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People in the Interest of A.T.C.

2023 CO 19. No. 22SA323. Juveniles—Competency to Stand Trial—Statutory Interpretation—Juvenile Competency.

April 24, 2023

In this original proceeding involving an issue of first impression, the Supreme Court considered whether a juvenile in a delinquency case can seek interlocutory review of a magistrate’s competency finding in the juvenile court. The Court holds that they can.

The Court concluded that a magistrate’s finding of competency pursuant to CRS § 19-1-108(3)(a.5) is subject to review in the juvenile court under the ground rules laid out in § 19-1-108(5.5). The Court looked to the specific text of § 19-1-108, rather than the general provisions of Colo. R. Mag. 7(a)(3), and concluded that, when a party waives their right to a hearing before a juvenile judge in the first instance, the party is then “bound by the findings and recommendations of the magistrate, subject to a request for review as set forth in subsection (5.5) of this section.” CRS § 19-1-108(3)(a.5).

Accordingly, the Court reversed the juvenile court’s order denying the petition for review for lack of jurisdiction and made the rule to show cause absolute.

Official Colorado Supreme Court proceedings can be found at the Colorado Supreme Court website.

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