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Turning around lives one child at a time.

All Legal Definitions


A determination by the court that a juvenile is delinquent, unruly, dependent, neglected or abused.

A plea that informs the court that the charges alleged are true. Youth who enter this plea waive their right to a trial.

The term used to describe the transfer of jurisdiction from juvenile court to adult court for prosecution.

A document listing family strengths and objectives parents must complete to no longer be court involved. The case plan must be filed before the adjudicatory hearing. At the dispositional hearing the case plan is modified if necessary and becomes a court order.

A person who has been granted legal custody of a child, or when Summit County Juvenile Court grants temporary custody to Summit County Children Serivces.

A juvenile who violates any law that would be a criminal offense if committed by an adult.

A plea that informs the court that the charge(s) alleged is not true. If this plea is entered, the case will advance to the pre-trial stage of the court process.

A secure, short-term holding facility for youth who have been identified as a threat to public safety.

A hearing in which the court decides what penalties and/or sanctions a juvenile will receive for the offense committed.

A court ordered process in which the legal record of an arrest or a criminal conviction is “sealed” or erased in the eyes of the law.

A person who is appointed by Summit County Juvenile Court to represent a child's best interests in the child welfare court proceedings.

An individual who is unable to pay for a defense attorney. Youth who are accused of committing delinquent acts are guaranteed the right to an attorney by the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which means that indigent youth are entitled to a cost-free, court-appointed attorney.

A person under the age of 18. In some cases, a person found delinquent before reaching the age of 19 may be considered a juvenile in the eyes of the court until age 21.

Police remove children from their home when they are in immediate danger, or lack adult supervision.

A term used to describe an arrangement when relatives or close famly friends step forward to offer their home, food, and love to a child or children whose parents cannot care for them.

A legal status that gives the custodian the right and responsibility to have physical care and control of the child, subject to the rights of the parents. Legal custody does not terminate parental rights.

A legal status where Summit County Children Services is granted all parental rights, duties, and obligations to the child, including the right to consent to adoption, and all the parental rights, privileges, and obligations of the parents are terminated permanently.

When the court gives legal custody of the child to Summit County Children Services without terminating the parents' rights and Summit County Children Services is permitted to place the child with an appropriate foster care provider.

When a parent or other party to the case represents his/her interests in the case to the court without the representation or assistance of an attorney.

When the court permits a child who is found to be abused, neglected or dependent to remain in the custody of his/her parent(s) subject to supervision and conditions set forth by the court and Summit County Children Services.

A juvenile who violates any law that would not be considered criminal if committed by an adult (truancy, curfew violation).

Occurs when a child is removed from his/her home and custody of the child is granted to Summit County Children Services or another person other than the parent. Temporary custody may be terminated at any time at the discretion of the court.
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