|Location:||Montgomery County Circuit Court
South Tower 3rd floor, Rm 3580
|Hours of Operation:||8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.|
Mailing Address: 50 Maryland Ave. Rockville, Maryland 20850
Attn: Juvenile Department
The Juvenile Department is responsible for the processing of all 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 is also responsible for providing courtroom coverage for the designated juvenile courtrooms.
- CINA, TPR and Voluntary Placement petitions are all filed by the Department of Health and Human Services. Their phone number is 240-777-6700.
- Peace Order petitions are filed by the Department of Juvenile Services. Their phone number is: 301-610-8500.
- Delinquency Petitions are filed by the State’s Attorney’s Office. 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. Pursuant to Rule 1-322 of the Maryland Code, no pleading may be filed by transmitting it directly to the court by electronic transmission.
Juvenile court files and proceedings are confidential; however, the courtrooms are open to the public unless closed by the presiding Judge. A party and/or their attorney of record are entitled to review court files.
The majority of cases processed by the Juvenile Department fall into two categories:
- CINA Cases (Child In Need of Assistance) - 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.
- Delinquent 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 ProceedingsThe 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 are scheduled at 1:30 p.m. 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 a.m. 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 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. Mediation is mandatory unless there are parallel criminal charges. If the parties reach an agreement at Mediation, their agreement can be presented to the Judge in the courtroom and the agreement made 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
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(s) or guardian, a Permanency Planning Hearing is not required.
- 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 Hearing are scheduled at 1:30 p.m. At the Detention Hearing, the Judge determines whether the child shall continue to be detained or released pending the next court date.
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.
Delinquent Pre-Trial Hearings are always held on Wednesdays. 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.
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.
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). Services are most often provided by the Department of Juvenile Services. The Judge may place the child on probation or order the child to be placed out of the home.
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 parent 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.
50 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850
Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM