3.46.120 was repealed by 2008 c 227 § 12, effective July 1, 2008.



Purpose and limitations of youth courts, student courts.

Youth courts provide a disposition method for cases involving juveniles alleged to have committed traffic or transit infractions. Youth courts may also provide diversion in cases involving juvenile offenders who are eligible for diversion pursuant to RCW 13.40.070 (6) and (8) and who agree, along with a parent, guardian, or legal custodian, to comply with the provisions of RCW 13.40.600. Student court programs may also be available in schools to work with students who violate school rules and policies pursuant to RCW 28A.300.420. Youth court participants, under the supervision of the court or an adult coordinator, may serve in various capacities within the youth court, acting in the role of jurors, lawyers, bailiffs, clerks, and judges. Youth courts and student courts have no jurisdiction except as provided for in this chapter, chapter 13.40 RCW, and RCW 28A.300.420. Youth courts and student courts are not courts established under Article IV of the state Constitution.

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Youth court programs.

The administrative office of the courts shall encourage the courts to work with cities, counties, and schools to implement, expand, or use youth court programs for juveniles who commit traffic infractions, transit infractions, or civil infractions. Program operations of youth court programs may be funded by government and private grants. Youth court programs are limited to those that:
(1) Are developed using the guidelines for creating and operating youth court programs developed by nationally recognized experts in youth court projects;
(2) Target youth who are alleged to have committed a traffic infraction, transit infraction, or civil infraction; and
(3) Emphasize the following principles:
(a) Youth must be held accountable for their problem behavior;
(b) Youth must be educated about the impact their actions have on themselves and others including their victims, their families, and their community;
(c) Youth must develop skills to resolve problems with their peers more effectively; and
(d) Youth should be provided a meaningful forum to practice and enhance newly developed skills.



Fee.

A court may require that a youth pay a nonrefundable fee, not exceeding thirty dollars, to cover the costs of administering the program. The fee may be reduced or waived for a participant. Fees shall be paid to and accounted for by the court. The fees collected under this section shall not constitute "certain costs" as defined in RCW * 3.46.120(2), 3.50.100(2), 3.62.020(2), 3.62.040(2), and 35.20.220(2).

NOTES:

*Reviser's note: RCW 3.46.120 was repealed by 2008 c 227 § 12, effective July 1, 2008.