Chapter 3.4.4 Denials of Transfer of Supervision

Denials of Transfer of Supervision

While the Compact and its rules are designed to advance the general policy in favor of transfers, there are restrictions.  The most significant restriction is the right and obligation of a receiving state to determine whether the proposed residence of a juvenile is suitable. As a preliminary step, the receiving state is responsible for conducting a home evaluation to assess suitability.  A proposed transfer shall be accepted unless: (a) the proposed residence is determined to be unsuitable, or (b) the juvenile is not in substantial compliance with the terms and conditions of supervision required by the sending or receiving state. ICJ Rule 4-104(4) (Interstate Comm’n for Juveniles 2024). 

The term “unsuitable residence” could include any number of situations in which the receiving state could deny transfer of supervision, including one in which the residence might present a danger to other children in the household. Examples include special concerns related to sex offenders, and where the residence involved is near a school, day care center, or other location where other children might be at risk. When supervision is not recommended, the home evaluation report must include a detailed justification to include why the proposed residence is "not safe and/or suitable," ICJ Rule 4-104(4) (Interstate Comm’n for Juveniles 2024). 

The term “substantial compliance” means sufficient compliance by a juvenile with the terms and conditions of his or her supervision so as not to result in initiation of a revocation proceeding by the sending state or receiving state. ICJ Rule 1-101 (Interstate Comm’n for Juveniles 2024); see also Minnesota v. Williams, No. C5-96-1174, 1996 WL 49504, at *2 (Minn. Ct. App. Sept. 3, 1996) (stating that an offender shows commitment to rehabilitation by staying in substantial compliance with the terms and conditions of probation).

The age and offense of the juvenile may be considered when assessing the suitability of a proposed residence but cannot be the sole grounds for denying transfer.  ICJ Rule 4-104(3) (Interstate Comm’n for Juveniles 2024).  For example, a receiving state could deny a proposed transfer of supervision in a case involving an older sex offender whose proposed residence might put the juvenile in close proximity to other children.  Thus, while the receiving state could not deny the transfer of supervision simply because of the juvenile’s age or the nature of offense, issues of public safety may justify denial of the transfer of supervision. 

The authority to deny a transfer of supervision based on an “unsuitable residence” is constrained by custodial rights of parents/guardians, and the conflict between public safety and the welfare of the juvenile must also be consider.  Regarding the residence of a juvenile with a person entitled to legal custody, ICJ Rule 4-104(5) includes a “mandatory acceptance” provision that effectively “overrides” the receiving state’s authority to deny a transfer of supervision when a legal guardian resides in the receiving state, but no legal guardian remains in the sending state. This “mandatory acceptance” provision was developed in recognition of the constitutional rights of parents and guardians, as well as the general principal that it is in the best interest of a youth to reside in a state with at least one parent or other person with custodial responsibilities. In this circumstance, the receiving state has no discretion to deny the transfer of supervision based on concerns about the residence.  For additional information regarding application of the mandatory acceptance rule, see discussion infra Section 3.6.1.

Questions sometimes arise regarding whether the citizenship status of a juvenile may be used by a receiving state to determine whether to accept or deny a transfer of supervision. The Compact does not prohibit a case from being accepted based on citizenship status, but allows the receiving state to consider this matter alongside the best interest of the youth and community safety.  However, a receiving state may deny supervision to an undocumented immigrant solely because their status as an undocumented immigrant puts them in violation of federal law, and they are therefore not in “substantial compliance.” See ICJ Ad. Op. 05-2010 (Interstate Comm’n for Juveniles 2010).