Juvenile Delinquency Court
Phone: (415) 444-7045
Email: juvenile@marincourt.org
Location: Civic Center, Hall of Justice, Room 113
Office Hours: 8:00am - 4:00pm

The California Welfare and Institutions Code sets forth the legal requirements, procedures and objectives for Delinquency Court. Delinquency matters described in Welfare and Institutions Code section 601 include offenses such as school truancy, runaways, behavior beyond parental control, and other 'incorrigible' behavior. Very few of these matters are filed in Delinquency Court, as they are typically handled in other venues, like school truancy hearings.

The Welfare and Institutions Code, starting at section 602, describes the Court's jurisdiction over misdemeanors and felonies committed by minors (persons under 18 years of age.) For certain serious crimes, the law currently provides the possibility of trying juveniles as adults in the Adult Criminal Court.

Parents or guardians have the right to receive a copy of the delinquency petition, stating the delinquent acts the child is accused of committing. The petition does not prove that the minor committed these acts and there will be opportunities at court hearings to present evidence regarding the minor's involvement in the alleged criminal acts.

For those who cannot afford legal representation for their children, the Court will appoint an attorney. Please note that this attorney represents the child only and will not represent the parents or guardians.

The objectives of the Delinquency Court are to:

  1. Protect the minor;
  2. Give guidance to the minor;
  3. Punish minors who commit delinquent acts, and;
  4. Ensure the safety of the community.

If a minor becomes a ward of the Delinquency Court, the Court will make orders for the parents or guardians and the minor. The minor may be allowed to live in the parents' or guardians' home under Court supervision or may be placed outside of the home in an unlocked or locked facility. The factors that the Court will consider in making this determination include the child's age, the seriousness of the offense, and the history of delinquency.

The Court may also order the minor to:

  1. Perform community service work;
  2. Attend programs geared to assisting minors in making better life choices (on topics such as \ drug, alcohol, smoking and safe driving) and;
  3. Complete other activities that the Court determines will instruct minors on leading law abiding lives.

For more information on about how Juvenile Delinquency Court works, please click here.