More About MCJC

About The Court


Montgomery County Juvenile Court is a division of the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.  The Juvenile Court has jurisdiction over individuals who are under the age of 18 and reside within the county.  Under Ohio law, juvenile courts have original and exclusive jurisdiction of the case types listed below:

  • Abuse Cases – Involve juveniles who are the victims of physical, sexual or mental harm or injury
  • Child Support Cases – Involve juveniles who are the subject of a dispute between the parents or other interested parties relating to the establishment and enforcement of financial support for the juvenile
  • Civil Protection Order Cases – The law (R.C. 2151.34) includes a broad range of violent behaviors – felonious assault, aggravated assault, assault, aggravated menacing, menacing by stalking, menacing, aggravated trespass and sexually oriented offenses – for which a civil protection order can be obtained against a juvenile respondent.1 Although these behaviors are consistent with teen dating violence, they may also be consistent with bullying, harassment and other types of juvenile violence. Additionally, a juvenile civil protection order can be obtained when a juvenile respondent engages in domestic violence behaviors or sexually oriented offenses as defined in R.C. 3113.31.
  • Custody Cases – Involve juveniles whose temporary or permanent residential placement is at issue between parents, family members, such as grandparents, or Montgomery County Children Services
  • Delinquency Cases – Involve juveniles alleged to have committed an act that is a violation of a criminal law
  • Dependent Cases – Involve juveniles who are homeless, destitute or without adequate parental care due to the mental or physical illness of the parent which leaves the parent unable to properly care for the juvenile
  • Neglect Cases – Involve juveniles who are abandoned by their parents or who lack adequate parental care
  • Paternity Cases – Involve juveniles who are the subject of a dispute relating to the determination of parentage
  • Tobacco Cases – Involve juveniles who are alleged to use, possess or purchase tobacco products
  • Traffic Cases – Involve juveniles alleged to have violated any traffic law
  • Truancy Cases – House Bill (HB) 410 is the new Truancy Law in Ohio.  It changes the truancy definition from days to hours.  The definition of “habitual truancy” moves to defining truancy in terms of days missed to hours missed, meaning under HB 410 a student is considered to be a habitually truant if they have missed:  1) 30 or more consecutive school hours 5 or more consecutive school days; 2) 42 or more hours in one school month 7 school days in one school month; 3) 72 or more hours in a school year 12 or more school days in a school year; or 4) #2: Using formal filing for truancy as a last resort.  Because of the new hourly attendance law, a student that is either tardy to school, or who leaves early from school, will have that time added to their hours of school time missed.  Under HB 410, once a juvenile court receives an unruly filing based solely on truancy, the court must consider an adjudication alternative – 1) diversion, 2) using the Juvenile Rules of Procedure or, 3) any other means – unless an alternative is not available or the child has already participated in or failed to complete the alternative.
  • UIFSA Cases – The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) is a law which regulates the processing of all cases in which parties are located in more than one state. Each state was required by federal law to adopt UIFSA for the processing of intergovernmental cases
  • Unruly Cases – Involve juveniles alleged to be unresponsive to the reasonable control of their parents or teachers; are habitually truant from school, or engage in behavior which endangers their health or morals 

What to Expect

Every case stands on its own, and therefore no two cases are exactly alike.  However, there are a common set of expected procedures, processes, and expected outcomes that one can expect in general with regards to the Court.  The juvenile justice system is based on civil process (no due process required) where the goal is rehabilitation, is non-adversarial, family plays a big part, and it is private.  The adult justice system is often seen as criminal (requiring due process), punishment, adversarial, where the family plays potentially no role, and is open to the public.  Regardless of whether a case is being heard in a juvenile court or and adult court, all parties to a case are entitled to retain legal representation.  Furthermore, all juveniles are considered indigent and are therefore entitled to court-appointed legal representation.  All other parties, if found to be indigent, are also entitled to court-appointed legal representation.  In this case, indigent means the person does not have the financial means to employ legal representation.   The judge or magistrate will work with parties and assign court-appointed legal representation where appropriate.


Abuse/Neglect/Dependency

  • Ex Parte Hearings – Emergency hearings held when it appears the welfare of the juvenile requires immediate attention.  It permits the judge or magistrate to issue immediate orders such as removing a juvenile from a dangerous environment until such time as an adjudicatory hearing can be held.
  • Trial (Adjudicatory Hearing) – The fact finding hearing.  It is similar to a trial in adult court.
  • Disposition Hearing – A hearing held after the adjudicatory hearing to determine what, if any, action should be taken by the court as a result of the adjudicatory hearing.  The court must make its decision based upon the best interest of the abused, neglected or dependent juvenile.  The court may grant temporary or permanent custody to an individual or agency; place the juvenile in a planned permanent living arrangement; order the individual out of the home who is responsible for the abuse, neglect or dependency; order medical care; and make all other orders that are in the best interest of the juvenile.
  • Review Hearing – A hearing held to examine the level of compliance with orders previously imposed at the disposition hearing.  Many review hearings can be held to monitor and enforce compliance with previous court orders.

Child Support

  • Involve juveniles whose parents never married, who married but are separated with no divorce filed, or whose custodial parent lives out of state and the non-custodial parent lives in Montgomery County.
  • Hearings can be held to determine the following issues:  Establishment of paternity; establishment, increase, decrease or suspend support payments; emancipate juvenile; calculate arrearages in support payments; and determine tax exemptions.  Repeated hearings are usually necessary to address a change of circumstances in any of the above areas.

Delinquency/Unruly

  • Detention Hearing – A hearing to determine if a juvenile should remain in detention or be released to other appropriate placement pending further court action.
  • Arraignment Hearing – The initial hearing at which the juvenile enters a plea of admission or denial to the pending delinquency charges and a determination is made if the juvenile qualifies for appointed counsel.
  • Pretrial Hearing – A hearing to rule on pending motions, resolve the matter through a plea agreement or set the case for a hearing on the merits.
  • Trial (Adjudicatory Hearing) – The fact finding hearing of juvenile cases.  It is similar to a trial in adult court however, there is no jury except in very rare circumstances.  In the vast majority of cases, the judge or magistrate decides all issues of law and fact.
  • Disposition Hearing – A hearing held after the adjudicatory hearing to determine what, if any, action should be taken by the court as a result of findings made in the adjudicatory hearing.  It is similar to sentencing in adult court.
  • Review Hearing – A hearing held to examine the level of compliance with orders previously imposed at the disposition hearing.  Many review hearings can be held to monitor and enforce compliance with previous court orders.
  • Probation Violation Hearing – A fact finding hearing to determine if a juvenile has violated a previous court order relating to the terms and conditions of probation.
  • Transfer Hearing – A hearing held to determine if the juvenile court should relinquish its jurisdiction and transfer the juvenile to the adult criminal justice system for prosecution.
  • Possible Outcomes -Depending on the individual case, consequences for delinquent behavior may include diversion, supervision by the Intervention Center or Probation department, detention, fines, driver’s license suspension, and/or community service.  The Court can also order counseling and/or substance abuse treatment for the child and/or parents, when appropriate. In some cases, a child may be court ordered into residential treatment, detention center or Department of Youth Services.

Traffic

  • Montgomery County Juvenile Court may be the only juvenile court in the State of Ohio to hold mandatory court hearings for every juvenile who receives a traffic citation.  The purpose of this requirement is to educate both the parent and juvenile as to their responsibilities relating to safe teenage driving.  The Montgomery County Juvenile Court uses this court appearance to stress the importance of safe driving by teenagers since the number one cause of death for teenagers is auto accidents.