February 03, 2006, 11:17Ben Smith
JP court contempt as delinquent conduct
Here's my scenario:
11/4/05 juv. is placed on deferred probation for truancy in JP court.
1/9/06 juv. is adjudicated, probation revoked, and sentence imposed at $500 fine(to be paid by March 9, 2006)in JP court.
1/9/06 JP court also enters Judgment of Contempt against the juv.(for violations of deferred probation). The contempt judgment also notes that the JP is "waiving its jurisdiciton and referring the juv. to juv. court".
Our office does not handle these cases at the JP level, and I can't remember handling a JP or MC transfer/referral since I've been handling the juv. cases in our Juv. Court.
We want to just file a petition in juv. court alleging the JP contempt as the delinquent conduct. Is there any problem with this procedurally or legally? Does the JP court judgment of 1/9/06 which imposes a fine and allows time to pay at a future date keep me from proceeding on my petition?
I'm used to trying adult felonies so the tangle of juv. procedure throws me off. We are looking for an efficient way of handling the JP and MC juv.'s, at the Juv. Court level, when the JP and MC have exhausted their resources to hold these kids accountable. Any help is appreciated.
February 03, 2006, 12:38Stacey L. Brownlee
I get this question from LOTS of different counties.
Depending on what the JP order says I believe he can do both.
However, I don't think he can hold the child in contempt and then "waive" the jurisdiction. If he is sending up a contempt, he basically becomes the complainant and can't make a formal finding of contempt before sending the case to you.
This issue is WAY to complicated to work out on the web. Email me and I'll send you my direct phone line and I'd be happy to go over it with you.
[This message was edited by Stacey L. Brownlee on 02-06-06 at .]
February 07, 2006, 16:52Kris Moore
I pretty much agree with Stacy's reply, but check out Art. 54.050 in the CCP which says you can either refer the child to juvenile court for contempt OR retain jurisdiction ...and assess a fine and/or order that the DPS suspend the driving privlege.
I am doing some of these type referrals and have some forms I might share if you want them.
You are welcome to call me (713 755 5874) at the Harris County District Attorney's office.