31-37-12 Initial Hearing
Ordinarily, the Initial Hearing will be the juvenile's first appearance
in court after a Delinquency Petition has been filed by the Prosecuting
Attorney. If the juvenile is in custody, a Detention Hearing may
have already been held, or may be conducted at the same time as
the Initial Hearing. At the Initial Hearing, the Juvenile Court
will appoint counsel (Public Defender) for the child if necessary,
and will advise the child and his parents or guardians of the charges,
and of his/her rights in a juvenile proceeding.
If the child admits the allegations of the Delinquency Petition
at the Initial Hearing, the court may proceed immediately with a
Dispositional Hearing, if agreed by the State (Prosecuting Attorney)
and the child. Otherwise, the Dispositional Hearing is scheduled
for a future date. If the child denies the allegations of the Delinquency
Petition, the court may proceed immediately with a Factfinding Hearing,
if agreed by the State (Prosecuting Attorney) and the child. Otherwise,
the Factfinding Hearing is scheduled for a future date.
In many juvenile courts in Indiana (not Clark County), the Juvenile Court Judge will routinely schedule a
Pretrial Conference at the Initial Hearing. At the Pretrial Conference,
the State (Prosecuting Attorney) will confer with the juvenile and
counsel, and may reach an agreement wherein the juvenile will admit
certain acts alleged conditioned upon a certain disposition. This
agreement is then submitted to the Juvenile Court for approval.
If accepted, the court will schedule a Dispositional Hearing and
adjudicate the case in accordance with the terms of the agreement.
If rejected, the court will schedule a Factfinding Hearing.
31-37-13 Factfinding Hearing
A Factfinding Hearing is a trial to determine the facts. There
is no jury trial. The Judge of the Juvenile Court sits as the factfinder
and renders judgment. The State (Prosecuting Attorney) presents
evidence and bears the burden of proving the allegations of the
Delinquency Petition beyond a reasonable doubt. The juvenile has
the right to counsel, the right to confront and cross examine all
witnesses, and the right to obtain witnesses and tangible evidence
by compulsory process. The juvenile also has the right to present
evidence on his own behalf, and need not testify against himself.
If the court finds that the allegations have not been proved, the
juvenile is discharged. If the court finds that the allegations
have been proved, judgment is entered and a Dispositional Hearing
is scheduled. The Juvenile Court Probation Department will be ordered
to prepare a Predispositional Report that contains a recommendation
for the care, treatment, or rehabilitation of the child, and the
appropriate participation, financially and otherwise, of the parents
or guardians. The juvenile has the right to file an alternative
31-37-19 Dispositional Hearing and Decree
When consistent with the safety of the community and the welfare
of the child, the Juvenile Court shall enter a Dispositional Decree
(1) is in the least restrictive (most family-like) and most appropriate setting available, and close to the parents' home, consistent with the best interests and special needs of the child;
(2) least interferes with family autonomy;
(3) is least disruptive of family life;
(4) imposes the least restraint on the freedom of the child and
the child's parent, guardian, or custodian; and
(5) provides a reasonable opportunity for participation by the
child's parent, guardian, or custodian.
Upon a finding of delinquency, the Juvenile Court has the following
(1) Award wardship over the juvenile to the Indiana Department
(a) until age 18 if the child is at least 13 and less than 16 and
commits murder, kidnapping, rape, criminal deviate conduct, robbery
committed with a deadly weapon or resulting in bodily or serious
(b) for not more than 2 years if:
(i) the act committed was a felony against a person, or a Class
A or B felony that is a controlled substance offense, or Burglary
as a Class A or B felony; and
(ii) if the child is at least 14 years of age and the child has
committed two, unrelated, prior adjudicated acts of delinquency
that would be felonies if committed by an adult.
(2) Place the juvenile in a juvenile detention facility for up
to 90 days if the juvenile is less than 17 years old, or up to 120
days if the juvenile is at least 17 years of age.
(3) Remove the juvenile from his/her home and place the juvenile
in another home or shelter care facility.
(4) Award wardship over the juvenile to any other person or shelter
(5) Place the juvenile in a secure private facility for children
licensed under Indiana laws.
(6) Order a person who is a party to refrain from direct or indirect
contact with the juvenile.
(7) Order HIV testing if the juvenile is convicted of certain
sex and/or controlled substance offenses.
(8) Order supervision of the child by the Juvenile Court Probation
Department, with the juvenile and parents to pay an initial probation
user's fee of not less than $25.00 or more than $100.00 and a monthly
probation user's fee of not less than $5.00 or more than $15.00.
(9) Order the juvenile to receive psychiatric, medical or educational
(10) Order the juvenile to attend an alcohol or drug service program.
(11) Order the juvenile to surrender his/her driver's license
for a specified period of time.
(12) Order the juvenile pay restitution to the crime victim.
(13) Partially or completely emancipate the juvenile.
(14) Order the juvenile to perform community service for a specified
period of time.