Juvenile Court FAQ

Why can't the juvenile court lock my kid up? He needs it.

He may need it, but children have constitutional and legal rights just like adults do. A government agency like the Sheriff's Office, the Department of Juvenile Justice or even a judge generally cannot place a child in a secure government detention facility unless that child has committed a violation of the criminal laws of the state. Usually, the violation needs to be serious in nature for detention to occur. The general rule of thumb to remember is that if an adult can't be placed in jail for doing it, neither can a child.

What happens if I refuse to take my kid home if the police arrest him or he commits a crime?

As a parent, you are legally responsible to provide all the necessaries for your child until he reaches the age of maturity - 18 years of age - or is otherwise emancipated. As such, you can be charged with crimes such as child abandonment if you refuse to take your child back. Your child is your responsibility to provide for and not the government's.

How do I file a complaint against a child?

You will need to have the child's name, age or birthday, address, and the name of the person the child stays with. The child must be a resident of Forsyth County or the incident must have occurred in Forsyth County. Go to the Sheriff's Office or come to the Juvenile Justice Center, 875 Lanier 400 Parkway, Cumming, Georgia. Ask for Juvenile Services.

How do I report neglect/deprivation?

Call the Forsyth County Department of Family and Children's Services hotline, at 770-781-6700. Ask for Intake.

How do I legitimate a child?

Ask the Case Manager assigned to your case for directions. If your child does not have a case in Juvenile Court, the matter must be filed in Superior Court.

How do I get custody of a child? How do I terminate custody?

Call 770-781-309 9 to get information about your particular situation. Third party Private Petition paperwork is available on this website.

How do I report a runaway?

Call 770-781-2222 to get information about your particular situation. Child must be gone for over 24 hours. Child's whereabouts must be unknown.

How can I become emancipated?

The Juvenile Services office has an emancipation petition that you will need to complete in order to apply for emancipation. In order to file the petition, a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate must be attached along with proof of housing and employment (or other means of support besides TANF or SSI). The petition must be accompanied by three affidavits from adults who believe that emancipation is in the best interest of the child. The minor must be a resident of Georgia and live in Forsyth County.

What happens if I cannot appear at my hearing or I miss a court date?

If you are unable to appear in court, contact the Case Manager/Probation Officer assigned to your division case at least 48 hours perior to your scheduled hearing. If you do not appear at your hearing and fail to notify the court, a warrant may be issued for your arrest. You should also keep in mind that a judge may make a ruling in your case without your presence.

When is my court date? What time is my hearing?

If you have questions about your case you may contact the Division Case Manager or Probation Officer assigned to your case. Our phone line offers assistance on address and location.

What if I need special assistance?

If you have a disability, speak another language, or require special accommodations in the courtroom, please call prior to your hearing to allow court staff to properly assist you.