Title 15, Chapter 11, Section 153
(a) A hearing of mental competency shall be conducted within 60 days
after the initial court order for evaluation. At least ten days'
prior written notice of the hearing shall be transmitted to the
child, any parent, guardian, or other legal custodian of the child,
any guardian ad litem for the child, the attorney representing the
child, and the attorney representing the state. Ten days' prior
written notice of the hearing shall be served on the district
attorney, for all mental competency proceedings in which the
district attorney, or a member of the district attorney's staff, may
participate. The hearing may be continued by the court for good
(b) At the hearing of mental competency, the attorney representing
the child and the attorney representing the state shall have the
(1) Present evidence;
(2) Call and examine witnesses;
(3) Cross-examine witnesses; and
(4) Present arguments.
The qualified examiner appointed by the court shall be considered
the court's witness and shall be subject to cross-examination by
both the attorney representing the child and the attorney
representing the state.
(c) The court's findings of fact shall be based on any evaluations
of the child's mental condition conducted by qualified examiners
appointed by the court and any evaluations of the child's mental
condition conducted by independent evaluators hired by the parties.
The burden of proving that the child is not mentally competent shall
be on the child. The standard of proof necessary for proving mental
incompetency shall be a preponderance of the evidence. Copies of
the court's findings shall be transmitted to the same parties to
whom notice of the hearing was provided within ten days following
the issuance of those findings.
(d) If the court finds that the child is mentally competent, the
proceedings which have been suspended shall be resumed and the time
limits under Article 1 of this chapter for adjudication and
disposition of the petition shall begin to run from the date of the
order finding the child mentally competent.
(e) If the court finds that the child is not mentally competent, the
child may be adjudicated dependent by the court. If the court
determines that a child alleged to have committed an act which is a
misdemeanor if committed by an adult or an unruly act is not
mentally competent, and the child is adjudicated dependent, the
court may dismiss the petition without prejudice. A child who is
thus found not to be mentally competent shall not be subject to
discretionary transfer to superior court, adjudication, disposition,
or modification of disposition as long as such mental incompetency
exists. At the time the child is adjudicated dependent upon the
court, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the
best interests of the child if a guardian ad litem has not been