2016 Bills

SB79: Denying Juvenile Courts Jurisdiction over Adults

This bill passed the Senate unanimously and passed the House 54-18.

Libertas Institute supports this bill.

Under current law in Utah, the state may treat legal adults as minors if the adult is between 18 and 21 years of age, and if a juvenile court has ordered the state to maintain custody.

What this means is that a minor in the state’s custody who turns 18 may not return home, if the person wishes to do so, should the judge disagree for any reason. This happens in Utah—and it’s wrong.

Senator Al Jackson has sponsored Senate Bill 79 to resolve this issue. It would specify, simply, that a minor means “a person under 18 years of age”—and not adults under 21 who are ordered by a judge to remain in custody of the state.