Juvenile Court Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Juvenile Court, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Juvenile Court?

The court that takes up the cases where there is an involvement of children below eighteen years of age and who are dependant, abused, or out of control. But the cases which has been charged on the under age child as adult cannot be tried in this court.

History and Meaning of Juvenile Court

The Juvenile Court system was established in the United States in the late 1800s, with the goal of providing a separate court system for youthful offenders, in response to concerns about the harsh treatment of children in adult court systems. The Juvenile Court operates under a different set of rules and principles than adult court, with an emphasis on rehabilitation rather than punishment.

The main purpose of a Juvenile Court is to provide a specialized forum where cases involving children can be heard and evaluated based on the individual needs of each child. The court is designed to deal with cases involving delinquent children who have committed offenses, as well as children who are in need of care and protection due to abuse or neglect.

Examples of Juvenile Court

  1. A 15-year-old is arrested for stealing a car and is brought before the Juvenile Court for a hearing to determine the best course of action.
  2. A 12-year-old is removed from her home due to allegations of abuse and neglect and her case is heard in Juvenile Court to determine her placement and care.
  3. A 17-year-old is charged with a serious crime, but since he is close to turning 18, his case is transferred from Juvenile Court to adult court.

Legal Terms Similar to Juvenile Court

  1. Delinquent Child: A child who has committed an offense that would be considered a crime if committed by an adult.
  2. Status Offense: An act committed by a child that is only considered an offense because of the age of the child, such as truancy or running away from home.
  3. Dependent Child: A child who is in need of care and protection due to abuse, neglect, or other circumstances beyond their control.
  4. Juvenile Justice System: The collection of courts, probation departments, and other agencies that are responsible for handling juvenile delinquency and dependency cases.
  5. Juvenile Detention: A facility where juvenile offenders are held while awaiting trial or serving a sentence.