TEEN COURT

    

Calabasas Teen Court Meets on the 3rd Thursday of each Month at 4:30 p.m. in the Calabasas Founders Hall, located inside the Calabasas Library, 200 Civic Center Way, Calabasas, CA 91302 (map

For more information about Calabasas Teen Court, e-mail Michelle Lee or call (818) 224-1655.
 

WHAT IS TEEN COURT?
Teen Court is a program run by teens for teens. Teen offenders, between the ages of 13 and 17, who have committed a misdemeanor crime have their cases heard by a jury of their peers. A local volunteer judge or attorney presides as Judge and is directly involved in the Court proceedings.
 

PURPOSE OF TEEN COURT
The purpose of Teen Court is to interrupt the developing pattern of criminal behavior in juveniles by promoting self-esteem, motivation for self improvement and forming a healthy attitude toward authority. The offenders assume responsibility for their behavior and accept the consequences of their actions through community service work, serving on the Teen Court jury and any punishment sanctioned by a Teen Court jury of their peers.

Teen Court provides an educational experience for the offender and teen volunteers. The teens are given "hands-on" experience with the legal process, become familiar with the Court system and learn about various career opportunities the Court system has to offer. The offenders also learn about various career opportunities through the community service they perform.

Teen Court enables young people a unique challenge and opportunity to demonstrate to adults and themselves their capacity for self government and responsible citizenship.
 

HOW TEEN COURT WORKS
Cases heard in Teen Court are crimes such as petty theft, possession of alcohol, criminal mischief, cyber bullying, and many other misdemeanor offenses. Sources of referral are law enforcement, Department of Juvenile Justice and the State Attorney's Office.

The teen offender comes before Teen Court having acknowledged guilt. The offender and their parent/guardian meet with the Teen Court Coordinator for a pretrial interview to go over the rules and guidelines of the program. Once the teen has been accepted into the program, a Waiver of Speedy Trial is signed.

In the Court session, after the teen clerk calls the case, the Judge explains the offense committed. The teen defense and prosecution attorneys then present the case to the teen jury through the testimony of the offender, the incident report and a pretrial information sheet compiled by the Coordinator. After carefully listening to the facts, the teen jury deliberates the case and decides a constructive sentence for the offender.

The offender and their parent/guardian then meet with the Coordinator to sign a contract to complete the sentence they have received from the teen jury. Once the offender completes their sentence a Successful Completion report is sent to the State Attorney's Office, Department of Juvenile Justice and the referring agency. If the offender does not complete their sentence or rejects the teen jury sentence, then their case is returned to the appropriate referral source for prosecution.
 

WHEN IS TEEN COURT?
Teen Court is held at 4:30 p.m. the third Thursday of every month at the City of Calabasas Founders Hall. All volunteers must sign in by 4:00p.m. The actual court session begins promptly at 4:30p.m. Attire must be appropriate for court. Shorts are not allowed in the courtroom. Shirts may not have any writing, slogans or logos and must be able to be tucked into pants or skirt.
 

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR TEEN COURT VOLUNTEERS?

Teen Court volunteers must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be between the ages of 13 and 17
  • Must be in good academic standing
  • Must abide by the rules of the program
  • Must sign and respect the "Oath of Confidentiality"
  • Must demonstrate maturity and sensitivity

Volunteers will receive community service hours.

For additional information about the Teen Court Program, e-mail Michelle Lee or call (818) 224-1655

 

 
LINKS

State Bar of California - Kids and the Law

 

City of Calabasas 2014