The purpose of the Juvenile Court is to protect the well-being of children, provide guidance and control conducive to child welfare and the best interests of the state and secure care for children removed from their homes. Stephens County’s Juvenile Court is part of the Mountain Judicial Circuit which also covers Habersham County and Rabun County.
The mission of the Juvenile Court is to exercise jurisdiction over all juveniles within the county who are alleged to be delinquent, unruly, traffic offenders, or dependent children.
TYPES OF COURT CASES
The Stephens County Juvenile Court is a dependent court organized under Chapter 11 of Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia. The Juvenile Court is dedicated to serving the residents of Stephens County by hearing all cases involving:
- Allegation of dependency (abuse and neglect)
- Unruly conduct (truancy, habitually disobedient of the reasonable commands of parents, runaway from home without permission) of children under the age of 18
- Delinquency (criminal acts)
- Traffic violations concerning children under the age of 17 found within its jurisdiction
Juvenile Court also conducts trials in cases where the State of Georgia attempts to terminate parental rights, due to chronic abuse and/or neglect, so that children can be placed in a permanent home. A permanent home can be either with suitable family members or with an adoptive family.
CUSTODY, CHILD SUPPORT & GUARDIANSHIP
Juvenile Court can also consider cases such as:
- A father attempting to legitimate a child born out of wedlock
- Certain aspects of child guardianship cases
TREATMENT, REHABILITATION OR SUPERVISION
If, after adjudication, a child is found to be in need of treatment, rehabilitation, or supervision to safely remain in the community, the court will provide access to high quality, appropriate treatment programs whenever feasible. Supervision is provided by Juvenile Probation Officers.