2020 Georgia Code
Title 17 - Criminal Procedure
Chapter 7 - Pretrial Proceedings
Article 3 - Indictments
§ 17-7-50.1. Time for Presentment of Child's Case to a Grand Jury; Exception
- Any child who is charged with a crime that is within the jurisdiction of the superior court, as provided in Code Section 15-11-560 or 15-11-561, who is detained shall within 180 days of the date of detention be entitled to have the charge against him or her presented to the grand jury. The superior court shall, upon motion for an extension of time and after a hearing and good cause shown, grant one extension to the original 180 day period, not to exceed 90 additional days.
- If the grand jury does not return a true bill against the detained child within the time limitations set forth in subsection (a) of this Code section, the detained child's case shall be transferred to the juvenile court and shall proceed thereafter as provided in Chapter 11 of Title 15.
- The provisions of this Code section shall not apply to any case in which the prosecuting attorney files notice with the court that the detained child is a codefendant to a case in which an adult is charged with committing the same offense and the state has filed a notice of its intention to seek the death penalty.
(Code 1981, §17-7-50.1, enacted by Ga. L. 2006, p. 172, § 2/SB 135; Ga. L. 2013, p. 294, § 4-15/HB 242.)Editor's notes.
- Ga. L. 2013, p. 294, § 5-1/HB 242, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "This Act shall become effective on January 1, 2014, and shall apply to all offenses which occur and juvenile proceedings commenced on and after such date. Any offense occurring before January 1, 2014, shall be governed by the statute in effect at the time of such offense and shall be considered a prior adjudication for the purpose of imposing a disposition that provides for a different penalty for subsequent adjudications, of whatever class, pursuant to this Act. The enactment of this Act shall not affect any prosecutions for acts occurring before January 1, 2014, and shall not act as an abatement of any such prosecutions."Law reviews.
- For annual survey on criminal law, see 65 Mercer L. Rev. 79 (2013).
State failed to meet time limit for presenting case.
- Superior court erred in denying the defendant juvenile's motion to transfer the case to the juvenile court because the state failed to meet the time limit for presenting the case to the grand jury, and under the plain language of O.C.G.A. § 17-7-50.1(b), it was mandatory that the case be transferred back to the juvenile court; because the case should have been transferred, the superior court lacked jurisdiction to accept the defendant's guilty plea to aggravated assault, which was made only after the defendant's request for a certificate of immediate review was denied. Hill v. State, 309 Ga. App. 531, 710 S.E.2d 667 (2011).
Dismissal of indictment was affirmed because the appellate court found that absent an extension, charges against a juvenile had to be presented to a grand jury within 180 days of the juvenile's detention or the superior court lost jurisdiction. O.C.G.A. § 17-7-50.1 dealt specifically with juvenile dispositions and applied to this case. State v. Armendariz, 316 Ga. App. 394, 729 S.E.2d 538 (2012).
O.C.G.A. § 17-7-50.1 plainly adopts the date of detention, not the date of transfer, as the point from which the time is calculated, and the statute explicitly applies whether the child is initially subject to the jurisdiction of the superior court through committing an enumerated offense, O.C.G.A. § 15-11-28, or via a transfer to superior court after a petition and hearing. Hill v. State, 309 Ga. App. 531, 710 S.E.2d 667 (2011).180-day time limit ran only while juvenile was detained.
- Superior court erred in granting a juvenile's motion to transfer the juvenile's murder case to the juvenile court under O.C.G.A. § 17-7-50.1 because the juvenile was released on bond; the 180-day period of O.C.G.A. § 17-7-50.1(a) only ran during the time the juvenile was detained; therefore, Edwards v. State, 323 Ga. App. 864 (2013), was overruled. State v. Coleman, 306 Ga. 529, 832 S.E.2d 389 (2019).Superior court loss of jurisdiction after 180 days.
- Because a grand jury did not indict a juvenile within 180 days after the juvenile's detention as required by O.C.G.A. § 15-11-28(b)(2)(A)(vii) and no extension of time had been granted as of that date, the grand jury lost authority over the case by operation of law. The trial court's order granting the state's request for an out-of-time extension was void. Nunnally v. State, 311 Ga. App. 558, 716 S.E.2d 608 (2011).
Juvenile court erred in granting the state's motion to transfer the defendant juvenile's case back to the superior court pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 15-11-30.2 because the superior court had properly transferred the case to the juvenile court since the defendant was not indicted within 180 days of detention as required by O.C.G.A. § 17-7-50.1; the time limits set forth in § 17-7-50.1 are plainly stated and mandatory and clearly express the legislative intent that when a juvenile is detained and the superior court is exercising jurisdiction under either O.C.G.A. § 15-11-28(b) or O.C.G.A. § 15-11-30.2, the state must obtain an indictment within the specified time or the superior court loses the jurisdiction conferred by those provisions. In the Interest of C.B., 313 Ga. App. 778, 723 S.E.2d 21 (2012).
Same 180-day time limitation applies to both O.C.G.A. §§ 15-11-28(b) and15-11-30.2, and that 180 days begins to run on the day the juvenile is detained whenever the superior court is exercising jurisdiction under either section; it necessarily follows that anytime the superior court loses jurisdiction which was conferred by § 15-11-28(b) because the state failed to obtain an indictment within 180 days of the date the juvenile was detained, the time will also have expired within which the state could procure an indictment if the superior court were proceeding under O.C.G.A. § 15-11-30.2 and, thus, a transfer back to the superior court under those circumstances is pointless since an indictment returned by the grand jury would be void. In the Interest of C.B., 313 Ga. App. 778, 723 S.E.2d 21 (2012).
Although O.C.G.A. § 17-7-50.1 allows the state to request one automatic 90-day extension, this extension cannot be granted after the expiration of the 180 days; the legislature intended to set time limitations for the state to act in those situations in which the juvenile is detained and the superior court is exercising jurisdiction over the matter pursuant to either O.C.G.A. § 15-11-28(b) or O.C.G.A. § 15-11-30.2. In the Interest of C.B., 313 Ga. App. 778, 723 S.E.2d 21 (2012).Waivers.
- Lower appellate court erred when the court affirmed the transfer of the defendant from the superior court to the juvenile court because the court misunderstood O.C.G.A. § 17-7-50.1 when the court concluded that the statute did not permit a detained child to waive presentation within 180 days of the date of detention as the defendant filed an express waiver. State v. Baxter, 300 Ga. 268, 794 S.E.2d 49 (2016).
O.C.G.A. § 17-7-50.1(a) does not say that a charge shall be presented within 180 days but instead, the statute provides that the detained child shall be entitled to have the charge presented within 180 days. State v. Baxter, 300 Ga. 268, 794 S.E.2d 49 (2016).Superior court had jurisdiction.
- Given that the defendant failed to perfect the record by including in the record on appeal the transfer order which was the subject of the complaint, the appellate court assumed that the trial court's finding that a valid transfer order had been filed into the record before the superior court considered the state's motion for extension of time was correct and, thus, the trial court had jurisdiction to grant the state an extension of time to indict the defendant and, further, to accept the defendant's guilty plea. Walker v. State, 330 Ga. App. 872, 769 S.E.2d 602 (2015).Transfer not dismissal appropriate.
- State was not entitled to appeal an order transferring the defendant's case from superior court to juvenile court because the transfer order was entered under O.C.G.A. § 17-7-50.1(b), the provision directed that the juvenile's entire case be transferred to juvenile court, not dismissed, if the 180-day charging deadline was not met. State v. Johnson, 292 Ga. 409, 738 S.E.2d 86 (2013).
Cited in In the Interest of M.D.H., 300 Ga. 46, 793 S.E.2d 49 (2016); State v. Cash, 302 Ga. 587, 807 S.E.2d 405 (2017).