Case Manager

The adult that oversees each peer panel. The case manager is responsible for maintaining a professional environment as well as ensuring that the teen panel members are conducting their questioning in an appropriate manner based on the concepts of Restorative Justice.

Community Impact Panel

A two-hour Teen Court class where concerned members of the community (who work in retail, loss prevention, management, law enforcement, and the military) can discuss the impact that crimes (primarily shoplifting but also trespassing, graffiti, and property damage) have on their lives, their businesses, and their employees. Panel members have the opportunity to share their individual experiences and stories with a group of defendants in a confidential, safe environment.

Community Service

Community service refers to a portion of sentencing involving an activity that benefits the community to compensate for harm done. The object of community service is to provide unpaid work which is of value to the community as an alternative to custody. Teen Court defendants are required to complete their community service hours at a NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION. Teen Court defendants may also complete their hours at schools, churches, or community centers (online community service will not be accepted). Unlike Municipal Court defendants, Teen Court defendants are not required to pay a registration fee to perform community service.

Deferred Sentence

A deferred sentence refers to a postponed, or delayed sentence in a criminal matter. For Teen Court defendants, a guilty plea must be entered at the defendant's arraignment. The guilty plea will be on the defendant's record for six months. If the defendant successfully completes all sentence requirements, at the conclusion of the six month period, the court will review the defendant’s case and dismiss the charge against him/her. If, however, the defendant does not complete all sentence requirements the court will enter a permanent conviction on the defendant's record.

Due Date

Teen Court defendants are given THREE MONTHS from the day of their hearing to complete all sentence requirements. Successful completion of all sentence requirements by the defendant's due date will result in the issuance of a compliance. Consequently, failure to complete all sentence requirements by the defendant's due date will result in the issuance of a non-compliance and may result in the defendant and his/her parent/legal guardian having to appear in court on the defendant's review date.

Expunged

After successfully completing a deferred sentence program like Teen Court, defendants may petition the court to have their juvenile records sealed. A defendant is eligible to apply for expungement ONE YEAR from the his/her review date with Municipal Court as long as he/she does not receive any new criminal charges.

Mediation

A sentencing hearing where defendants, parents, and victims (teachers, school resource officers, members of the community etc.) agree to mediate in good faith to come up with a plan to repair the harm that was done. All participants in the mediation will sign a mediation contract and determine an appropriate sentence with the help of a trained restorative mediator who acts as a neutral party.

Peer Panel

A sentencing hearing comprised of three to six teen volunteers and an adult case manager. Defendants and parents going through this process are questioned separately by the teen panel members before a sentence is given.

Peer Panels

A sentencing hearing comprised of three to six teen volunteers and an adult case manager. Defendants and parents going through this process are questioned separately by the teen panel members before a sentence is given.

Review Date

A review date marks the end of a defendant's six month deferred sentence with Municipal Court. Defendants who successfully complete their sentence by their due date will receive a dismissal letter from the City Attorneys Office waiving their required appearance on their review date. Defendants who fail to complete their Teen Court sentence will be required to appear in court on their review date with a parent/legal guardian to speak to a judge about their non-compliance.

Sentencing Hearing

The process where a defendant comes through the Teen Court program and receives sentence requirements that they must complete as part of their deferred sentence agreement with Municipal Court. Teen Court defendants are sentenced by a Peer Panel, a Trial by peer jury, or in a Restorative Mediation (based on the age of the defendant and the circumstances of the offense).

Teen Court

A deferred sentence program based on the concepts of Restorative Justice. This program is an alternative to regular court sentencing for eligible first-time misdemeanor juvenile offenders between the ages of 10 and 18. Defendants who plead guilty to their charge and agree to participate in the program will be sentenced by a panel or jury of their peers. Although Teen Court works in tandem with the Municipal Court system, it remains a locally-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that relies on community support to sustain its programs.

Trial

A sentencing hearing conducted in a formal courtroom setting before a real judge. Teams of student attorneys present both the defense and prosecution arguments with the help of their mentor attorneys (volunteer lawyers). The jury, made up of former defendants who have already been sentenced, deliberates on an appropriate sentence for the defendant(s) on trial.

Trials

A sentencing hearing conducted in a formal courtroom setting before a real judge. Teams of student attorneys present both the defense and prosecution arguments with the help of their mentor attorneys (volunteer lawyers). The jury, made up of former defendants who have already been sentenced, deliberates on an appropriate sentence for the defendant(s) on trial.