Non-traffic minor offenses are heard in the Juvenile Court. Traffic infractions are heard in the adult Traffic Courts
Information about juvenile justice proceedings, which begin when a minor is charged with breaking the law
Juvenile dependency actions involve alleged abuse or neglect of a child by a parent or caregiver
The Juvenile Court conducts proceedings involving children and youth under the age of 18 and nonminor dependents 18 to 21 years of age. The primary role of the Juvenile Court is to ensure public safety and to protect each youth under its jurisdiction. To promote juvenile rehabilitation, and to protect the privacy of children who are or may become dependents of the court, most Juvenile Court proceedings are not open to the public.
There are two primary kinds of cases heard at Juvenile Court:
- In Juvenile Justice (delinquency) cases, a youth is charged with an offense.
- Dependency cases involve allegations of child abuse and neglect.
The Juvenile Court also handles:
- A child's application for permission to marry or establish a domestic partnership
Juvenile Court matters are confidential and not open to the public. Because of the confidentiality of Juvenile Court records, specific case information may not be disclosed over the phone. (See Court Records for information on viewing and copying records.)
See the Language Access page for information about requesting an interpreter.
Other agencies that work with the Juvenile Court include:
- Probation Department
- Health and Human Services Agency
- District Attorney's Office
- Public Defender's Office
- Alternate Public Defender's Office
- County Counsel
- Voices for Children
- Juvenile Justice Commission
- Law enforcement agencies
- Children's Legal Services of San Diego
- Dependency Legal Services of San Diego