Breaking and associated brands will be offline for scheduled maintenance Friday Feb. 26 9 PM US EST to Saturday Feb. 27 6 AM EST. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Trenton, N.J.�Parents have the right to attend the juvenile delinquency trials of their children even though they may be called as witnesses, and excluding them from the courtroom is harmful error, a New Jersey appellate court has ruled. The judges ordered a new trial for a youth whose mother was sequestered at his original trial at the prosecutor’s request, after the public defender said she might be called as a witness. The mother was the only relative present in court. “Although our research has uncovered no New Jersey precedent directly on point, the importance of the presence of an accused juvenile’s parents at critical stages of the juvenile delinquency process is firmly established,” wrote Judge Michael Winkelstein of New Jersey’s intermediate-level Appellate Division in State in the Interest of V.M., No. A-6378-01T4. Sequestration may serve a necessary purpose in most cases, but the need of a juvenile to have his parent present during trial outweighs the possibility that the parent’s testimony might be tainted if he or she hears other witnesses’ testimony, wrote Winkelstein. He added that the Code of Juvenile Justice affords parents the right to participate in detention hearings, ask that the proceedings be open to the public and be involved in the adjudicatory and rehabilitative process. Attorney not enough The presence of the accused juvenile’s attorney is not enough. “In most cases, the juvenile’s attorney is an assigned public defender-a stranger to the juvenile,” Winkelstein wrote. “The juvenile’s parent provides a degree of comfort and support for the juvenile in an unfamiliar setting, as well as an added layer of protection, that the child’s attorney does not.” Winkelstein found a “more concrete” reason in Rule 5:20-4, which states that parents are necessary parties to every proceeding in all juvenile delinquency actions. Moreover, judges, unlike lay jurors, have the ability to “exclude from their consideration irrelevant or improper evidence and materials which have come to their attention,” he added. “Accordingly, we are loath to deny a juvenile the support and additional protection that may be supplied by a parent during the course of the juvenile’s trial,” he said.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.