|Location:||Montgomery County Circuit Court
South Tower 3rd floor, Rm 3580
|Hours of Operation:||8:30 am - 4:30 pm|
The Juvenile Department processes juvenile pleadings in the Circuit Court for the following case types : Child In Need of Assistance (CINA), Termination of Parental Rights (TPR), Voluntary Placements, Peace Order against a minor, and Delinquency cases. The Juvenile Department also provides courtroom coverage for designated juvenile courtrooms.
- The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services files all CINA, TPR and Voluntary Placement Petitions. Their phone number is 240-777-1266.
- The Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice files Peace Order Petitions and Detention Petitions. The phone number for the Rockville Office is: 301-610-8500.
- The Maryland State’s Attorney’s Office files Delinquency Petitions. Their phone number is: 240-777-7300.
All communication with the Court should be filed with the Juvenile Clerk in writing with copies provided to all parties involved in the case. The Circuit Court does not accept filings by facsimile or email.
Juvenile court files and proceedings are confidential; however, courtrooms are open to the public in delinquency cases only unless closed by the presiding Judge. CINA, TPR, Voluntary Placement, Adoption, and Guardianship proceedings are not open to the general public. Only an attorney of record is entitled to review court files.
The majority of cases processed by the Juvenile Department fall into two categories:
- CINA (Child In Need of Assistance) Cases - These cases involve children and their families who require court intervention because the child has either been abused or neglected; has a developmental disability or a mental disorder ; and the child’s parents, guardian, or custodian are unable or unwilling to give the child proper care and attention.
- Delinquency Cases – These cases involve children who have committed a “delinquent act,” which is an act that would be a crime if committed by an adult.
CINA Case Proceedings
The following hearings take place during CINA case proceedings. While some hearings are applicable to all CINA cases, others are specific to one of the following two situations upon the filing of a petition:
- A child is taken out of parent/guardian’s home.
- Parent(s) or guardian(s) receive a notice of a CINA Petition filed on behalf of his/her child.
If a child is removed from his/her home, a Shelter Hearing takes place no later than the next business day that the Court is in session. Shelter Hearings occur at 1:30 pm. At the Shelter Hearing, the Judge determines if the temporary placement of the child outside the home is warranted.
A Preliminary Inquiry is held when the Department of Health and Human Services has filed a CINA Petition with the Court, but the child has not been removed from the home. At this court proceeding, the Judge serves the parents, guardian, or custodian with a copy of the Petition and informs them of the importance of retaining an attorney.
CINA Pre-Trial Hearings are always held on either a Tuesday or Thursday at 11:30 am. If the parties have an agreement, the Judge can hear the agreement and proceed to the Disposition Hearing. If the parties do not have an agreement, they will proceed to Mediation on the same day. Mediation begins at 1:30 pm and lasts until 4:30 pm. Mediation is mandatory unless there are parallel criminal charges. If the parties reach an agreement at Mediation, they can present this to the Judge in the courtroom, and the Clerk will make the agreement part of the Court’s record. If the parties do not reach an agreement, they will return to the courtroom and go before the Judge to confirm the Adjudicatory Hearing date and estimated length of trial.
At the Adjudicatory Hearing, the County Attorney must prove the allegations in the Petition. If a child is in shelter care, the Adjudicatory Hearing must take place within 30 days of the Shelter Hearing. If the child is not in shelter care, the Adjudicatory Hearing must take place within 60 days of the Preliminary Inquiry or within 60 days of service of the Petition on the parents, guardian, or custodian.
If the allegations in the CINA Petition are proved or admitted to, the Judge must proceed to a separate Disposition Hearing unless he/she finds good cause for delay. At the Disposition Hearing, the Judge determines if the allegations in the CINA Petition are sufficient to find the child in need of assistance. The Judge also determines the placement of the child (i.e., whether to return the child home or place the child out-of-home).
Six- Month Review Hearing(3-816.2)
If the child is placed out of the home, the Judge holds a Review Hearing six months from the date that the child was removed from the home. The Judge reviews the safety of the child, continuing necessity for an appropriateness of the placement, extent of compliance with the case plan, and the extent of the family’s progress.
Permanency Planning Hearing
A Permanency Planning Hearing is held within 11 months and 30 days from the removal of a child from his/her home. At this hearing, the Judge determines the permanency plan for the child. The permanency plan could be reunification with a parent or guardian, placing the child with relatives, or adoption. If a child remains with their parent or guardian, a Permanency Planning Hearing is not required.
Review of Permanency Planning Hearing
At six months from the Permanency Planning Hearing, a Review of Permanency Planning Hearing is set to review the child’s current condition within their permanency plan. At this hearing, the judge may review and/or change the permanency plan if necessary, change the child’s placement if necessary, or return the child home if the case-plan has been met and no further likelihood of abuse or neglect has been found.
The following hearings take place during Juvenile Delinquency case proceedings. While some hearings are applicable to all cases in Juvenile Delinquency, others are specific to one of the following two situations upon the filing of a Petition:
- A Child is arrested and detained
- A Child is arrested and released, and his/her parent received a notice of Delinquency Petition filed in the Juvenile Court
If a child is arrested and detained, a Detention Hearing is held no later than the next business day that the Court is in session. All Detention Hearings are scheduled at 1:30 pm. At the Detention Hearing, the Judge determines whether the child will continue to be detained or released pending the next Court date and advises of their rights to an attorney and possible claim(s) for restitution.
A Preliminary Inquiry is held when the State’s Attorney’s Office has filed a Delinquency Petition with the Court, but the child remains in his/her home. At this court proceeding, the Judge serves the parents, guardian, or custodian with a copy of the Petition and informs the child of his/her right to an attorney and claim(s) for restitution if applicable. The new dates will be confirmed by the Judge and the parties involved in the matter. Preliminary Inquiries are always held on Tuesdays at 8:00 am.
Delinquent Pre-Trial Hearings are always held on Wednesdays at 8:30 am. At this court proceeding, the parties may enter into a plea agreement and proceed to a Disposition Hearing, schedule a plea date (also known as Adjudication no witness), and/or confirm the Adjudicatory Hearing date and expected length of trial. A petition can be placed on the stet docket at the Attorneys’ discretion.
At the Adjudicatory Hearing the State’s Attorney must prove the allegations in the Petition that the child has committed a delinquent act, beyond a reasonable doubt. If the child is detained, the Adjudicatory Hearing must take place within 30 days of the Detention Hearing. If the child is not detained, the Adjudicatory Hearing must take place within 60 days of the Preliminary Inquiry or the date on which the child is served with the Petition.
Detention Review Hearing
Detention Review Hearings are held every 14 days between the Adjudicatory Hearing and the Final Disposition Hearing to review the respondent’s condition while he/she is being detained. These hearings are only held for those respondents who are either being detained at a Juvenile Detention Facility, or those who are on any sort of Community Detention (ex: Home Electronic Monitoring (H.E.M.,), Global Positioning System (G.P.S.) Monitoring, and the Evening Reporting Center (E.R.C).
If the allegations in the Delinquency Petition are proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the Judge must proceed to a separate Disposition Hearing. At the Disposition Hearing, the Judge determines if the child has committed a delinquent act and is in current need of services (guidance, treatment, or rehabilitation). The Department of Juvenile Services most often provides services . The Judge may place the child on probation or order the child to be placed out of the home. If the Respondent is detained, a disposition hearing must be held within 14 days unless good cause is found. If the respondent is not detained, disposition must be held within 30 days unless good cause found.
Pending Placement Status Hearing
At the Final Disposition Hearing, if the judge decides to commit the respondent to the Department of Juvenile Services for placement into either a locked detention facility or a residential treatment facility, the Court must set a Pending Placement Status Hearing approximately 25 days from the initial date that the respondent is committed. Until the respondent is officially placed into the court ordered treatment facility, a Pending Placement Status Hearing must be set once every 25 days until the Respondent is placed.
Violation of Probation Hearing
If the respondent is placed on either supervised or unsupervised probation, and the respondent violates any term of his/her probation contract, the Department of Juvenile Services will most likely file a Petition to revoke the respondent’s probation. A violation of probation hearing is set approximately 2 weeks after the Department of Juvenile Services files the Petition to revoke the respondent’s probation.
A Judge may hold a Review/Release Hearing at the request of a party or the Department of Juvenile Services. Review/Release Hearings are held when a child has completed a program or placement either successfully or unsuccessfully.
A Judge may hold a Review Hearing at the request of a party or the Department of Juvenile Services.
If the parties are not in agreement, a Restitution Hearing is held to determine what restitution is owed to the victims of the delinquent act. If the child and/or his/her parents are found liable, the Judge may enter a restitution order against them in the maximum amount of $10,000 per incident. A judgment of restitution may also be entered against the child and/or his/her parents; however, the Judge must afford the parents a reasonable opportunity to be heard and to present evidence.
Permanency Planning Hearing
A Permanency Planning Hearing must be held within 11 months and 30 days after a child becomes eligible for Title IV-E (Federal Foster Care and Adoption Assistance Program) reimbursement, often when a child is moved from a detention facility to an eligible foster care placement.
An expungement of a respondent’s juvenile record may be requested by the respondent in the case after 2 years from the conclusion of the case. The respondent requesting the expungement must be at least 18 years or older to request the expungement and must have a valid photo ID. An expungement request form must be completely filled out and returned to the juvenile office promptly to be processed. For an expungement of a case with a disposition of either dismissed or not delinquent, there is no fee associated with the expungement. If the disposition in the case is delinquent, there is a non-refundable $30 charge for the expungement.
Once the request is filed with the Juvenile Department, there is a 30-day waiting period for all parties in the case to be notified. Once the 30 days has passed, the judge presiding over the case will rule on the request and will issue an order that will be sent out to all parties.
Upon the respondent turning age 21, the respondent’s case is automatically sealed. If there is a request that is made to seal the case prior to the respondent turning age 21, a written motion is required to be filed with the Juvenile Department. Upon filing the motion to seal the case, the judge presiding over the case will rule on the motion and will issue an order to all parties.
If a parent or a respondent is requesting a record check, the request itself must be put in writing. The person requesting the record check must give the reasoning for the record check within the written request itself, along with a valid photo ID and a fully completed release form (provided by the Juvenile Department). There is no fee for the request for a records check.
50 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850
Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM