The Physical Location & Mailing address is:
500 Argonaut Lane, Jackson, CA.95642 (Click for Google Map)

The Courthouse is open Monday through Friday (excluding holidays).

The Courthouse is open for public access: 8AM to 5PM
The Clerk’s Office is open 9AM-3PM M-F.
Call: 209-257-2660


Juvenile Delinquency Court
The purposes of the delinquency court are: to protect, to give guidance, and to punish children
who commit delinquent acts.
Juvenile Dependency Court
Juvenile Dependency Court is the branch of the Superior Court which hears cases involving
neglected and/or abused children under eighteen years of age.


The following questions and answers are provided for general reference and information only.
+ What happens if my child is taken into custody?
One of the following could occur:
The arresting officer may release your child back to your custody.
Your child may be referred to a community agency providing shelter, care, diversion, or counseling.
Your child may be required to return to the police station rather than to the probation department
( this is sometimes referred to as "cited back").
You and your child may be given a Notice to Appear,
telling you what you and your child must do and when you must do it.
Your child could be detained in Juvenile Hall.
Your child will be able to make two phone calls no later than one hour after arrest.
If the Probation Intake Officer questions your child about what happened,
the officer must tell your child that he or she has the right to remain silent, that anything that your child says will be used against him or her, that he or she has a right to be represented by an attorney, and that the court will appoint an attorney if your child cannot afford one. If your child is detained, the officer must take immediate steps to notify you.
The decision to detain your child is made by Probation Intake and not the arresting officer.
The Probation Officer may let your child go home without asking the District Attorney to file a petition. Or, your child may go home and the probation officer will refer the case to the District Attorney who will decide whether or not to file a petition. In this instance, restrictions will be placed on your child as a condition of being allowed to go home.
If your child does not return home, the law requires that a petition be filed very quickly,
usually within 48 hours from the time the child is taken into custody by the arresting officer.
There will be a court hearing, called a Detention Hearing, the next day that the court is in session. The courts are closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
+ What does it mean if my child becomes a ward of the court?
If your child becomes a ward of the court as a juvenile delinquent, the court will make orders for you and your child so that your child and the community will be protected.
As a ward of the delinquency court:
Your child may be allowed to live in your home under court supervision; or
Your child may be placed outside of your home in an unlocked or locked facility,
depending upon your child's age, the seriousness of the offense, and your child's history of delinquency
+ Does my child need an attorney?
Your child has a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford to hire an attorney for your child,
the court will appoint an attorney to represent him or her.
+ Do I need an attorney as a parent?
You are not required to have an attorney, but may privately retain one if you wish to do so.
Please note, if your child has an attorney, the attorney represents your child and not you.
+ Will I be required to pay my child's fees?
Unless you were the victim of your child's crime, you will receive a bill from the county for various fees, including your child's attorney's fees; probation department services fees (such as food and laundry while your child was in Juvenile Hall); and, placement costs for keeping your child in a state placement such as the Department of Juvenile Facilities, a probation camp, or an out-of-home placement. These costs can be expensive. You will have a chance to show how much, if any, of these costs you are able to pay. The Juvenile Court does not make this determination.
+ What hearings will my child have in delinquency court?
You and your child will be required to attend all hearings, unless your appearance is specifically waived by your child's attorney.
The hearings include:
Detention Hearing or Arraignment Hearing:
If your child is detained in Juvenile Hall for more than 48 hours, there will be a detention hearing in no more than 72 hours, counting only court business days. The purpose of the detention hearing is for the judge to decide if your child should go home before the next hearing, appoint an attorney if you cannot afford one, and to read the charges against your child. If your child was arrested, but never detained in the Juvenile Hall, you will receive notice of an arraignment hearing. The purpose of the arraignment hearing is to appoint an attorney for your child if you cannot afford one and to read the petition containing the charges against your child.
Pre-trial Hearing:
A pre-trial hearing will occur the day before the trial to allow the parties in the matter to either resolve the case or to advise the court that they are ready to proceed to trial.
Jurisdiction Hearing:
At the jurisdiction hearing, the judge will decide whether or not your child committed the offense.
Disposition Hearing:
A disposition hearing is equivalent to a sentencing hearing in adult court. If the judge rules that your child committed the offense, at the disposition hearing the judge will decide what orders should be made about your child. If the judge rules that your child did not commit the offense, there is no disposition hearing. Sometimes the disposition hearing is held the same day as the jurisdiction hearing, otherwise, it is held 10 days after the jurisdiction hearing.
In addition to the above hearings,
you and your child may be required to attend any of the following hearings:
Hearings on Motions:
There may be court appearances for the court to hear additional matters that come up before the matter is resolved.
Fitness Hearing:
If your child is at least 14 years old and is charged with committing certain serious crimes, the District Attorney may ask the juvenile court to make a decision on whether your child should be tried as an adult or not. At the fitness hearing, the judge will decide whether your child will be tried in adult court or in juvenile court. However, please note, in cases involving certain serious crimes, the District Attorney may directly file the charges in adult court.
Review Hearings:
In some cases, the law or the court may set hearings to review your child's progress and performance under probation supervision.
Restitution Hearing:
If the court so orders, you and your child may have to pay restitution to the victim. Restitution is money to pay for the victim's losses caused by your child's illegal conduct. Examples of restitution might include the value of stolen or damaged property, medical expenses, and lost wages.


The following questions and answers are provided for general reference and information only.
+ What happens after law enforcement places a child in protective custody?
A Juvenile Court Dependency Hearing may begin with children being removed from their parents and placed in protective custody. The law allows law enforcement to detain children up to 72 hours for their protection if the officer believes there is a risk of neglect or abuse. Children are usually taken to the Children’s Receiving Home. When children are taken into protective custody, the officer or social worker will immediately attempt to notify the parent(s) or guardian(s). If the children are not in immediate danger of neglect or abuse, and are living with a parent, relative, or friend, they may be allowed to remain there pending the court proceedings.

When the children are placed in protective custody and taken from the home, there must be an investigation to decide whether the children can be safely returned to the home from which they were taken. The first investigation is made by the social worker in the Intake Unit of the Department of Social Services.

If the social worker decides that the children were not significantly at risk for abuse or neglect, the children can be released to the parent(s). No court action is taken; however, the parent(s) may be requested to sign a Family Maintenance Agreement, agreeing to certain conditions to keep the children in the home. If the parent(s) abide by the Agreement for six months, no further action will be taken. If there is another report of neglect or abuse of the children, or the parent(s) fail to abide by the Agreement, the children can be removed from the home again, and a Petition may be filed with the Juvenile Court.

If the social worker decides the children are at risk, the children will remain out of the home pending the court hearing. The Department of Health and Human Services must file a Petition with the Juvenile Court within 48 hours.

The Petition includes necessary legal information and a statement telling why a Dependency proceeding is considered necessary for the safety of the children. In response to the Petition, a Detention Hearing is held before a Judge or Referee the next court day after the Petition is filed.
+ What happens at the first hearing?
In the event the children were removed from the home, the first hearing will be a Detention Hearing. If the children were not removed, the first hearing is called a Jurisdictional Hearing. Both hearings advise parties of the allegations, appoint counsel (if necessary), and set a future hearing. However, the detention hearing addresses the additional element regarding the custody status of the children pending the jurisdiction hearing.
At the first hearing, a Social Worker will meet with the parents upon arrival at court. He/she will provide the parents (and the parents’ attorney; if a private attorney has been retained) with a copy of the Petition filed by the Department of Social Services. The Social Worker will tell the parents what the Department of Social Services will be recommending to the Court (either further protective custody or release).
If the parents do not have an attorney, the Judge or Referee will ask if they want an attorney to represent them. If the parents answer yes, an attorney from a panel of private attorneys will be appointed by the Court. Usually, a separate attorney is appointed for each parent.
If the children are not released to the parents, they will remain detained in their current placement. The Social Worker will meet with the parents, investigate the facts of the case, and prepare a report for the court hearing. The report written for the hearing will include an evaluation of the case, a reunification/service plan, and recommendations to the Court regarding placement of the children. The Social Worker will also arrange visits, if Court approved, between the parents and the children and coordinate services for the parents and the children. These services may include referrals to parenting classes, counseling, drug and/or alcohol testing, or whatever other services would be appropriate.
It is important for the parents to cooperate with both their attorney(s) and the Social Worker. If the parents make a positive effort to participate in the services offered by the Social Worker, the Court will take this into consideration in deciding whether to return the children.
+ What happens at the Jurisdictional Hearing?
At the jurisdictional hearing, the Court determines whether allegations of abuse or neglect concerning a child are sustained by the evidence and if so, are legally sufficient to support state intervention on behalf of the child. A later dispositional hearing addresses where the child will live and identifies the services to be offered to the child and the parent(s).
+ What is a Reunification Plan?
The Reunification/Service Plan or Case Plan tells the parent(s) what s/he needs to do to resolve the problems that brought the children’s case before the Court. If the children are returned to the parent(s) or placed with a relative, the parent(s) will be ordered to comply with this plan. This plan may include parenting classes, counseling, visitation requirements, and drug/alcohol counseling.
+ What are Review Hearings?
The Court is required to review the status of each dependent child regularly. These Review Hearings are held every six months. Prior to each review, the supervising social worker will prepare a report and discuss the recommendation with the parent(s). This report describes the services offered/provided to the parent(s) to correct the problems which resulted in the child becoming a dependent of the Juvenile Court. It also discusses the parents’ progress and cooperation in these services. If the child is with the parents, it reports on the continuing necessity of supervision. If the child is out of the home, it reports on whether the child can be returned to the parents or on the development of an alternative permanent plan if the child cannot be returned. If the report indicates that the family problems are resolved, the Court may terminate dependency at this time. If problems remain which require the help of the Department of Health and Human Services, dependency will continue. Such reviews occur as long as the child remains a dependent.

If the child was removed from the parent(s), placed in foster care, and the Court determines at a second six-month review that reunification of child and parent is not likely, the Court will attempt to find a permanent home for the child. This may take the form of freeing the child for adoption or guardianship or long-term foster placement.


Amador - Court Appointed Special Advocates ( CASA )
CASA recruits, trains, and supervises community volunteers to advocate for children in the community
who have been abused or neglected.
CASA volunteers are appointed by the juvenile court judge to offer support and comfort to dependent children, to gather information about the children's wishes and needs, and to advocate for what is in the children's best interests.

CASA volunteers are appointed to only one or two children at a time, which gives them a unique opportunity to explore the children's needs and to develop supportive and consistent relationships.
Amador CASA provides training for new CASA volunteers twice each year. CASA volunteers are required to complete 30 hours of pre-service training. Our volunteers also attend in-service training and receive direct supervision and support from program staff.
Amador CASA is a proud member of both the National and California CASA Associations.
Lori Halvorson
Program Director
209-257-1980, ext. 107
Amador CASA Program
601 Court St, Suite 210
Jackson, CA 95642


Amador Superior Court will hear transfer-in hearings for Juvenile Dependency cases on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month at 1:30pm. The court will hear Juvenile Delinquency cases on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at 1:30pm.

Please set the transfer-in hearing according to CRC 5.610(f).
Please notify our court immediately at to advise us of the transfer-in hearing.

For Juvenile Delinquency: criminal@amadorcourt.org
For Juvenile Dependency: civil@amadorcourt.org

 Thank you.
If you have questions or need additional assistance,
please call (209)257-2603


Form Description Updated Format
Judicial Council forms The majority of Juvenile forms are located on the Juducial Council website. Local exceptions are listed below.   Adobe pdf file
Request for Referral JVDP-032: - Request for Referral to Juvenile Court Mediation 03/21/2017 Adobe pdf file
Order on Request JVDP-033: - Order on Request for Referral to Juvenile Court Mediation 03/21/2017 Adobe pdf file