Honorable David J. Reader, Chief Judge of Livingston County Courts
Honorable Miriam A. Cavanaugh, Probate and Family Court Judge
John Evans, Circuit and Juvenile Court Administrator
Tanya Morrow, County Juvenile Officer
The Juvenile Unit of the Family
Division of the 44th Circuit Court has the responsibility of handling Child
Protection and Juvenile Justice cases. The portion of Michigan Law giving
authority to the Juvenile Court is the Juvenile Code.
Child Protection cases arise when a petition is filed, usually by the Department of Human
Services (DHS), alleging that there has been child neglect or abuse. The
overall purpose is to assure the safety of children and prevent any further
abuse or neglect, rather than to punish adults. The Child Protection area also
handles Adoptions and processes youths' request for Emancipation of Minors.
Juvenile Justice cases arise
when a petition is filed with the court. A petition is usually filed by the
Prosecutor, alleging that one or more laws have been broken by a youth under
age 17, which leads to a Juvenile Justice "Delinquency" case. In general, The court’s role is to support the current and future safety of
the community by providing services to support the success of youth and their
families in avoiding future system involvement. Petitions are also filed
related to Status Offenses such as when
parents come to court regarding Incorrigibility or when the school district elects to bring issues related to Truancy
to court. There are also requests for Personal Protection Against Minors. Finally, when a youth under age 17 receives a traffic ticket, there is a way
to handle the ticket informally through Juvenile Court.