Court History

Juvenile Courts

The purpose of our Juvenile Courts is to protect the well-being of children, provide guidance and control conducive to child welfare and the best interests of the state, and secure care for children removed from their homes.

The exclusive, original jurisdiction of Juvenile Courts extends to delinquent children under the age of 17 and deprived or unruly children under the age of 18.  Juvenile courts have concurrent jurisdiction with Superior Courts in cases involving capital felonies, custody and child support cases, and in proceedings to terminate parental rights.  The Superior Courts have original jurisdiction over those juveniles who commit certain serious felonies.  the Juvenile Court also has jurisdiction over minors committing traffic violations or enlisting in military services, consent to marriage for minors, and cases involving the Interstate Compact on Juveniles.

Juvenile Court judges are appointed by the Superior Court judges of the circuit to four-year terms.  Judges must be at least 30 years of age, have practiced law for five years, and have lived in Georgia for three years.  Full-time judges cannot practice law while holding office.