Juvenile Justice

The Juvenile Court is presided over by one of the judges of the circuit court, a court of general, unlimited jurisdiction. The child is not regarded as a criminal. It is, rather, looked upon as needing the fostering care of the state by reason of its delinquency, which evidences the failure of its natural parents to train it to good citizenship.


Juvenile Court Overview

The following juvenile-related matters are handled by Juvenile Court:

  1. Juvenile Dependency
    A juvenile becomes a dependent of the Juvenile Court when the juvenile's home is deemed unfit because of neglect or abuse.
    For a general overview of this process, visit Fresno County Superior Court's Juvenile Dependency flowchart
  2. Juvenile Delinquency
    When a child has committed a criminal act, the child is deemed a delinquent and may be made a ward of the Juvenile Court. The Court's jurisdiction is usually over youths under the age of 18 years and may extend until the youth's 21st birthday. In certain cases, the wardship may extend until the age of 25 years.
    For a general overview of this process, visit Fresno County Superior Court's Juvenile Delinquency flowchart
  3. Juvenile Traffic Citations and/or Minor Offenses

    Juvenile traffic misdemeanors are handled by Traffic Court located at 3131 Arrow St Bakersfield, CA 93308

    Your courtesy notice and citation will indicate which court branch will handle your case.

    1. Juveniles must personally appear with a parent or legal guardian.
    2. The juvenile must present photo ID.
    3. Should have the citation or citation number.

    Juvenile traffic infractions in the Metropolitan Division, you must visit the Traffic Court located at 3131 Arrow St Bakersfield, CA 93308

    Metropolitan Division Juvenile traffic court cases are heard every 1st and 3rd Wednesday afternoon of each month. Because the Juvenile Court calendar has limited space and fills quickly, it is advised you make arrangements with the Traffic Court as quickly as possible upon receipt of your courtesy notice but no later than the due date on your notice. This request must be made in person as noted above.

    Mandatory Appearance: If a juvenile is cited for a moving violation, it is an automatic mandatory violation. If you are not sure, you may call the Traffic Department for this one question. This will be the only question concerning your citation that may be answered. All other questions or requests must be made in person and you must have your parent/legal guardian with you.

For further information visit California Courts/Judicial Council - Juvenile Court