2019 Georgia Code
Title 15 - Courts
Chapter 11 - Juvenile Code
Article 7 - Competency in Delinquency or Child in Need of Services Cases
§ 15-11-655. Mental competency hearing; burden of proof; notice; rights during hearing; procedure; findings

Universal Citation: GA Code § 15-11-655 (2019)
  • (a) A hearing to determine if a child is incompetent to proceed shall be conducted within 60 days after the initial court order for evaluation. The hearing may be continued by the court for good cause shown.

  • (b) Written notice shall be given to all parties and the victim at least ten days prior to such hearing.

  • (c) The burden of proving that a child is incompetent to proceed shall be on such child. The standard of proof necessary for proving mental competency shall be a preponderance of the evidence.

  • (d) At the hearing to determine incompetency to proceed, a child's attorney and the prosecuting attorney shall have the right to:

    • (1) Present evidence;

    • (2) Call and examine witnesses;

    • (3) Cross-examine witnesses; and

    • (4) Present arguments.

  • (e) The examiner appointed by the court shall be considered the court's witness and shall be subject to cross-examination by both a child's attorney and the prosecuting attorney.

  • (f) The court's findings of fact shall be based on any evaluations of a child's mental condition conducted by licensed psychologists or psychiatrists appointed by the court, any evaluations of a child's mental condition conducted by independent licensed psychologists or psychiatrists hired by the parties, and any additional evidence presented.

  • (g) If the court finds that a child is not incompetent to proceed, the proceedings which have been suspended shall be resumed. The time limits under Article 5 or 6 of this chapter for adjudication and disposition of the petition shall begin to run from the date of the order finding such child mentally competent.

  • (h) Copies of the court's findings shall be given to the parties within ten days following the issuance of such findings.

History:

Code 1981, § 15-11-655, enacted by Ga. L. 2013, p. 294, § 1-1/HB 242.

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