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Rules Governing Teen Courts
Amended December 2, 2002;
Amended May 9, 2000; Amendment Effective July 1, 2000;
Created July 16, 1996; Effective October 8, 1996;
Text of Rules
[+] Rule 1. Establishing a Teen Court.
A group of two or more persons may petition any juvenile court, circuit court, and/or municipal court to establish a Teen Court. Such petition shall include:
The names, addresses and phone numbers of the adult sponsors;
The names, addresses and phone numbers of all teens who have signed letters of commitment to voluntarily participate in the teen court program.
Certification from adult sponsors that there is adequate adult sponsorship and that there is a sufficiently large pool of teen volunteers to make the functioning of the teen court feasible and meaningful.
If the supervising court is satisfied that the petition to establish a teen court meets the requirements set out above, that court may, in its discretion, forward that petition to the appropriate governing body for its approval and consent pursuant to W.S. § 7-13-1203(b). If the supervising court decides not to forward the petition to the governing body for its approval and consent, the court shall explain in writing the reason(s) for its decision and return the petition to those who filed it.
If the teen court is authorized by the governing body and established by the supervising judge, the supervising judge shall conduct a preliminary training session with all adult and teen volunteers to establish local policies and protocols.
The supervising court shall report the establishment of its teen court to the Supreme Court. The report shall include the name, address and phone number of a sponsoring adult or entity and the name of the supervising judge.
Nothing in subdivisions (a), (b) or (c) of this Rule shall preclude a judge from initiating a request for consent and approval under W.S. § 7-13-1203(b).
(amended May 9, 2000, effective July 1, 2000; amended December 2, 2002, effective January 6, 2003)
[+] Rule 2. Proceedings in Teen Court.
All proceedings shall conform to the governing statute and applicable rules of criminal procedure as the supervising judge deems appropriate. In all other respects, the proceedings may be informal.
Juries shall have not less than three (3) and not more than six (6) members.
Jury verdicts shall be unanimous.
The jury verdict shall be in writing and shall be signed by the defendant, parent or legal guardian and supervising judge.
Members of the jury may be challenged only for cause. The supervising court may define a challenge for cause.
The supervising court shall design sentencing alternatives appropriate for its community.
Pursuant to W.S. § 7-13-1204(a)(viii), such alternatives shall include, but are not limited to:
Community service as authorized by the supervising court;
Mandatory participation in law related education classes, appropriate counseling, treatment or other education programs;
A requirement the teen defendant participate as a juror or other teen court member in proceedings before the teen court;
Fines, if any, not to exceed the statutory amount.
The supervising court, or its appointed presiding judge, shall design specific alternative ranges for each case before it pursuant to W.S. § 7-13-1204(a)(viii).
The supervising court, or its appointed presiding judge, shall inform each jury of the sentencing alternatives and the limits for each alternative before the jury retires for deliberations.
[+] Rule 3. Reports. The results of all proceedings in teen court shall be reported to the Supreme Court on a form provided by the Supreme Court upon notice that a teen court has been established pursuant to Rule 1(c)(i). A report shall be submitted quarterly not later than January 15, April 15, July 15, and October 15, for activity during the preceding quarter.
[+] Rule 4. Discontinuing a Teen Court. If the supervising court or governing body decides to discontinue a teen court created under Rule 1 of these rules, the supervising judge shall report that decision to the Supreme Court immediately.
See Wyoming Court Rules Annotated for appendix of forms.
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