Juvenile Court
101 E. Huron, PO Box 8645
Ann Arbor, MI 48107-8645
(734) 222- 6900



In the Juvenile Court, there are two major categories of delinquency as follows:

1.  Juvenile Court Proceedings

Petition Process Flowchart--(PDF)

  • Criminal Code Offenses - Cases in which persons under the age of 17 years are accused of violation of criminal law (including misdemeanor, felony, and motor vehicle offenses). At the initiation of the Prosecutor, juveniles may be tried and sentenced as adults by the Juvenile Court of the court in designated proceedings and either sentenced as adults, given a juvenile disposition or both.
  • Status Offenses - Cases in which persons under 17 are accused of certain age-based offenses (truancy, run-away from home, curfew, etc.)

If a child agrees to be assigned to one of the Court's alternative programs or is found (by jury, non-jury trial or plea) to be guilty of a delinquent offense, the Court determines and provides a plan for that child that combines accountability for the specific offense and services to help the child not commit future offenses.

To develop and implement these plans, the Court is staffed by specialists who provide assessment, case management, surveillance, educational, therapeutic, guidance and probationary services to delinquent offenders and their families.  Besides using its own resources, the Court taps an unlimited range of community programs, the Department of Human Services  and private providers of juvenile treatment options to accomplish its rehabilitative mission.

In juvenile proceedings, the Juvenile Court has authority over the parents of each child in the jurisdiction of the Court and may acquire jurisdiction of any adult found to have an affect on such child's health, safety and morals.

In all delinquency proceedings, children and victims have the same constitutional rights as in criminal court.

2.  Criminal Court Proceedings (Waiver)

Waiver is the process for giving jurisdiction to the criminal court to try a juvenile as an adult.  There are two kinds of waivers:

  • Prosecutorial:  The prosecutor may file a warrant instead of a petition or within 5 days after a petition has been submitted to the family court if the minor is at least 14 years old and is accused of a capital offense  MCL 712A.2a(1).  If the minor is convicted in circuit court, that judge may either sentence the juvenile as an adult or make a juvenile disposition for the minor.
  • Judicial:  The Prosecutor requests the Family Judge to hold a hearing to waive a minor 14 years or older regardless of offense.  For a waiver to occur, the Prosecutor must show probable cause that a serious offense was committed and that the minor and the community will not be served by a juvenile disposition.

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