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Juvenile Division

Juvenile Division

Location, Phone, Hours of Operation
Location: Montgomery County Circuit Court
South Tower 3rd floor, Rm 3520
Phone: (240) 777-9530
Hours of Operation: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
 

The Juvenile Division is a part of Family Division Services and is responsible for oversight of Delinquency petitions, Children in Need of Assistance (CINA) petitions, Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) petitions, Voluntary Placement petitions and Petitions for Peace Orders. However, the majority of the court’s workload is comprised of Delinquency petitions and CINA petitions. These matters, which are governed by strict statutory timeframes, require a high degree of judicial oversight by the court on a long term basis.

In addition, the Circuit Court, through its Family Division Services, assigns a Juvenile Case Manager to each case at the time of filing. A Case Manager makes sure that the case receives proper attention in accordance with the Juvenile Differentiated Case Management Plan.

CINA/Juvenile Delinquency FAQs

Where is the Montgomery County Circuit Court Juvenile Division located?

Juvenile cases are heard in the South Tower of Montgomery County Circuit Court, Rockville, Maryland 20850, in Courtrooms 4I, 5G, 5F. When you arrive at the Courthouse, please check the television screen located in the lobby on the lower level to confirm the location of the hearing.

Who can I call if I have an unruly child?

The Juvenile Court does not have jurisdiction over a child until a Petition has been filed. Therefore, if your child has not committed a delinquent act and you are not currently involved with the Department of Juvenile Services or the court, you may call the Department of Juvenile Services at (301) 610-8500 to see if there are any services that may be available to you and/or your child without court involvement.

You may also call the Local Access Mechanism (LAM) at 301-610-0147 to see if there are any services that may be available to you and/or your child.

You may also check InfoMontgomery.org, an on-line database of resources and services created specifically for the residents of Montgomery County.

Is my child entitled to an attorney?

If an attorney does not enter his/her appearance within five days after you have received notice of the Petition, the court will appoint an attorney for your child.

Are parents entitled to an attorney?

Parents in CINA cases are not entitled to representation but are strongly encouraged to retain counsel. You may contact the Public Defender’s Office CINA Division to see if you qualify for representation:

Public Defender’s Office CINA Division
199 P East Montgomery Avenue
Rockville, Maryland 20850
Phone: 240-773-9670

If you do not qualify, you may retain private counsel.

What are statutory deadlines?

According to Maryland Law, if a child is in shelter care or in detention, the case must proceed to an Adjudicatory Hearing within 30 days of the Shelter or Detention Hearing.* If a child remains in the home, a case must proceed to an Adjudicatory Hearing within 60 days of the service of the Petition on the child.

* If a child is placed on Home Electronic Monitoring (HEM), h/she is considered to be on community detention and the case shall proceed to adjudication within 30 days from the Detention Hearing.

May I contact the Judge regarding my child’s case?

Parties may not contact the Judge or his/her chambers personally to inquire about a case or ask to speak with the Judge regarding a specific case. Such contact is considered ex parte communication and is prohibited.

What if I have additional questions and/or concerns about CINA/Juvenile Delinquency cases?

You may contact the Montgomery County Circuit Court’s Juvenile Clerk’s Office and the Juvenile Case Managers:

Juvenile Clerk’s Office
Name Phone
Barbara Meiklejohn (Supervisor) 240-777-9530
 
Juvenile Case Managers
Name Phone
Risa Mainprize (Supervisor) 240-777-9343
Carla Hawkins 240-777-9118
Barbara Kirkland 240-777-9171

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Cases Handled by Montgomery County Circuit Court’s Juvenile Division

The majority of cases heard in Juvenile Court fall into two categories:

  1. CINA Cases (Child In Need of Assistance) - These cases involve children and their families who require court intervention because the child has either been abused or neglected, has a developmental disability or a mental disorder, and the child’s parents, guardian or custodian are unable or unwilling to give the child proper care and attention.
  2. Delinquent Cases – These cases involve children who have committed a “delinquent act” which is an act that would be a crime if committed by an adult.

Juvenile court files and proceedings are confidential; however, the courtrooms are open to the public unless closed by the presiding Judge. A party and/or their attorney of record are entitled to review court files.

All communication with the court should be filed with the Juvenile Clerk in writing with copies provided to all parties involved in the case. The Circuit Court does not accept filings by facsimile.

If you have any questions regarding your specific case, please contact the Juvenile Case Managers for assistance.

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Basic Process in Juvenile Case Proceedings

All juvenile proceedings begin with the filing of a Petition (shelter, detention, delinquent, CINA or voluntary placement); however, court proceedings differ between CINA and Juvenile Delinquency cases.

CINA Case Proceedings

The following hearings take place during CINA case proceedings. While some hearings are applicable to all CINA cases, others are specific to one of the following two situations upon the filing of a petition:

  1. A child is taken out of parent/guardian’s home (click here for a flow chart)
  2. Parent(s) or guardian(s) receive a notice of a CINA petition filed on behalf of his/her child (click here for a flow chart)
    • Shelter Hearing

    If a child is removed from his/her home, a Shelter Hearing takes place no later than the next business day that the court is in session. All Shelter Hearings occur at 1:30 p.m. At the Shelter Hearing, the Judge determines if the temporary placement of the child outside the home is warranted.

    • Preliminary Inquiry

    A Preliminary Inquiry is held when the Department of Health and Human Services has filed a CINA Petition with the court but the child has not been removed from the home. At this court proceeding, the Judge serves the parents, guardian or custodian with a copy of the Petition and informs them of the importance of retaining an attorney.

    • Pre-Trial Hearing

    CINA Pre-Trial Hearings are always held on either a Tuesday or Thursday at 11:30 a.m. If the parties have an agreement, the Judge can hear the agreement and proceed to the Disposition Hearing. If the parties do not have an agreement, they will proceed to Mediation on the same day. Mediation begins at 1:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. Mediation is mandatory unless there are parallel criminal charges. If the parties reach an agreement at Mediation, their agreement can be presented to the Judge in the courtroom and the agreement made part of the court’s record. If the parties do not reach an agreement, they will return to the courtroom and go before the Judge to confirm the Adjudicatory Hearing date and estimated length of trial.

    • Adjudicatory Hearing

    At the Adjudicatory Hearing, the County Attorney must prove the allegations in the Petition. If a child is in shelter care, the Adjudicatory Hearing must take place within 30 days of the Shelter Hearing. If the child is not in shelter care, the Adjudicatory Hearing must take place within 60 days of the Preliminary Inquiry or within 60 days of service of the Petition on the parents, guardian or custodian.

    • Disposition Hearing

    If the allegations in the CINA Petition are proved or admitted to, the Judge must proceed to a separate Disposition Hearing unless he/she finds good cause for delay. At the Disposition Hearing, the Judge determines if the allegations in the CINA Petition are sufficient to find the child in need of assistance. The Judge also determines the placement of the child (i.e., whether to return the child home or place the child out-of-home).

    • Six Month Review Hearing

    If the child is placed out of the home, the Judge holds a Review Hearing six months from the date that the child was removed from the home. The Judge reviews the safety of the child, continuing necessity for an appropriateness of the placement, extent of compliance with the case plan, and the extent of the family’s progress.

    • Permanency Planning Hearing

    A Permanency Planning Hearing is held within 11 months and 30 days from the removal of a child from his/her home. At this hearing, the Judge determines the permanency plan for the child. The permanency plan could be reunification with a parent or guardian, placing the child with relatives or adoption. If a child remains with their parent(s) or guardian, a Permanency Planning Hearing is not required.

Juvenile Delinquency Case Proceedings

The following hearings take place during Juvenile Delinquency case proceedings. While some hearings are applicable to all cases in Juvenile Delinquency, others are specific to one of the following two situations upon the filing of a Petition:

  1. A Child is arrested and detained (click here for a flow chart)
  2. A Child is arrested and released, and his/her parent received a notice of Delinquency Petition filed in the Juvenile Court (click here for a flow chart)
    • Detention Hearing

    If a child is arrested or detained, a Detention Hearing is held no later than the next business day that the court is in session. All Detention Hearings occur at 1:30 p.m. At the Detention Hearing, the Judge determines whether the child shall continue to be detained, released on Home Electronic Monitoring (HEM) or released pending the next court date.

    • Preliminary Inquiry

    A Preliminary Inquiry is held when the State’s Attorney’s Office has filed a Delinquency Petition with the court but the child remains in his/her home. At this court proceeding, the Judge serves the parents, guardian or custodian with a copy of the Petition and informs the child of his/her right to an attorney. Please refer to "Is my child entitled to an attorney?".

    • Pre-Trial Hearing

    Delinquent Pre-Trial Hearings are always held on Wednesdays. At this court proceeding, the parties may enter into a plea agreement and proceed to a Disposition Hearing, schedule a plea date (also known as Adjudication no witness) and/or confirm the Adjudicatory Hearing date and expected length of trial.

    • Adjudicatory Hearing

    At the Adjudicatory Hearing the State’s Attorney must prove the allegations in the Petition, that the child has committed a delinquent act, beyond a reasonable doubt. If the child is detained or on HEM, the Adjudicatory Hearing must take place within 30 days of the Detention Hearing. If the child is not detained, the Adjudicatory Hearing must take place within 60 days of the Preliminary Inquiry or the date on which the child is served with the Petition.

    • Disposition Hearing

    If the allegations in the Delinquency Petition are proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the Judge must proceed to a separate Disposition Hearing. At the Disposition Hearing, the Judge determines if the child has committed a delinquent act and is in current need of services (guidance, treatment, or rehabilitation). Services are most often provided by the Department of Juvenile Services. The Judge may place the child on probation or order the child to be placed out of the home.

    • Review/Release Hearing

    A Judge may hold a Review/Release Hearing at the request of a party or the Department of Juvenile Services. Review/Release Hearings are held when a child has completed a program or placement either successfully or unsuccessfully.

    • Review Hearings

    A Judge may hold a Review Hearing at the request of a party or the Department of Juvenile Services.

    • Restitution Hearing

    If the parties are not in agreement, a Restitution Hearing is held to determine what restitution is owed to the victims of the delinquent act. If the child and/or his/her parents are found liable, the Judge may enter a restitution order against them in the maximum amount of $10,000 per incident. A judgment of restitution may also be entered against the child and/or his/her parents; however, the Judge must afford the parent a reasonable opportunity to be heard and to present evidence.

    • Permanency Planning Hearing

    A Permanency Planning Hearing must be held within 11 months and 30 days after a child becomes eligible for Title IV-E (Federal Foster Care and Adoption Assistance Program) reimbursement, often when a child is moved from a detention facility to an eligible foster care placement.

Postponement Policy

If a party wishes to postpone an Adjudicatory Hearing beyond a statutory deadline, the Administrative Judge may extend the deadline for extraordinary cause. Extraordinary cause is that which is not foreseeable, usual or predictable. It is not regular or of the customary kind. For example, crowded dockets and scheduling conflicts on their face do not constitute extraordinary cause.

As a matter of policy, the Administrative Judge will also hear Motions for postponements of other events that require a finding of good cause.

All requests to postpone a hearing must be filed in writing with the Juvenile Clerk. Requests to postpone a hearing filed after 2:30 p.m. on the day before the hearing will not be processed and will be addressed in the courtroom on the original scheduled date. If the request is filed prior to 2:30 p.m. on the day before the scheduled hearing, the Juvenile Case Manager will handle the request as a RUSH, but the Case Manager must be able to gather the positions of the other parties. To expedite the process, it is requested that the filing party deliver a courtesy copy of the postponement request (Motion) to the assigned Case Manager and notify him/her that it has been filed. The positions of the other parties should also be included in the Motion. If positions cannot be gathered, the Motion will be addressed in court by the Administrative Judge on the original scheduled date.

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Important Juvenile Court Participants

The following individuals are normally involved with CINA or Juvenile Delinquency cases:

Participants in a CINA Case

Participants in a Delinquent Case

What if my child is removed from my home?

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What if I received notice that a CINA Petition has been filed in Juvenile Court?

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What if my child was arrested and detained?

* Held on the first available day after the 25th day that the child remains in detention.  Child must be in detention for the specific act for which the child has been adjudicated. Note: The issue of restitution may be addressed at any stage after the filing of a petition.  If the issue of restitution is contested, a separate restitution hearing may be held after the adjudicatory hearing.

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What if my child was arrested and released and I received notice that a petition has been filed with Juvenile Court?

* Held on the first available day after the 25th day that the child remains in detention.  Child must be in detention for the specific act for which the child has been adjudicated. Note: The issue of restitution may be addressed at any stage after the filing of a petition.  If the issue of restitution is contested, a separate restitution hearing may be held after the adjudicatory hearing. 

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Montgomery County Circuit Court
50 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850
Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM