Family Court Glossary

Complainant, Petitioner
Victim of a crime; person filing charges against a juvenile.

Client, Respondent, Juvenile
The youngster (age 7 through 15) alleged to have committed an act that would constitute a crime if committed by an adult.

Arrest Report
Paperwork prepared by the arresting officer describing the offense.

Complaint Report
Paperwork prepared by the Police Department describing the offense as reported by the complainant.

The initial court appearance at which the juvenile denies or admits guilt under oath before a judge.

Court Part
The courtroom is a space where the judge determines whether or not a youth committed a delinquent act and reviews ongoing case status as necessary.

Delinquency Proceeding
A hearing in juvenile court to determine if a youth committed the delinquent act of which she/he is accused, and if so, what consequences should be imposed.

Court’s decision as to guilt or innocence.

Finding by Admission
If the juvenile admits to the offense under oath before the judge (like pleading guilty), the court’s finding is by admission.

The proceedings, like a trial, in which all the facts in a case are presented to the judge by the prosecutor and defense attorney.