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In re Bromell G.

Supreme Court of Connecticut

April 3, 1990

In re BROMELL G. [*]

Submitted Feb. 20, 1990.

Beth A. Merkin and Brian S. Carlow, Asst. Public defenders, in support of the motion.

Cathleen M. Edwards, State's Advocate, in opposition to the motion.

Before PETERS, C.J., and ARTHUR H. HEALEY, SHEA, CALLAHAN, GLASS and COVELLO, JJ.

[214 Conn. 455] PER CURIAM.

The respondent has appealed from an order of the Superior Court for juvenile matters, entered pursuant to General Statutes § 46b-127, [1] transferring him to the

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regular criminal docket in the judicial district of New Haven. That appeal has not yet been heard. In the interim, the respondent has filed with this court a motion for review; see Practice Book §§ 4049 [2] [214 Conn. 456] and 4053; [3] of the court's denial of his motion for a stay of execution of that transfer order. We conclude that the juvenile court erred by not staying execution of the transfer order.

On November 8, 1989, the state's advocate filed a five count petition alleging that the respondent was a delinquent child, in that he had committed four "serious [214 Conn. 457] juvenile offenses"; General Statutes § 46b-120; [4] and had also violated a court

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order issued on July 24, 1989, "by being 'out' without a parent" in the city of New Haven. [5] The respondent was fourteen years old at the time of the incident alleged in the petition. On November 15, 1989, the state's advocate filed a motion requesting that the respondent be transferred to the regular criminal docket of the Superior Court. A hearing was held on that motion on December 14, 1989, after which the juvenile court, issued a written finding, on December 21, 1989, that probable cause existed to believe that the respondent had committed the offenses alleged in the petition. See General Statutes § 46b-127. On the basis of this finding the court ordered that the respondent be transferred to the regular criminal docket of the Superior Court. [6]

According to the state, the respondent was presented for arraignment in part B, geographical area number six, in New Haven, on January 9, 1990. Bond was set [214 Conn. 458] at $150,000 and the matter was transferred to part A of the judicial district of New Haven. The respondent was also, on January 9, transferred from the New Haven juvenile detention center to an adult pretrial detention facility, where he remains currently incarcerated. Present counsel for the respondent, [7] on January 11, 1990, filed a motion to stay execution of the transfer order. That motion was heard and denied by the Superior Court for juvenile matters, on February 13, 1990. The respondent was presented in part A of the judicial district of New Haven, on February 15, 1990, where a hearing was conducted pursuant to General Statutes § 54-46a, [8] after which the trial court, Hadden, J., determined that there existed probable cause to believe that the respondent had committed the offenses with which he had been charged. [9] The current motion, seeking review of the juvenile court's denial of a stay of execution, was filed in this court on February 20, 1990. The opposition of the state's advocate was filed on March 1, 1990.

In support of his motion for a stay of execution of the order transferring him to the regular criminal docket, the respondent argued Before the juvenile court that the automatic stay prescribed by Practice Book § 4046 [10] was applicable in this case, and, alternatively, that the court could also order a stay of the transfer [214 Conn. 459] order pursuant

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to Practice Book § 4047. [11] The court concluded, however, that: (1) the automatic stay provision of § 4046 was inapplicable in this case since that section specifically excludes "juvenile matters" from its operation; (2) while § 4047 might have allowed it to stay execution of the transfer order, thus postponing the impending probable cause hearing on the regular criminal docket, such an order would derogate from the "jurisdiction" already exercised by both the part B and part A courts; and (3) even if it could authorize a stay of the transfer order, this case "should go ahead and follow the ordinary course," since "under the merits ... [it was] strong enough" to do so.

In the motion for review submitted to this court, the respondent argues that: (1) this case is controlled by the automatic stay provision of § 4046; (2) while this is not technically a criminal case, "the same policy considerations that underlie the automatic stay provision of [Practice Book] § 4048 [12] apply to this case"; (3) the juvenile court had not lost "jurisdiction" over this matter and, thus, could have granted a stay pursuant to § 4047; and (4) the court erred in not concluding that a stay was required in this case. The respondent asks that this court grant a stay of execution and also order [214 Conn. 460] that he be returned to the custody of a juvenile detention facility. We agree with the second and fourth arguments put forth by the respondent and conclude that further proceedings should have been stayed in this case and that the respondent should have remained incarcerated in a juvenile detention facility.

"The General Assembly ... has expressed a preference for shielding children from criminal liability except in clearly circumscribed situations. The additional protections afforded juveniles, which include separation of juvenile matters from other business of the Superior Court; General Statutes § 46b-122; confidential proceedings; General Statutes § 46b-122; anonymity; General Statutes § 46b-124; and erasure of police and court records; General Statutes § 46b-146; demonstrate the legislature's intent that children accused of wrongdoing be accorded different treatment from adults." State v. Torres,206 Conn. 346, 360-61, 538 A.2d 185 (1988). This intent was also manifested in the legislature's 1986 amendment to ...


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