Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

In this mandamus proceeding, we consider whether the juvenile court abused its discretion when it did not obtain a complete diagnostic evaluation of a juvenile prior to a hearing to transfer the juvenile to adult criminal court. The Family Code mandates a “complete diagnostic study,” and the psychologist who performed this report emphasized it was incomplete. We hold the trial court abused its discretion, a determination the State does not dispute, and we conditionally grant the petition for writ of mandamus.

B.T. is a 17-year-old charged with murdering his teacher. In 2009, the State filed a petition for discretionary transfer urging the juvenile court to order B.T. tried as an adult. Under Family Code Section 54.02(a), the “juvenile court may waive its exclusive original jurisdiction and transfer a child to the appropriate district court or criminal district court for criminal proceedings if” certain conditions are met. Section 54.02(a)(3) authorizes transfer to criminal court if, among other requirements, the juvenile court determines “after a full investigation and a hearing” that there is probable cause to believe the child committed the alleged offense and “because of the seriousness of the offense alleged or the background of the child the welfare of the community requires criminal proceedings.” Section 54.02(d) provides that “[p]rior to the hearing, the juvenile court shall order and obtain a complete diagnostic study, social evaluation, and full investigation of the child, his circumstances, and the circumstances of the alleged offense.” Section 54.02(f) provides that the juvenile court, in making the transfer decision, shall consider several factors, including “the sophistication and maturity of the child,” “the record and previous history of the child,” and “the prospects of adequate protection of the public and the likelihood of the rehabilitation of the child by use of procedures, services, and facilities currently available to the juvenile court.”

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.

More From ALM

Premium Subscription

With this subscription you will receive unlimited access to high quality, online, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry. This is perfect for attorneys licensed in multiple jurisdictions or for attorneys that have fulfilled their CLE requirement but need to access resourceful information for their practice areas.
View Now

Team Accounts

Our Team Account subscription service is for legal teams of four or more attorneys. Each attorney is granted unlimited access to high quality, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry along with administrative access to easily manage CLE for the entire team.
View Now

Bundle Subscriptions

Gain access to some of the most knowledgeable and experienced attorneys with our 2 bundle options! Our Compliance bundles are curated by CLE Counselors and include current legal topics and challenges within the industry. Our second option allows you to build your bundle and strategically select the content that pertains to your needs. Both options are priced the same.
View Now

New Jersey Legal Awards (NJLA) 2023

September 27, 2023
East Brunswick, NJ

New Jersey Law Journal honors lawyers leaving a mark on the legal community in New Jersey with their dedication to the profession.

Learn More

General Counsel Conference East 2023

October 03, 2023
Brooklyn, NY

General Counsel Conference addresses trends in regulatory, data protection, tech management, legal operations, and leadership.

Learn More

New York Legal Awards (NYLA) 2023

October 05, 2023
New York, NY

The New York Law Journal honors attorneys and judges who have made a remarkable difference in the legal profession in New York.

Learn More

Transactional Intellectual Property / Corporate Lawyer - CT or Remote

We are seeking a lawyer with extensive transactional intellectual property experience to join our corporate practice. Candidates should hav...

Apply Now ›

Health Law Associate CT

Health Law Associate CT Shipman is seeking an associate to join our national longstanding health law practice. Candidates must have t...

Apply Now ›

General Practice Unit Attorney (Level 3) 14006

General Practice Unit Attorney (Level 3) - 14006AMENDED Position Summary: Under the direction of the Deputy Counsel of the Department o...

Apply Now ›


New Jersey Law Journal

Riker Danzig deeply mourns the passing of our esteemed partner, dear friend and beloved colleague, Marc D'Angiolillo.

View Announcement ›

Eisenberg, Rothweiler, et.al


Eisenberg Rothweiler

View Announcement ›

Anselmi & Carvelli, LLP

New Jersey Law Journal

IN MEMORIAM OUR FRIEND, MENTOR, AND COLLEAGUE It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our partner, friend, mentor, and colleague Bruce I. Goldstein, on September 2, 2023. The prominent New Jersey trial attorney was 80. In a legal career spanning more than five decades, Bruce was regarded as one of the most talented and sought after litigators in New Jersey. His love for the legal profession was contagious. Bruce will be greatly missed, as will his signature greeting, How you be? and the outsized smile that accompanied it.

View Announcement ›