Jefferson County, Alabama



    1.  What happens after a complaint is filed?
    2.  How does a juvenile case begin?
    Q.  What happens after a complaint is filed?
    A.  A juvenile intake (probation) officer reviews the complaint to ensure that it is sufficient and decides whether a formal petition will be filed with the court. The intake officer will also notify the parents of the child's whereabouts if the child is detained. The intake officer will advise the child and the parents of their rights, including the right to have an attorney present at all proceedings.

The intake officer then decides whether or not the child should be released to the custody of his or her parents or placed in a licensed juvenile detention facility or, in the case of dependency and CHINS cases, placed in the care of the Department of Human Resources under what is called "shelter care."

Parents or guardians of a child may be made parties in all juvenile court actions, which means that a parent or guardian may be required to pay attorney fees, fines, court costs, restitution and other costs and/or carry out certain activities which the court deems is in the best interest of the child, such as participating in counseling.

    Q.  How does a juvenile case begin?
Any individual, including a law enforcement officer, parent, relative, or neighbor, who has knowledge that a juvenile has committed a delinquent act, is in need of supervision, or is dependent may file a complaint with the  juvenile court.