Juvenile Court | Frequently Asked Questions
Juvenile Dependency 850.577.4120
Under Florida Statutes, chapter 39, a dependent child is one who has been found by a court to:
- Have been abandoned, abused, or neglected by the child's parent or parents or legal custodians
- Have been surrendered to the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) or a licensed child-placing agency for purpose of adoption
- Have been voluntarily placed with a licensed child-caring agency, a licensed child-placing agency, an adult relative, or DCFS, after which placement a case plan has expired and the parents or legal custodians have failed to comply wit the requirements of the plan
- Have been voluntarily placed with a licensed child-caring agency for the purposes of subsequent adoption, and the parents have signed a consent pursuant to the Florida Rules of Juvenile Procedure
- Have no parent or legal custodians capable of providing supervision and care
- Be at substantial risk of imminent abuse, abandonment, or neglect by the parents or legal custodians.
You may contact the Department of Children and Families at (850) 488-0500.
The Department of Children and Families will notify you of the initial court date. If you need information regarding any future court date and time of hearing, you may visit the Clerk of Court's Office, located at 301 S. Monroe Street, Suite 100, Tallahassee, FL. Proper identification is required.
Under Florida Statutes, Chapter 984, a "child in need of services" is a child for whom there is no pending investigation into an allegation or suspicion of abuse, neglect, or abandonment; no pending referral alleging the child is delinquent; or no current supervision by DJJ or DCFS for an adjudication of dependency or delinquency. The child must also be found by the court:
- To have persistently run away from the child's parents or legal custodians, despite reasonable efforts of the child, the parents or legal custodians, and appropriate agencies to remedy the conditions contributing to the behavior.
- To be habitually truant from school, while subject to compulsory school attendance, despite reasonable efforts to remedy the situation.
- To have persistently disobeyed the reasonable and lawful demands of the child's parents or legal custodians, and to be beyond their control, despite efforts by the child's parents or legal custodians and appropriate agencies to remedy the conditions contributing to the behavior.
Under Florida Statutes, Chapter 984, a "family in need of services" means a family that has a child who is:
- Running away.
- Persistently disobeying reasonable and lawful demands of the parent or legal custodian and is beyond the control of the parent or legal custodian.
- Habitually truant from school or engaging in other serious behaviors that place the child at risk of future abuse, neglect, or abandonment or at risk of entering the Juvenile justice system.
- A family is not eligible to receive services if, at the the time of the referral, there is an open investigation into an allegation of abuse, neglect, or abandonment or if te child is currently under supervision by DJJ or DCFS due to an adjudication of dependency or delinquency.
Where can I go to get guardianship of a child who is in my care and has no court
intervention involving abandonment or abuse?
Information may be obtained by contacting the Probate Division of the Leon County Clerk's Office at (850) 577-4180.
Juvenile delinquency involves anyone under the age of 18 that has been arrested and/or charged with a crime.
What can I do to get help for my child, if he/she is at risk of entering the Juvenile Justice system?
You may contact any of the Resource Agencies listed here.
This information can be obtained by calling the Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC) at (850) 574-8814.
Information regarding Juveniles is confidential and cannot be discussed over the telephone. With proper identification, parties authorized to have access to the court file, i.e., parents, legal guardian, child and his/her attorney, can visit the Clerk's Office located in the Leon County Courthouse, 301 S. Monroe Street, Suite 100, Tallahassee, FL to receive this information.
The Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC) is a centralized processing, referral, and evaluation center for all Juveniles arrested in this area. The facility includes the Civil Citation (diversion) Program, Central Booking and Intake, Assessment and Referral, Case Management, and a comprehensive Management Information System.
By centralizing the law enforcement booking and intake functions at a single location staffed by certified corrections officers, the Leon County JAC saves the local economy a substantial amount of money each year. Prior to the opening of the JAC, law enforcement officers spent an average of 4.5 hours off the street for each arrest. In contrast, law enforcement officers spend only 15 minutes per arrest now that the JAC handles booking and intake.
No. If the child meets the criteria to be detained securely, he/she is transported to the Leon Regional Detention Center until the detention hearing is held and the court determines detention status. If the child does not meet the criteria to be detained, the child will be released to the proper custodian with a written notice to appear before the Juvenile Judge at a later date.
The waiting period is up to six hours.
With proper identification, the Juvenile Division of the Leon County Clerk's Office, 301 S. Monroe Street, Suite 100, Tallahassee, FL can perform a record search for a fee. You may also get photocopies for a fee.
- Capital City Youth Services
- Department of Children and Families
- Department of Juvenile Justice
- DISC Village
- FAMU Police Department
- FSU Police Department
- Juvenile Assessment Center
- Leon County Clerk of Court
- Leon County Court Administrator
- Leon County School Board
- Leon County Sheriff's Office
- Leon County Teen Court
- Office of the Public Defender
- Office of the State Attorney
- Tallahassee Police Department