In re JuvenileAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Judicial Court held that due process does not permit a juvenile court judge to conduct a transfer hearing pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 119, 72A where the defendant, now an adult, is incompetent to stand trial for a crime allegedly committed as a juvenile.
Defendant was arraigned in the juvenile court on charges of indecent assault and battery on a child under fourteen and indecent assault and battery on a mentally disabled person. Defendant was a twenty-year-old adult when the delinquency complaint was brought. The juvenile court declared Defendant legally incompetent to stand trial. Thereafter, the Commonwealth requested a section 72A transfer hearing. Defendant moved to stay the hearing, which the juvenile court denied. Defendant petitioned for extraordinary relief pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3. The Supreme Judicial Court reversed the juvenile court's order denying Defendant's motion to stay the section 72A hearing until Defendant is competent to stand trial, holding that due process does not permit a section 72A transfer hearing to proceed while the defendant is incompetent to stand trial.