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Juvenile

Juvenile Court

The Juvenile court is a division of the superior court. It handles three types of cases: Justice, status offense, and child abuse and neglect.

Our Mission is to:

  • Accurately maintain all Juvenile court records in a confidential manner. Facilitate access to appropriate court records for public, inter-office agencies, and court use in an efficient manner.
  • Recognize the needs of those who seek our services, and continually improve the quality of those services.
  • Treat all customers, inter-office agencies, and co-workers professionally, with respect and a positive attitude.
  • Perform our duties with the best interest of the children and/or public safety foremost in our minds.
  • Recognize the needs of those who seek our services, and continually improve the quality of those services.
  • Treat all customers, inter-office agencies, and co-workers professionally, with respect and a positive attitude.
  • Perform our duties with the best interest of the children and/or public safety foremost in our minds.

Juvenile Cases

Juvenile Status Offenses:

These offenses concern noncriminal behaviors that are illegal because of the child's age. These behaviors are not illegal for adults. For example, typical status offenses are truancy (cutting school) and running away from home.

Juvenile Justice (Delinquency):

These cases involve children who have committed law violations that, if committed by an adult, would be considered crimes.

Juvenile Dependency:

Abuse and neglect cases concern family situations where allegations of abuse or neglect have been made, and the juvenile court intervenes to protect the family's children.

The Court's Authority

The juvenile court has broad authority in juvenile cases. It can remove children from their homes, order their placement with relatives or in foster care or group homes, terminate parental rights, create new parental rights, and join various agencies to provide needed services. In Justice cases, the juvenile court can also order children confined in locked facilities, such as the Juvenile Justice Campus, ranches, and other secure youth detention facilities.

Whenever the court decides to remove a child from his or her home, placement and responsibility for that child is given to a governmental agency. In Justice and status offense cases, that agency is the probation department; in abuse and neglect cases, the agency is the county Department of Social Services. The agency is responsible for meeting the health and educational needs of the child, as well as providing the care, treatment, and guidance the child may need.

Legal Help

Given that these decisions are so serious and affect fundamental rights, it is very important that if a juvenile case involves you or your child, you can add consult an attorney who can advise you more specifically about the court process as it relates to the case.

Interpreting Services

Fresno Superior Court provides interpreting services to all trial court proceedings in criminal, traffic, and juvenile Justice proceedings.

For more information, click here.

Interpreter Services

Your Right to an Attorney

The child in a Juvenile Justice case has a right to an attorney; a parent in an abuse and neglect case has a right to an attorney; and if a child in an abuse and neglect case would benefit from appointment of an attorney, the court will appoint one.

Center for Families, Children & the Courts

The Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts' Center for Families, Children & the Courts was established to maximize the effectiveness of court services for children and families, implement innovative court-related programs for them, and promote those services in the legal community and to the public. Visit the Center's website at: http://www.courts.ca.gov/programs-cfcc.htm.

Family Dependency Treatment Court (FDTC)

FTDC is a voluntary program that will assist parents in addressing their substance abuse issues in order to increase the chances of reunifying with their child(ren). The FDTC program includes implementing a treatment plan to assist selected participants in their recovery and liaison with other programs to exchange information and coordinate services. To view the FDTC Handbook, click here.

Friday Court (FC)

Friday Court is a specialized court for youth who are identified as either at-risk of or victims of human trafficking who find themselves involved in either the dependency or Juvenile Justice systems. This program was created to provide youth with support, resources, and tools to be able to work on their goals and be able to make healthy choices for their future. To view the FC Handbooks, click here.

Other Types of Cases Involving Children

  • Family

    Information about other types of cases that may concern children, such as child custody and support.

  • Probate

    Guardianship of minors is addressed in this section.

  • Family Court Services

    Information on other services for Children and Families may be found.

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