David Zak, Chief Prosecutor
Shelby County Juvenile Court has exclusive original jurisdiction over any child under the age of 18 alleged to have committed a delinquent act within its jurisdiction. If a child commits a delinquent act, prosecutors from the D.A.’s Juvenile Court Section file a petition to the court for a finding of delinquency.
Prosecutors manage juvenile detention dockets daily. These cases address youth brought to Juvenile Court who are deemed not suitable for immediate release without a hearing.
There are eight delinquency dockets each week to determine facts of the case, and disposition. Upon finding that the delinquent act was committed by the juvenile, the Court will determine which of the treatment alternatives best suits the child and circumstances.
Once a week, there is a truancy docket to handle truants and truants' parents or guardians. As of 2011, the Juvenile Court Section began to pursue "Educational Neglect" charges against parents and guardians who fail to cooperate in getting a child in their care to school.
Prosecutors may, under certain circumstances, seek to transfer a child to Criminal Court for prosecution as an adult. A Juvenile Court Judge may grant the transfer based upon proof of probable cause presented by prosecutors.