register for Teen Court

Judge's Role in Teen Court

General Overview

Please consider the following

  1. Jurors have been voir dired but not sworn in.
  2. According to hearsay evidence, we would like to remind you that, although the information from the police report is on the brief, this particular information is not admissible in the court hearing unless confirmed or offered by the defendant.
  3. We ask that you take time to hold a pretrial meeting with the Teen Attorneys. This is the time where the attorneys will introduce themselves to you and also explain what sanctions they are asking for.
  4. Please make sure that the jury is paying attention, is on task, and is behaving in an orderly fashion. Do not hesitate to speak to the jurors or to dismiss a juror who does not heed a warning.
  5. If the defendant cannot be heard, please make sure that he/she speaks into the microphone so that everyone can hear. We are attempting to educate everyone in the courtroom, including those observing in the back.
  6. As the judge you may ask questions to clarify the defendant's testimony. This usually happens after the defense has completed their re-cross. If new information has come out it is customary to ask if the attorneys have any question solely based on the questions that the judge has asked.
  7. While jurors are deliberating, please make sure that attorneys and observers maintain a courtroom environment.
  8. If a jury imposes an essay or a research paper as a sanction, please make sure the jury specifies the topic and length.
  9. You do have to authority to overrule the verdict or add additional sanctions.
  10. If a client or their parents have a question regarding the logistics of the sanctions imposed, please refer their questions to the Teen Court staff. Remind defendants and parents that it is mandatory for them to meet briefly with the Case Coordinator after their hearing. Many questions can be answered in that meeting.
  11. If you are unable to come on your scheduled night for Teen Court, please call Jessica G.T. Pitts 850.577.4468 so arrangements can be made for a replacement.