The Ashtabula County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division is committed to administering juvenile justice and protecting the rights and serving the best interest of children, families, parents and community. Our mission is as follows:
1. To provide for the care, protection, and mental and physical development of children;
2. To provide supervision, care and rehabilitation, whenever possible, in a family environment, separating the child from his or her parents only when necessary for his or her welfare or in the interest of public safety;
3. To provide judicial procedures in which the parties are assured of a fair hearing, and their constitutional and other legal rights are recognized and enforced.
Delinquency and Unruly
Initiation Police or other persons present information about possible delinquent or unruly children to the Court. If the information is sufficient, and alternatives like mediation are not appropriate, an official complaint is filed.
Arraignment At an arraignment, the Court reviews the Juvenile’s rights, read and explains the complaint to the Juvenile and parent(s) and reviews the possible consequences of the charge. If the Juvenile requests court appointed counsel, the parent(s) completes an indigence form to see if the Juvenile qualifies for that service.
Adjudication After the arraignment, the Court holds a hearing to determine whether the Juvenile is delinquent or unruly. The Court makes this decision only after considering all other evidence presented from all parties.
Disposition Following adjudication, the Court decides what action will be taken with the Juvenile. For example, the Juvenile may be placed in the Youth Detention Center, placed on house arrest, placed on probation or ordered to participate in services.
Arraignment All traffic cases are set for arraignment at 9:00 a.m. on the Friday following the citation. At the arraignment, the Court reviews the Juvenile’s rights, reads and explains the citation to the Juvenile and parent(s) and reviews the consequences for the citation. If the Juvenile denies the traffic violation, the matter is scheduled for a pretrial.
Pretrial A pretrial is an informal hearing with an Assistant Prosecutor. A pretrial is scheduled to determine if the parties can reach agreement regarding the traffic citation. If the parties cannot reach agreement, the matter is then scheduled for a trial.
Adjudication/Trial A trial is a hearing where the State of Ohio must prove the traffic violation. The Court makes a determination if the child is a juvenile traffic offender after hearing all of the evidence from both sides of the case.
Disposition Following the adjudication/trial, the Court decides what action will be taken with the Juvenile. If the Juvenile is found to be a juvenile traffic offender, the Court may assess fines, court costs and points, order probation, restrict driving privileges, or require attendance at driving classes. Where there is insufficient evidence that the Juvenile has violated a traffic law, the Court will dismiss the case.
Abuse, Neglect, Dependency Cases
Ashtabula County Children Services Board presents information about possible abuse, neglect and dependency cases to the Court. In limited circumstances, a private person may also file a complaint of abuse, neglect, and dependency. If warranted, the Court may order Children Services Board to care for the child in the event of an emergency.
Adjudicatory Thirty days after a case is initiated an adjudicatory hearing is held. If necessary the matter is set for an evidentiary hearing.
Disposition Following adjudication, the Court decides what action will be taken with the children and the family. For example, the Court may order Children Services to care for the child for a period of time. The Court may also order the parents to cooperate with various services to insure the child’s safety.