- Juvenile Justice proceedings involve youth under the age of 18 alleged to have committed an act which would be a crime if committed by an adult. Welfare & Institutions Code section 602.
- Juvenile Truancy proceedings involve minors who are chronically absent from school in violation of the Education Code. Welfare and Institutions Code section 601(b).
- Juvenile Dependency proceedings involve the protection of children who have been or are at risk of being abused, neglected, or abandoned.
Juvenile Traffic proceedings involve traffic and other minor offenses such as driving without a license, loitering, being out past curfew, and vandalism.
Guide to Juvenile Court (English)
Guide to Juvenile Court (Spanish)
The Court's Authority
The Juvenile Court has broad authority in juvenile justice and dependency cases. The Court can remove children from their homes, order their placement with relatives or in foster care or group homes, terminate parental rights and join various agencies to provide needed services. In juvenile justice cases, the Court can also order children to be confined in locked facilities, such as detention halls, camps, and the Division of Juvenile Justice.
Center for Families, Children & the Courts
The Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts' Center for Families, Children & the Courts was established to maximize the effectiveness of court services for children and families, implement innovative court-related programs for them, and promote those services in the legal community and to the public. Visit the Center's website at: https://www.courts.ca.gov/programs-cfcc.htm
Juvenile Court Confidentiality
Juvenile records are confidential. The minor, his or her parents or legal guardian(s), and attorneys of record may obtain copies of court minute orders and selected court documents by appearing at the juvenile records counter with photo identification. The records will not be mailed and other individuals must utilize the "Petition for Disclosure of Juvenile Court Records Welfare and Institutions Code §827" https://www.sb-court.org/sites/default/files/Divisions/Juvenile/jv570.pdf . This completed form may be presented either in person or by mail but must contain an original signature. If the petition is granted, viewing and/or receipt of copies may only occur by appearing in person with proper photo identification. The records will not be mailed.
Sealing Juvenile Records
If you were arrested or involved in a court case or had contact with the juvenile justice system when you were under 18, the courts, police, schools, or other public agencies may have records about what you did. You may be able to have those records sealed. This could make it easier for you to find a job, get a driver's license, get a loan, rent an apartment, or go to college. In some cases, the court will automatically order your records sealed. In others, you must file a petition asking the court to seal your records.
For more information about sealing your juvenile record: https://www.courts.ca.gov/28120.htm?rdeLocaleAttr=en