The complainant goes to the Prosecutor's Office and fills out a
statement of facts that is provided by that office. Those who may
file a complaint are the police, school officials, parents, victims,
or any adult who had knowledge of the offense. The Intake Clerk
at the Prosecutor's Office then obtains approval of the Assistant
Prosecuting Attorney assigned to Juvenile Court, as to the proper
charge to be filed. The complaint is typed, signed by the complainant
and is then forwarded to the Juvenile Court's Chief Deputy Clerk.
The clerk files the complaint which is set for a plea hearing, or
passes it on to the Director of Court Services for one of the proper
Diversion Programs for unofficial handling. If a formal complaint
is filed, proper notices are sent to the child, parent, guardian
At this hearing, a person is apprised of their right to counsel
and other constitutional and procedural rights as well as being
made aware of the allegations regarding the charge.
If a child denies the charge, the matter is set for pretrial.
If a child admits the charge or is subsequently found to be delinquent
or unruly, the matter may then be continued for a predisposition
investigation and report or immediate disposition.
At this step, the principals in the case gain information to formulate
planning for further proceedings.
This hearing is to determine whether a child is a juvenile traffic
offender, delinquent, unruly, abused, neglected or dependent child,
or otherwise within the jurisdiction of the Court.
This hearing determines what action shall be taken after adjudication
concerning the child who is within jurisdiction of the Court. The
Court considers the child's previous record, relationship with the
parents(s), school reports, and the child's statements. Another
consideration is the protection of the community from this type
of behavior and whether such behavior will continue. The theme of
rehabilitations is a key factor at this stage.