In juvenile court, criminal matters are called delinquency cases. In delinquency cases, the main function of the Court is to decide, based on the evidence presented, whether or not a young person accused of a crime has broken the law. On the other hand, unruly cases involve juveniles who have not committed a crime but have engaged in behavior that is prohibited by law.
Preliminary Hearings/Detention Hearings: allow a judge or a magistrate to officially inform the juvenile of the charge(s) alleged, advise the juvenile of his or her legal rights and notify the juvenile of the possible legal consequences.
Pre-trial Hearings: provide a forum for a representative from the juvenile division of the Summit County Prosecutor's Office, the alleged juvenile offender, and his/her legal counsel with an opportunity to resolve a case without going to trial. If a resolution is not reached in the pre-trial stage, a trial will be scheduled at a later date.
Adjudication Hearings: are when evidence is presented, and the court determines if the statements stated in the complaint are true.
Disposition Hearings: in when the court decides what penalties and/or sanctions a juvenile will receive for the offense committed.
The bulleted list below features the standardized delinquency dispositions that Summit County Juvenile Court orders, as tracked by its case management system. The majority of the delinquency dispositions ordered by Summit County Juvenile Court are not reported on this chart, as they are individualized to meet the rehabilitative and treatment needs of the child.
Youth who have failed to meet diversion requirements and who are not eligible for diversion services will be automatically appointed to an attorney associated with the Legal Defenders Office of Summit County at no charge to the juvenile. Parents may be subjected to a $25 application fee.
When a youth under the age of 18 commits a very serious offense or has already been through all the services that the juvenile system has to offer, he or she may be “bound-over” to the adult court.
Effective January 1, 2002, Senate Bill 179 created the category of Serious Youthful Offenders (SYO). Youth who commit very serious offenses such as murder or other violent acts may be considered for a “blended sentence.” This could include an adult sentence if the youth is not rehabilitated in the juvenile system.