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122. Hearing To Determine Delinquency

A juvenile is accorded all due process rights at a juvenile hearing which includes the right to contest the value of the evidence offered by the government. Kent v. United States, 383 U.S. 541, 563, 86 S. Ct. 1045, 1058, 16 L. Ed. 2d 84 (1966). Although juvenile adjudications are adjudications of status rather than criminal liability, the government must still prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a juvenile is a delinquent. In re Winship, 397 U.S. 358, 90 S. Ct. 1068, 25 L. Ed. 2d 368 (1970).

Proceedings for adjudication of a juvenile as a delinquent shall be in district court. 18 U.S.C.A. § 5032 (West Supp. 1995). The court may convene at any time and place within the district, in chambers or otherwise, to take up the proceedings of juvenile delinquency. Id. A juvenile may consent to having a magistrate judge preside over cases involving a Class B or C misdemeanor, or an infraction. 18 U.S.C.A. § 3401(g) (West Supp. 1995). There is a certain advantage to the juvenile in exercising this option since a magistrate judge cannot impose a term of imprisonment in these situations. Id. Proceedings in misdemeanor cases can be ordered to be conducted before a district judge rather than a magistrate judge by the court's own motion or upon petition with good cause by the United States Attorney. 18 U.S.C.A. § 3401(f) (West 1985).

Updated December 7, 2018