2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 15 - COURTS
CHAPTER 11 - JUVENILE PROCEEDINGS
ARTICLE 4 - MENTAL HEALTH
§ 15-11-155 - Disposition hearing; approval of mental competency plan

O.C.G.A. 15-11-155 (2010)
15-11-155. Disposition hearing; approval of mental competency plan


(a) The court shall hold a disposition hearing for the purpose of approving the mental competency plan within 30 days after the mental competency plan has been submitted to the court. Thereafter, the court shall hold a hearing for the purpose of reviewing the child's condition and approving the mental competency plan every six months during the child's dependency.

(b) The persons required to be notified of the mental competency disposition hearing and witnesses identified by the plan manager shall be given at least ten days' prior notice of the disposition hearing and any subsequent hearing to review the child's condition and shall be afforded an opportunity to be heard at any such hearing. The victim, if any, of the child's delinquent or unruly act shall also be provided with the same ten days' prior notice regarding any such hearing and shall be afforded an opportunity to be heard and to present a victim impact form to the court at any such hearing. The judge shall make a determination regarding sequestration of witnesses in order to protect the privileges and confidentiality rights of the child.

(c) At the disposition hearing, the court shall enter an order incorporating a mental competency plan as part of the disposition. At the time of disposition, a child who has been adjudicated a dependent of the court shall be placed in an appropriate treatment setting. If a dependent child is housed in a detention or youth development facility at the time of disposition, such child shall be moved to an appropriate treatment setting within five business days.

(d) If the court determines at any time that the child will not become competent to proceed, the court may dismiss the delinquency petition. If, at the end of the two-year period following the date of the order of incompetence, the child has not attained competence and there is no substantial evidence that the child will attain competence within a year, the court shall dismiss the delinquency petition. If appropriate, the court may order that civil commitment proceedings be initiated. Such proceedings shall be instituted not less than 60 days prior to the dismissal of the delinquency petition.

(e) The prosecuting attorney or a member of the prosecuting attorney's staff may seek civil commitment pursuant to Chapters 3 and 4 of Title 37. If, during the disposition hearing or any subsequent review hearing, the court determines that the child meets criteria for commitment and that services are available under the relevant laws for commitment to any agency or agencies for treatment, habilitation, support, or supervision, the court may commit the child to an appropriate agency or agencies for services under applicable law.

(f) At any time, in the event of a change in circumstances regarding the child, the court on its own motion or on the motion of the attorney representing the child, any guardian ad litem for the child, the attorney for the state, or the plan manager may set a hearing for review of the mental competency plan and any proposed amendments to that plan. The court may issue an appropriate order incorporating an amended mental competency plan.

(g) At the disposition hearing and at every review hearing, the court shall consider whether the petition alleging delinquency or unruliness should be withdrawn, maintained, or dismissed, without prejudice, upon grounds other than the child's not being mentally competent. If the court dismisses the petition, the state may seek to refile petitions alleging felonies if the child is later determined to be mentally competent. The state may also seek transfer to superior court if the child is later determined to be mentally competent.

(h) (1) If the court determines that a child alleged to have committed an act which is a felony if committed by an adult is not mentally competent and the child is adjudicated as a dependent, the court shall retain jurisdiction of the child for up to two years after the date of the order of adjudication. The order may be extended for additional two-year periods as provided in subsection (a) of Code Section 15-11-58.1.

(2) If the court determines that a child alleged to have committed an act which is a misdemeanor if committed by an adult or an unruly act is not mentally competent and the child is adjudicated as a dependent, the court shall retain jurisdiction of the child for up to 120 days following the disposition order incorporating the mental competency plan. The order may not be extended by the court.

(i) If the court finds that a child is not mentally competent to stand trial, any party may file at any time a motion for a rehearing on the issue of the child's mental incompetency. The court shall grant such motion upon a showing by the moving party that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the child is now mentally competent. If this motion is granted, the court shall proceed as provided in Code Sections 15-11-152, 15-11-153, 15-11-153.1, 15-11-153.2, 15-11-154, and this Code section and shall enter findings of fact as to the child's mental competency.

(j) If a child is under a mental competency plan when the child reaches the age of 18, the plan manager shall make a referral to appropriate adult services.

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