Decision

Decision Commonwealth v. Orbin O., a juvenile

Date: 02/05/2018
Organization: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

Table of Contents

Commonwealth v. Orbin O., a juvenile

 Commonwealth v. Orbin O., a juvenile
Supreme Judicial Court, February 5, 2018
(Juvenile/Show cause hearing/Dismissal)

 The scope of a Juvenile Court judge’s authority to dismiss a delinquency complaint before arraignment where the delinquency complaint was brought by a private party under G.L. c. 218, §35A depends on whether the prosecutor affirmatively adopts the private party’s complaint.  In situations where the prosecutor affirmatively adopts the private party’s complaint by moving for arraignment, a Juvenile Court judge is barred from dismissing a valid delinquency complaint.  In contrast, where a prosecutor has not affirmatively moved for arraignment, the delinquency complaint remains a complaint brought by a private party and the Juvenile Court judge may review whether the clerk-magistrate exercised discretion in issuing the complaint and, in this evaluation, may consider whether dismissal is in the best interests of the child and in the interests of justice. 

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