Tuesday, April 3, 2012

KY SC March 22 - Jackson - Juvenile Code. Jurisdiction. Preservation.

James Jackson v. Com., 2012 WL 975708, (Ky., 2012) decided on March 22, 2012.
Juvenile Code.  Jurisdiction.  Preservation.

The district court certified Jackson as a youthful offender and transferred him to the circuit court, where he entered a guilty plea and was sentenced as an adult. He collaterally attacked his conviction on the grounds that the transfer was improper and argued that the circuit court never acquired jurisdiction over him or his case. In addition to failure of the indictment to charge a public offense, issues that survive a guilty plea include competency to plead guilty, certain types of sentencing issues, and whether the trial court had general subject-matter jurisdiction. "Lack of jurisdiction or the failure of the indictment or information to charge an offense shall be noticed by the court at any time during the proceedings." RCr 8.18.

Because the district court's transfer order was legally sufficient on its face, and no other jurisdictional defects appear in the record, this Court concludes that the transfer was proper and the circuit court had jurisdiction.  But since the Commonwealth did not seek discretionary review of the Court of Appeals' decision to remand for a determination of voluntariness of the guilty plea, the remand for that determination stands.

Contributed by Susan Balliet