Lazlo L. v. CommonwealthAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the motion judges' denial of two juveniles' motions to dismiss and remanded these matters to the juvenile court with directions to dismiss each case, holding that the amended definition of "delinquent child" should be applied retroactively to cases pending on July 12, 2018.
On or after July 12, 2018, as a result of the enactment of St. 2018, ch. 69, a child who commits an offense before the age of twelve or who commits an infraction or a first offense of a misdemeanor for which the punishment is a fine or imprisonment for not more than six months can no longer be adjudicated a "delinquent child." These cases concerned juveniles who allegedly committed offenses before July 12, 2018 but whose cases remained pending before the juvenile court on or after that date. The juveniles filed motions to dismiss the charges against them on the grounds that the Act's definition of "delinquent child" should apply retroactively to their cases. The motion judges denied the motions. The Supreme Judicial Court granted the juveniles' interlocutory petitions for extraordinary relief pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3, holding that the juveniles in these cases were not subject to the Juvenile Court's jurisdiction.