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JOHN WALTER SMITH, Maryland, Chairman.



WESLEY L. JONES, Washington. HENRY F. HOLLIS, New Hampshire. JOHN D. WORKS, California. OLLIE M. JAMES, Kentucky.



THOMAS STERLING, South Dakota. JAMES D. PHELAN, California.

ALBAN M. Wood, Clerk.







THURSDAY, MAY 11, 1916.


Washington, D. C. The subcommittee met at 10 o'clock a. m. in the committee room in the Capitol, pursuant to call, Senator Atlee Pomerene presiding.

Present: Senators Pomerene (chairman), Dillingham, and Sher

Also present: Walter C. Clephane, Matthew O'Brien, J. Leftwich Sinclair, H. Oden Lake, and Mrs. Kate Waller Barrett.

The subcommittee proceeded to consider the bill (H. R. 8348) to amend an act entitled 'An act to create a juvenile court in and for the District of Columbia," and for other purposes, which is as follows:


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[H. R, 8348, Sixty-fourth Congress, first session.]

AN ACT To amend an act entitled "An act to create a juvenile court in and for the District

of Columbia," and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That an act entitled “An Act to create a juvenile court in and for the District of Columbia,” approved March nineteenth, nineteen hundred and six, is hereby amended so as to read as follows:

“ SECTION 1. That there is hereby created and established in and for the District of Columbia a court to be known as the juvenile court of the District of Columbia.

“ SEC. 2. That said court shall be a court of record and the judge thereof shall be appointed by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, for a term of six years, or until his successor is appointed and confirmed. No person shall be appointed to the office of judge of the said court who is not a duly licensed and practicing attorney at law. Said judge shall, before entering upon the duties of his office, take the oath prescribed for judges of courts of the United States.

SEC. 3. That the judge of the juvenile court shall immediately upon his appointment and qualification designate a judge of the municipal court of the District of Columbia to discharge the duties of the said judge of the juvenile court in case of sickness, absence, disability, or death of said judge of the juvenile court, until such disability be removed or vacancy filled. Such designation may be thereafter changed from time to time by the judge of the juvenile court or such judge of the municipal court performing such duties.

“ SEC. 4. That this act shall apply to any child less than seventeen years of age residing in or being actually within the District of Columbia :

(a) Who violates any penal law, or any regulation or ordinance of the District of Columbia, or who commits any act or offense for which he could be prosecuted in a method partaking of the nature of a criminal action or proceeding; or

“ (b) Who engages in any occupation, calling, or exhibition, or is found in any place for permitting which an adult may be punished by law, or who so deports himself or is in such condition or surroundings or under such improper or insufficient guardianship or control as to endanger the morals, health, or general welfare of such child; or



(c) Who comes within the provisions of any law, regulation, or ordinance for the education, care, and protection of children; or

• (d) Whose custody is the subject of controversy: Provided, That when the question of the custody of a child is incidental to the determination of a cause pending in a court of general jurisdiction, such court shall not be deprived of jurisdiction to determine such question, but such court may decline to pass upon such question and certify the same to the juvenile court for hearing and determination.

" SEC. 5. That except as herein otherwise provided, the juvenile court of the District of Columbia shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction of all cases coming within the terms and provisions of this act. This act shall be construed liberally and as remedial in character; and the powers hereby conferred are intended to be general to effect the beneficial purposes herein set forth. It is the intention of this act that in all proceedings coming under its provisions the court shall proceed upon the theory that the child is the ward of the District of Columbia and is subject to the discipline and entitled to the protection which the court should give such child under the conditions disclosed in the case; and such discipline and protection may, in the discretion of the court, continue until the child shall attain the age of twenty-one years, during which period the court may from time to time make such orders as the welfare of the child may require.

SEC. 6. That the said court shall have power to appoint a clerk and such other officers as are now or may be hereafter authorized by law. The clerk shall give bond, subject to the statutes and regulations governing bonds of clerks of United States district courts, and both the clerk and deputy clerks shall take the oath of office prescribed by law for clerks of said district courts. Said clerk and deputy clerks shall have power to administer oaths and affirmations, and shall perform such duties and keep such records as may be prescribed by the judge of said court.

SEC. 7. That the judge of the juvenile court shali appoint a chief probation officer, and such other probation officers as are now or may be hereafter authorized by law, to serve under the direction of the court in all cases arising under this act. All appointments of probation officers shall be made on the basis of merit only, determined by a public competitive examination held by three members of the board of children's guardians, hereinafter provided for. The examiners shall conduct the examinations of all applicants according to such rules and regulations they may provide and shall certify to the court for appointment to each position the names of the three highest, from which the appointment shall be made by the court, unless there are less than three applicants.

SEC. 8. That the judge of the juvenile court may designate a female probation officer as commissioner in the first instance to hear and determine the disposition of any cases of females coming within the provisions of this act and make report thereof to the said judge, together with said commissioner's conclusions and recommendations. If no exceptions be taken to said report and no review be asked thereof, such report and recommendations may be confirmed by an order of said court, and, if confirmed, shall become the judgment of said court. A review by the court of the conclusions and recommendations of said commissioner may be had by any child or the parent, guardian, or custodian of any child who may feel aggrieved at the report of said commissioner by filing a request for review thereof at any time within five days after notice of the finding of said commissioner. Immediately upon the entry of said commissioner's finding the clerk of the court shall notify the parent, guardian, or custodian of the child personally or by registered mail, giving the substance of said finding. Such parent, guardian, or custodian shall be presumed to have had actual notice of such finding five days after said notice shall have been deposited in the mail by said clerk, addressed to such parent, guardian, or custodian at his last known place of residence.

“ Sec. 9. That whenever a child is to be brought before the court under this act it shall be the duty of the chief probation officer to make, or cause to be made, such investigation of the child as may be required by the court; to be present in court at the hearing and to furnish the court such information and assistance as the judge may require; to take charge of the child before and after hearing as may be directed by the court.

“ SEC. 10. That any person having knowledge or information that a child residing in or actually within the District of Columbia is within any of the provisions of the subsection of section four herein may file with said juvenile court a verified petition, stating the facts that bring such child within said

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