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In re Order Amending Rules 152

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

February 6, 2017

IN RE: ORDER AMENDING RULES 152 AND 242 OF THE PENNSYLVANIA RULES OF JUVENILE COURT PROCEDURE

         SUPREME COURT RULES DOCKET

          ORDER

          PER CURIAM

         AND NOW, this 6th day of February, 2017, upon the recommendation of the Juvenile Court Procedural Rules Committee, the proposal having been published for public comment at 46 Pa.B. 3939 (July 23, 2016):

         It is Ordered pursuant to Article V, Section 10 of the Constitution of Pennsylvania that Rules 152 and 242 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Juvenile Court Procedure are amended in the attached form.

         This Order shall be processed in accordance with Pa.R.J.A. No. 103(b), and shall be effective on April 1, 2017.

         Rule 152. Waiver of Counsel

         A. Waiver requirements. A juvenile who has attained the age of fourteen may only waive the right to counsel if:

1) the waiver is knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily made; [and]
2) the court conducts a colloquy with the juvenile on the record; and
3) the proceeding for which waiver is sought is not one of the following:
a) detention hearing pursuant to Rule 242;
b) transfer hearing pursuant to Rule 394;
c) adjudicatory hearing pursuant to Rule 406, including the acceptance of an admission pursuant to Rule 407; d) dispositional hearing pursuant to Rule 512; or
e) a hearing to modify or revoke probation pursuant to Rule 612.

         B. Stand-by counsel. The court may assign stand-by counsel if the juvenile waives counsel at any proceeding or stage of a proceeding.

         C. Notice and revocation of waiver. If a juvenile waives counsel for any proceeding, the waiver only applies to that proceeding, and the juvenile may revoke the waiver of counsel at any time. At any subsequent proceeding, the juvenile shall be informed of the right to counsel.

         Comment

         Because of the ramifications of a juvenile record, it is important that every safeguard [is] be taken to ensure that all constitutional and procedural guarantees and rights are preserved. Juveniles should not feel pressured to waive counsel or be the subject of any proactive pursuit for obtaining a waiver.

         In determining whether the waiver of counsel is knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily made, the court, on the record, is to ask the juvenile questions to elicit: 1) the reasons why the juvenile wants to waive counsel; 2) information regarding the juvenile's: a) age; b) maturity; c) education; d) mental health issues, if any; and e) any current alcohol or drug issues that may impair the juvenile's decision-making skills; 3) the juvenile's understanding of the: a) right to an attorney, including the provisions of Rule 151; b) juvenile's role when proceeding pro se; c) allegations in the petition against the juvenile; and d) possible consequences if the juvenile is found delinquent; 4) whether the juvenile consulted with the juvenile's guardian; and 5) whether the juvenile consulted with an attorney.

         If it is determined that the juvenile has not knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waived counsel, the court immediately is to appoint counsel for the juvenile. If it is determined that the juvenile has made a knowing, intelligent and ...


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