STATE v. JAMAR D., SC 18277

Judicial District of New Britain at G.A. 17

 

Criminal; Appellate Jurisdiction; Final Judgment; Whether the Granting of a Motion to Transfer a Case from the Youthful Offender Docket to the Adult Docket is an Appealable Final Judgment. In 2007, the defendant was arraigned as a youthful offender. The state moved to transfer the matter to the adult docket pursuant to General Statutes 54-76c (b) (1), which provides that "upon motion of the prosecuting official and order of the court, the case of any defendant who is a youth . . . shall be transferred from the youthful offender docket to the regular criminal docket. . . . " General Statutes 54-76c (a) provides that where it appears that the defendant is a youth, "a defendant shall be presumed to be eligible to be adjudged a youthful offender. . . ." The defendant objected to the state's motion on the grounds that the transfer provision of 54-76c violated his constitutional right to due process because it did not afford him either notice or the opportunity to be heard. He also claimed that the provision violated the separation of powers doctrine. The trial court declined to hear the objection and granted the transfer motion. The defendant subsequently appealed to the Appellate Court. The Appellate Court, sua sponte, ordered a hearing on whether the appeal should be dismissed for lack of a final judgment, citing State v. Curcio, 191 Conn. 27 (1983), and In re Daniel H., 237 Conn. 364, 371-72 (1996). After the hearing, the Appellate Court dismissed the appeal for lack of a final judgment. On appeal to the Supreme Court, the defendant asserts that he was entitled to immediately appeal the transfer order under the second prong of the Curcio final judgment test because he held a statutory right to youthful offender status under 54-76c (a) and that this right could not be vindicated following a trial.