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18 U.S. Code § 5034 - Duties of magistrate judge

The magistrate judge shall insure that the juvenile is represented by counsel before proceeding with critical stages of the proceedings. Counsel shall be assigned to represent a juvenile when the juvenile and his parents, guardian, or custodian are financially unable to obtain adequate representation. In cases where the juvenile and his parents, guardian, or custodian are financially able to obtain adequate representation but have not retained counsel, the magistrate judge may assign counsel and order the payment of reasonable attorney’s fees or may direct the juvenile, his parents, guardian, or custodian to retain private counsel within a specified period of time.

The magistrate judge may appoint a guardian ad litem if a parent or guardian of the juvenile is not present, or if the magistrate judge has reason to believe that the parents or guardian will not cooperate with the juvenile in preparing for trial, or that the interests of the parents or guardian and those of the juvenile are adverse.

If the juvenile has not been discharged before his initial appearance before the magistrate judge, the magistrate judge shall release the juvenile to his parents, guardian, custodian, or other responsible party (including, but not limited to, the director of a shelter-care facility) upon their promise to bring such juvenile before the appropriate court when requested by such court unless the magistrate judge determines, after hearing, at which the juvenile is represented by counsel, that the detention of such juvenile is required to secure his timely appearance before the appropriate court or to insure his safety or that of others.

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., § 924 (June 16, 1938, ch. 486, § 4, 52 Stat. 765).

The words “foster homes” were inserted to remove any doubt as to the authority to commit to such foster homes in accordance with past and present administrative practice.

The reference to particular sections dealing with probation was omitted as unnecessary.

Changes were made in phraseology and arrangement.

Editorial Notes

1988—Pub. L. 100–690 substituted “facility) upon” for “facility upon” in last par.

1974—Pub. L. 93–415 amended section generally, substituting “Duties of magistrate”, for “Probation; commitment to custody of Attorney General; support” in section catchline, and substituting provisions relating to procedure before, and duties of, magistrate, for provisions relating to probation, commitment to custody of Attorney General, duties of Attorney General, and procedures aiding court in determining whether to place juvenile on probation or commit him to custody of Attorney General.

1962—Pub. L. 87–428 added fourth par. authorizing commitment of a juvenile delinquent to the custody of the Attorney General for observation and study.

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Change of Name

Words “magistrate judge” substituted for “magistrate” in catchline and wherever appearing in text pursuant to section 321 of Pub. L. 101–650, set out as a note under section 631 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.


Pub. L. 93–415, title V, § 504, Sept. 7, 1974, 88 Stat. 1135, cited as a credit to this section, was repealed by Pub. L. 115–385, title III, § 307, Dec. 21, 2018, 132 Stat. 5152.