Oct. 27, 2021


There are two types of Juvenile proceedings:

  1. Juvenile Dependency which involves neglected and/or abused children
  2. Juvenile Delinquency which involves children who commit delinquent acts.


Juvenile Delinquency
If your child has been arrested, he/she may be taken into custody or the arresting officer may release him/her into the custody of a parent, guardian or other appropriate adult. Your child may be required to return to the police station rather than to the Probation Department. You may be given a Notice to Appear giving you information as to what you and your child need to do and the time within which it must be done.

If your child has been taken to the Juvenile Hall, immediate steps will be taken to notify the parents or guardians of the child. Before the Probation Intake Officer can question your child about what happened, the officer must inform your child of his/her rights—the right to remain silent and that anything your child says may be used against your child, the right to be represented by an attorney and that the court will appoint one for your child if your child cannot afford one. The decision to detain the child is made by the Probation Intake Officer and not the arresting officer. The Probation Officer may let your child go home and not refer the case to the district attorney to file a petition, or he may let your child go home and refer the case to the district attorney who will decide whether or not to file a petition. Restrictions may be placed on your child as a condition of being allowed to go home.

The Probation Officer may decide not to allow your child to return home. If so, your child will be held at the Yolo County Juvenile Hall. If your child is not allowed to return home and is held in the Juvenile Hall, a petition describing the charges against your child must be filed with the Court 48 hours from the time your child is taken into custody.

A court hearing, called a Detention Hearing, must be held within 72 hours after your child is taken into custody, to determine whether your child should continue to be detained. The 72 hours does not include Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. The purpose of the detention hearing is for the judge to decide if your child should go home before the next hearing, to appoint an attorney if you cannot afford one, and to read the charges against your child.

If your child was arrested, but never detained in the Juvenile Hall, you will receive notice to appear with your child at a Jurisdiction Hearing. This is also the next hearing for a child that has been detained after a Detention Hearing. At the Jurisdiction Hearing the judge will determine whether or not your child committed the offense. Your child will be asked to enter a plea or request a hearing called a Contested Hearing to determine the facts and if your child committed the acts he/she is accused of committing.

A Disposition Hearing is equivalent to a sentencing hearing in Adult Court. If the judge rules at the Jurisdiction Hearing or after a Contested Hearing that your child committed the offense, at the disposition hearing, the judge will decide what orders should be made regarding your child. If the judge rules that your child did not commit the offense, there is no Disposition Hearing. The Disposition Hearing is normally held 10 days after the Jurisdiction Hearing if your child is in custody, or up to 6 weeks after the Jurisdiction Hearing if not in custody.

In addition to the above hearings, you and your child may be required to attend any of the following hearings:
There may be court appearances for the court to hear additional matters that come up before the matter is resolved.

If your child is at least 14 years old and is charged with committing certain serious crimes, the District Attorney may ask the Juvenile Court to make a decision as to whether or not your child should be tried as an adult. The proceeding in which this issue is presented is called a Fitness hearing.

If your child is placed under the supervision of the Probation Department, the Court will set hearings to review your child’s progress under their supervision.

If the court so orders, you and your child may have to pay restitution to the victim. Restitution is money to pay for the victim’s losses caused by your child’s illegal conduct. A Restitution Hearing is conducted to determine if restitution is owed, and if so, how much is owed.

Unless you were the victim of your child’s crime, you may be responsible to the county for various fees. These include:

  1. Your child’s attorney’s fees;
  2. Probation Department service fees such as the cost of maintaining your child in the Juvenile Hall, and
  3. Placement costs for keeping your child in a state placement such as the Division of Juvenile Justice of the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation, a probation camp, or other out of home placement.

These costs can be expensive. You will have a chance to show how much, if any of these costs you are able to pay.

Juvenile Dependency
A Juvenile Dependency Hearing may begin with children being removed from their parents and placed in protective custody. Law Enforcement may detain children up to 72 hours for their protection if the officer believes there is a risk of neglect or abuse. When children are taken into protective custody, the officer or social worker will immediately attempt to notify the parents or guardians. If the children are not in immediate danger of neglect or abuse, and are living with a parent, relative, or friend, they may be allowed to remain there pending the court proceedings.

If children are placed in protective custody and taken from the home, there must be an investigation to decide whether the children can be safely returned to the home from which they were taken. The first investigation is made by the social worker in the Intake unit of the Department of Social Services.

If the social worker decides that the children are not significantly at risk for abuse or neglect, the children can be released to the parent(s). However, the parent(s) may be requested to sign a Family Maintenance Agreement, agreeing to certain conditions to keep the children in the home. If the parent(s) abide by the agreement for six months, no further action will be taken. If there is another report of neglect or abuse of the children, or the parents fail to abide by the agreement, the children can be removed from the home again, and a petition may be filed with the Juvenile Court.

If the social worker decides the children are at risk, the children will remain out of the home pending the court hearing. The Department of Health and Human Services must file a Petition with the Juvenile Court within 48 hours. The Petition will include a statement telling why a Dependency proceeding is considered necessary for the safety of the children. When the petition is filed with the Juvenile Court, a Detention Hearing is calendared within 72 hours.

If the children are removed from the home, the first hearing is a Detention Hearing. If the children are not removed, the first hearing is called a Jurisdiction Hearing. Both hearings advise parties of the allegations, appoint counsel (if necessary) and set a future hearing. In addition, the Detention Hearing addresses whether the children should continue to be detained pending the Jurisdiction Hearing.

At the first hearing, the parents will be assigned an attorney unless they have retained private counsel.  Each parent will have their own attorney. They will also be given a copy of the petition filed by the Department of Social Services. Another Jurisdiction Hearing will be calendared.

If the children are not released to the parents, they will remain detained in their current placement.
At the Jurisdiction Hearing, the court determines whether allegations of abuse or neglect concerning a child are sustained by the evidence and are legally sufficient to support intervention on behalf of the child.  

The Disposition Hearing addresses issues regarding the placement of the child. After the Jurisdiction hearing, the Social Worker will meet with the parents, investigate the facts of the case, and prepare a report for the next court hearing, the Disposition Hearing. The report will include an evaluation of the case, a reunification plan, and a recommendation regarding placement of the children. The Social Worker will also arrange visits, if Court approved, between the parents and the children.
The Reunification Plan or Case Plan outlines what the parents need to do to resolve the problems that brought the children before the court. If the children are returned to the parents or placed with a relative, the parents will be ordered to comply with the plan. This plan may include parenting classes, counseling, visitation requirements and drug/alcohol counseling. The Social Worker will coordinate services for the parents and children. It is important for parents to cooperate with both their attorney and the Social Worker.

Review hearings are held every 6 months to review the status of each dependent child. Prior to the hearing, the supervising social worker will prepare a report which includes: (1) the recommendation regarding the continuation of services and the placement of the children; (2) a description of the services provided the parents to correct the problems which resulted in the child becoming a dependent of the Juvenile court; (3) a discussion of the parents’ progress and cooperation; (4) if the child is with the parents, a recommendation as to the need for continuing supervision and; (5) if the child is out of the home, a recommendation as to whether the child can be returned to the parents; and (6) if the child can’t be returned, an alternative permanent plan. If the report indicates that the family problems are resolved, the court may terminate dependency at this time. If problems remain which require the help of the Department, dependency will continue. Such reviews occur as long as the child remains a dependent of the Court.

366.26 HEARING:
After the second 6-month review hearing, if there has not been adequate progress in correcting the family’s problems, the court may conduct what is called a 366.26 hearing. At a 366.26 hearing,  the Court will determine if the parental rights of the parents should be terminated. If they are terminated, an attempt will be made to find a permanent home for the child in an adoption, guardianship or long term foster placement.

Juvenile Court Files
All juvenile records are confidential. If the minor, parents, legal guardians or attorneys of record wamt to obtain copies of court minute orders and selected court documents, they must appear at the window of the Juvenile Clerk with photo identification. The records will not be mailed.


What is a Dependent (300 W&I)?
A dependent in the juvenile court pertains to a minor who has been neglected and/or abused.
What is a Delinquent (602 W&I)?
A delinquent in the juvenile court pertains to a minor under the age of 18 years who has committed an act (criminal in nature).
What is a Detention Hearing?
A Detention Hearing is held in juvenile cases when a minor has been removed from the home of his/her parents/guardians because of abuse (300 W&I cases) or when the minor has committed certain crimes (602 W&I cases). At the Detention Hearing the minor and or his/her parents/guardians are advised of the allegations, counsel may be appointed and future hearing dates are set and a determination is made if the minor should remain detained. For juvenile dependents the minor is usually placed in a Foster Home. For juvenile delinquents the minor is usually placed in Juvenile Hall.
What is a Jurisdictional Hearing?
At a Jurisdictional Hearing in Juvenile Dependency cases the minor's parents/guardians can admit or deny the allegations. In Juvenile Delinquency cases the minor can admit or deny the allegations.
What is a Dispositional Hearing?
At a Dispositional Hearing in a Juvenile Dependency case the Court will decide on a reunification plan for the parents/guardians and decide where the minor will be placed. In Juvenile Delinquency cases the Dispositional Hearing is equivalent to a sentencing hearing in Adult Court where the minor is usually placed on probation.
What is a Review Hearing?
Review Hearings are held in both Dependency and Delinquency cases and are held every six months or sooner to determine the status of the minor.
Can my child's records be sealed?
Yes, but not in all cases and the sealing is not automatic. Please contact your child's attorney or the Yolo Probation Department (530) 406-5320.


Main Courthouse
1000 Main Street,
Woodland, CA 95695

Phone: (530) 406-6725
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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