Section 12-15-408

Conducting hearings to commit the minor or child.

At all hearings conducted pursuant to this section to commit a minor or child to the custody of the department, the following shall apply:

(1) The minor or child sought to be committed shall be present unless, prior to the hearing, the child's attorney for the minor or child has filed in writing a waiver of the presence of the minor or child on the ground that the presence of the minor or child would be dangerous to his or her physical or mental health or that the conduct of the minor or child could reasonably be expected to prevent the hearing from being held in an orderly manner and the juvenile court has determined from the evidence that the waiver should be granted and has entered an order approving the waiver.

(2) The minor or child sought to be committed shall have the right to compel the attendance of and offer the testimony of witnesses, to be confronted with the witnesses in support of the petition and to cross-examine those witnesses, and to testify in his or her own behalf. No minor or child shall be compelled to testify against himself or herself.

(3) The juvenile court shall cause the hearing to be recorded stenographically, mechanically, or electronically and shall retain the recording for a period of not less than three years from the date the petition is denied or granted, and not less than the duration of any commitment pursuant to the hearing.

(4) All hearings shall be heard by the juvenile court without a jury, and the persons who may be present shall be as provided in Section 12-15-129.

(Act 2008-277, p. 441, §23.)