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
Lana Filice, Recreation
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
For additional information
about the Teen Court Program, e-mail
Lana Filice, Recreation