Process & Terminology

Common Forms and Court Documents

Address Verification

Address verification is proof of identification and proof of an address where mail is received.

If the arrested youth has been given a rescheduling notice, and the petition is not filed on the date in the notice, the youth and parent/guardian will be given an Address Verification form to complete. This form explains that if the youth completes the form and provides address verification, the youth does not have to return to court unless a case is filed.

If a case is filed, a Notice of Intention to File a Petition will be mailed or delivered to the arrested youth at the address provided. Acceptable methods of Address Verification include a utility, telephone, or credit card bill, or any other mail received at the youth's mailing address―or an affidavit or signed statement from the youth and his or her parent/guardian attesting to the youth's mailing address.

Investigation and Report (I & R)

At disposition, the Judge frequently orders an Investigation & Report (I&R). This report is prepared by the New York City Department of Probation and details the respondent's background, including his or her legal history, family situation, school adjustment, school attendance, and other pertinent information regarding his or her behavior in the community, as well as results of a risk assessment instrument. The Probation Department also contacts the victims for a victim impact statement and makes its own statement concerning specific dispositional alternatives.
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Family Court Appearance Ticket (FCAT)

Most arrested youth are given a Family Court Appearance Ticket (FCAT) by the arresting officer during the arrest process. The FCAT provides information about the date and time the youth and parent or guardian must appear at Probation and/or court.


FET/MHS stands for Full Evaluation and Testimony/Mental Health Study. The Family Court Judge may order a diagnostic evaluation by a psychologist or psychiatrist. This report provides a diagnostic assessment which the court includes in determining the most appropriate dispositional alternative.

Notice of Declination

If a determination is made not to file a petition relating to the arrest, the case will be declined and sealed. A Notice of Declination will then be mailed to the arrested youth and parent/guardian to confirm that the case was declined.

Notice of Intention to File a Petition

The Notice of Intention to File a Petition notifies the arrested youth and his or her parent/guardian of the date they must return to court to appear before a judge. A Notice of Intention to File a Petition (along with a copy of the proposed petition) will be mailed or delivered to the youth and parent/guardian at the address provided in the address verification form. The youth and his or her parent/guardian need not return to court unless they are notified that a petition is to be filed.


A petition is the document which sets forth formal charges against the respondent and describes what offenses the respondent is alleged to have committed.

Rescheduling Notice

If a petition or pre-petition is not filed the first day an arrested youth appears at the Law Department, the youth will be given a rescheduling notice. This notice informs the youth and his or her parent/guardian when and where to return for the next court date. On the next court date, a petition may be filed, and the youth may appear in front of the judge.

Victim Impact Statement

If you are a victim in the case, you may be asked to make a statement concerning your version of the offense(s), and the extent of injury or economic loss or damage you suffered as a result. This may include the amount of unreimbursed medical expenses, if any, including the amount of restitution sought. It may also contain your views relating to disposition.