The Virginia General Assembly once again acted in a very restrained fashion in addressing juvenile justice issues in the lengthening wake after the extensive statutory changes in 1994 and 1996. The newly enacted juvenile competency statute is an important innovation contained in the new article 18 oftitle 16.1 of the Virginia Code, and a study by the Virginia Bar Association on the applicability of the insanity defense in juvenile delinquency proceedings will further address the implications of mental health problems for children in trouble. One major issue in the delinquency area that arose during the past year involved the necessity ofnotifyingboth parents, iftheir identities or whereabouts are known, that their child is before the juvenile court, especially where the petition involves delinquency or transfer to the criminal court. The Virginia Court ofAppeals and Supreme Court ofVirginia concluded that notice to both parents was a necessary prerequisite for the jurisdiction ofthe court in transfer and certification matters, and presumably in other proceedings as well. The General Assembly limited the long term effects of these decisions by amending the Virginia Code to require only notice to "atleast one parent" as of July 1, 1999.
Robert E. Shepherd Jr.,
Annual Survey of Virginia Law: Legal Issues Involving Children,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol33/iss3/12