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Under current law a judge may order the physical and mental examination of a juvenile held in the juvenile justice system. Up to now there has been some ambiguity about what points in the juvenile justice process a judge may order such an exam. HB 144 would clarify that the authority exists when the juvenile is detained in pre-adjudication and post-adjudication facilities and at all points in between. The examination may be carried out based on the order of the court or through a request of the juvenile's parent or guardian.
This legislation does not substantively change current law. Instead it removes ambiguity which will allow parents and juvenile defendants to have a better understanding of what they can expect and allows the system to work more efficiently. Because this brings more transparency and makes the law less ambiguous, we support this legislation.