Types of Cases

The Juvenile Court is empowered with jurisdiction to hear a number of different types of cases involving children and families, the two most common being dependency and delinquency cases.  The court also hears CHINS, juvenile traffic offenses, termination, guardianship, legitimation, custody and other special proceedings. 

  1. Dependency:  Dependency cases involve allegations of child abuse and/or neglect. For purposes of dependency cases, a child is anyone under the age of 18. 
  1. Delinquency:  Delinquency cases involve allegations that a child under the age of 17 has committed an act which would be a crime if that child were 17 years of age or older at the time the act is alleged to have been committed. 
  1. Child in Need of Services (CHINS):  CHINS cases involve allegations that children under the age of 18 have committed a status offense or have been unruly. 
  1. Juvenile Traffic Offenses:  Juvenile Traffic cases involve allegations that a child under the age of 17 has committed a traffic offense.  
  1. Termination of Parental Rights (TPR):  TPR cases involve instances where a party, typically the state, seeks to terminate the parental rights of the parents of a child. 
  1. Permanent Guardianship:  Permanent guardianship cases involve instances where a party, often the state, seeks to have a permanent guardianship established for a dependent child. 
  1. Legitimation:  Legitimation cases involved instances where a putative or biological father seeks to have a child judicially declared to be the legitimate and legal child of the father. 
  1. Custody:  In certain circumstances, the juvenile court is authorized to hearing custody cases between parents or between parents and a third party when such a cases has been properly transferred to the juvenile court from the jurisdiction of a superior court for the purpose of investigation and/or determination.   
  1. Special Proceedings:  The juvenile court is also authorized to hear to other special proceedings as authorized from time to time by the juvenile code.  Those types of cases vary and typically occur infrequently.