Chapter 4.5.4 Non-Voluntary Return of Out-of-State Juveniles

Non-Voluntary Return of Out-of-State Juveniles

Third, an out-of-state juvenile is subject to arrest and detention upon request of either the home/demanding or sending state.  This rule applies to non-delinquent juveniles, probation and parole absconders, escapees, and accused delinquents.   Such a return procedure applies to all juveniles in custody who refuse to voluntarily return to their home/demanding state, or juveniles whose whereabouts are known but are not in custody.  See ICJ Rules 6-103, 6-103A (Interstate Comm’n for Juveniles 2020). The obligation of member states to honor requisitions under the Revised ICJ is recognized in cases such as State v. Cook, where the Court held that under Texas law, an adult defendant, who was properly charged with a crime while a child, was subject to the jurisdiction of the Texas Juvenile Court, and thus the Washington Court was required, pursuant to the Interstate Compact for Juveniles, to honor Texas' rendition request and return the juvenile to Texas, despite the defendant's claim that he was no longer a juvenile. 64 P.3d 58, 58 (Wash. Ct. App. 2003) (“The Uniform Interstate Compact for Juveniles . . . governs, among other things, the return from one state to another of delinquent juveniles who have escaped or absconded. Both Washington and Texas adopted the Compact.”). The Court analogized rendition under the compact to extradition and held that the rendition proceedings were applicable even after the offender had become an adult if the crimes in question were committed as a juvenile, stating, “Cook contends the Compact does not apply to him because he is not a juvenile. The State responds that because the Texas juvenile court had jurisdiction under Texas law and Texas made a proper rendition request, the Compact requires Washington to honor the demand. We agree.” Id at 59.  “[E]xtradition cases have typically looked to the law of the demanding state to determine whether the person charged is a juvenile. Cases under the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act have likewise found the demanding state's determination of juvenile status controlling.” Id.; see also In re State, 97 S.W.3d 744, 745 (Tex. App. 2003) (demanding state's requisition under Interstate Compact for Juveniles for return of juvenile from asylum state was “in order,” and thus judge of asylum state was required to return the juvenile to the demanding state upon receipt of the requisition).

To affect such a return, the appropriate person or authority in the home/demanding state shall prepare a written requisition within sixty (60) calendar days of notification of either a refusal to voluntarily return as provided in ICJ Rule 6-102, or to request that a court take a juvenile into custody that is allegedly located in their jurisdiction.  Once in detention, the juvenile may be held, pending non-voluntary return to the home/demanding state, for a maximum of ninety (90) calendar days.  When the juvenile is a runaway, the legal guardian or custodial agency must petition the court of jurisdiction in the home/demanding state for a requisition pursuant the requirements of ICJ Rule 6-103(3)(a) - (c)

In the event that the legal guardian or custodial agency in the home/demanding state is unable or refuses to initiate the requisition process, the home/demanding state is required to do so.  See ICJ Rules 6-103(11). In J.T. v. State, the Court upheld the return of a juvenile, under the ICJ, to a Kansas facility from which she had run away, holding that the juvenile's due process rights were not violated when the court issued an order to have her returned without having made a finding that it was in juvenile's best interests to be returned. 954 P.2d 174, 176 (Okla. Civ. App. 1997) (“No law requires a finding by an Oklahoma court that it is in Appellant's best interests to be returned to Kansas, nor has it been shown that the Interstate Compact for Juveniles is constitutionally infirm for not requiring such a finding.”); accord In re State, 97 S.W.3d 744, 746 (Tex. App. 2003) (“Following these requirements, the duty of a judge receiving a proper requisition must perform the ministerial act or duty of ordering the juvenile to return to the demanding state.”); In re Stacy B., 741 N.Y.S.2d 644 (N.Y. Fam. Ct. 2002).     

Where the juvenile is an absconder, escapee, or accused delinquent, the Revised ICJ Rules also permit the appropriate authority to requisition the juvenile in the state where the juvenile is alleged to be located, pursuant to the filing of the documentation required in ICJ Rule 6-103A(3) and subject to verification by the home/demanding state upon receipt of which the court where the juvenile is located is required to order the juvenile to be held pending a hearing on the requisition, if not already in custody.  A hearing on the requisition is required by this Rule within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt of the requisition. One of the pertinent issues, is whether the juvenile is in fact an absconder, which under the predecessor compact was not defined.  In B.M. v. Dobuler, the Court in interpreting the term “absconder” observed:


"The Interstate Compact for Juveniles, codified in Chapter 985, Part V, makes several references to juveniles who have absconded, escaped or run away, which suggests a leaving without the intent to return.  A search of cases from neighboring jurisdictions reveals our understanding of the meaning of “abscond” to be similar to that of other states.” See, e.g., State v. Graham, 284 N.J. Super. 413, 665 A.2d 769, 770 (1995) (noting that the offense of absconding from parole in New Jersey consists of two elements, “hiding” or “leaving” and the “intent” to avoid law enforcement); In re R., 73 Misc.2d 390, 341 N.Y.S.2d 998, 1001 (1973) (“To abscond in the eyes of the law ... involves a design to withdraw clandestinely, to hide or conceal one's self for some purpose such as avoiding legal proceedings.”); State v. Snelgrove, 299 S.C. 290, 384 S.E.2d 705, 706 (1989) (noting that “[t]here must be some evidence, either direct or circumstantial, that the departure was secretive, clandestine, or surreptitious in order for it to constitute ‘absconding’ ”) (quoting State v. Wagenius, 99 Idaho 273, 581 P.2d 319, 327 (1978).  See also Dept. of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles v. Pelham, 979 So.2d 308, 315; review den., 984 So. 2d 519 (Fla. 2008.)"


Consistent with the above judicial interpretations, the Revised ICJ Rules define ‘absconder’ as a juvenile probationer or parolee who hides, conceals or absents him/herself with the intent to avoid legal process or authorized control.  See ICJ Rules 1-101.

Upon determination that proof of entitlement is established, the court shall order the juvenile’s return to the home/demanding state.  If proof of entitlement is not established, the Rule requires the court to issue written findings providing the reason(s) for denial.  Requisitioned juveniles are required to be returned within five (5) business days after receipt of the order granting the requisition and shall be accompanied during their return to the home/demanding state, unless both ICJ Offices determine otherwise.

In addition to being responsible for the juvenile’s return within five (5) business days on notice that the requisition has been honored, the home/demanding state is responsible for the costs of transportation and for making transportation arrangements.  See ICJ Rules 7-101.  Juveniles are to be returned only after charges are resolved when pending charges exist in the holding/receiving state, unless consent is given by the holding/receiving and demanding/sending states’ courts and ICJ Offices. See ICJ Rules 7-103.