97- H 5160
Approved Jul. 3, 1997


It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows

SECTION 1. For the purposes of promoting the public health, safety, morals or general welfare, the town council of the town of Burrillville shall have the power in accordance with the provisions of this act within the limits of said town by ordinance, to pass, ordain, establish and amend an ordinance to establish a juvenile hearing board.

Without limiting the generality of the aforementioned, such ordinances shall include the following provisions:

Section 1. Establishment. -- Pursuant to chapter 45-2 of the Rhode Island general laws, a juvenile hearing board shall be established in the town of Burrillville for the purpose of hearing all cases referred to it by the juvenile division of the police department or the chief of police with respect to persons under the age of eighteen (18) who are charged with violating the criminal laws of the state of Rhode Island or the town of Burrillville.

Section 2. Membership. -- (a) The membership of the Burrillville Juvenile Hearing Board (the board) shall consist of not less than five (5) nor more than seven (7) electors of the town of Burrillville over the age of eighteen (18) years.

(b) The members of the board shall be appointed by majority vote of the town council.

(c) The term of appointment for members of the board shall be for three (3) years, except that the initial appointments shall be for less than three (3) years, thereby staggering the initial appointment.

(d) Appointed members of the board shall be eligible for reappointment, and upon expiration of their term shall continue to serve until replaced or reappointed. In the event of a vacancy on the board, interim appointments of appointed members may be made by the town council to complete the unexpired term of the vacant position.

Section 3. Referral to the Board. -- (a) Persons who are under the age of eighteen (18) years may be referred to the Board, which shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the Rhode Island Family Court if the alleged offense is one which, if committed by an adult, would be a misdemeanor, provided, however, that the requirement shall not apply in the case of any person:

(i) charged with the offense of simple assault;

(ii) who shall have been twice previously referred to the board or have been once previously referred and refused or failed to abide by the sanctions imposed or make the restitution recommended; or

(iii) at the time of the alleged commission of such offense shall be within the custody and control of the Family Court.

(b) The juvenile division of the police department or the chief of police may also refer to the board any other juvenile offender if, in the opinion of the juvenile division or the chief of police, such referral would be beneficial to the juvenile concerned and the community at large.

(c) No referral to the board shall be made until such person, together with his/her legal guardian(s) and/or legal representative, shall have in writing waived such person's right to a hearing in Family Court with respect to the offense charged, has admitted to the alleged offense, and shall have agreed to abide by the decision of the board.

Section 4. Duties of the board. -- (a) The Board shall be authorized to hear all cases, referred by the juvenile division of the police department or the chief of police, and to impose and order sanctions other than incarceration.

Sanctions may include, but are not limited to:

(i) Fines up to a maximum of one hundred dollars ($100) for each offense charged;

(ii) Community service;

(iii) Restitution for any injuries and/or damages, where appropriate, resulting from the commission of any offense;

(iv) Imposition of a reasonable curfew;

(v) Denial or revocation of the juvenile's driving privileges for a period of up to two (2) years.

In any such proceedings, the Board, prior to imposing sanctions, shall request the juvenile offender and his/her parents or legal guardians to agree to the sanctions imposed, the amount of the restitution and manner of making the same. In ordering restitution, the Board shall take into account the juvenile offender's ability to pay and the amount of actual damage caused as a result of the commission of such offenses.

Section 5. Quorum -- Rules. -- (a) A majority of the Board's membership shall constitute a quorum, and a majority of the members present shall be required to take any action. Any juvenile offender may be represented by counsel and may present evidence in his or her behalf.

(b) The Board shall have the power from time to time to adopt and publish all rules and regulations necessary to carry out its function under the provisions of this ordinance.

(c) The Board shall give notice of the date and time of meeting to the juvenile division of the police department or the chief of police, and the alleged juvenile offender and his/her parents or legal guardian(s), not less than seven (7) days prior to the date of the hearing.

(d) Board proceedings shall be closed to the public, and the provisions of chapters 42-46 of the Rhode Island general laws shall not apply to such proceedings. All records or proceedings, including records concerning the arrest, apprehension or detention of any juvenile offender, shall be withheld from public inspection but such records shall be available to the parent, legal guardian(s), or attorney of the juvenile for inspection.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage and shall apply to all juveniles alleged to have committed an offense after the date of enactment.

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