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Juvenile Court

Juvenile Court handles cases involving persons under 18 (minors) who are accused of breaking the law or who are in danger of or have been abused or neglected. It is made up of several types of proceedings such as: dependency, juvenile justice, non-minor, status offenses, infraction offenses, adoptions, and change of name, change of gender and sex identifier.

Introduction to Juvenile Court

Juvenile Dependency proceedings involve the protection of children who have been or are at risk of being abused, neglected, or abandoned. Read the Guide to Dependency Court.

Juvenile Justice proceedings involve minors under the age of 18 alleged to have committed a juvenile justice act, which would be a crime if committed by an adult. Read the Guide to Juvenile Justice court process.

Status Offenses: Status offense proceedings involve minors between 12 and 17 years of age who are habitually truant, disobedient and uncontrollable; violates curfew ordinance.  The violations are not crimes, but they are prohibited under the law because of a youth’s status as a minor. Read the Guide to Juvenile Justice court process.

Juvenile Infraction proceedings involve minors who are alleged to have committed any drug, alcohol, or tobacco related charges. 

Adoption proceedings involve minor and adopting parent establishing legal parent-child relationship. Read the Guide to Adoption for more information.

Change of Name, Change of Gender, and Sex Identifier proceedings involve change of name/and or gender, sex identifier and issuance of birth certificate for the following minors. Minors with a guardian who is appointed by the Juvenile court; a court appointed dependency attorney appointed as guardian; a minor who is alleged or adjudged to be a ward of the court; a non-minor dependent. Read the Guide to Change of Name, Recognition of Change of Gender and Sex Identifier.

Juvenile Court FAQs

Juvenile cases are confidential, and many proceedings are not open to the public. Juvenile records are confidential. The minor, his or her parent(s) or legal guardian(s), and attorneys of record may obtain copies of court minute orders and select court documents by appearing at the juvenile office with photo identification. Due to the confidentiality of juvenile records, information cannot be shared over the telephone. The records will be mailed if a request was made on a notarized letter with current information of address and phone number. 

Other individuals must utilize the “Request for Disclosure of Juvenile Case File” (JV-570) form. This completed form may be presented either in person, by mail, or by filing electronically.  If the petition is granted, viewing and/or receipt of copies may occur with proper photo identification. 

Review information in Form JV-050-INFO.

You will need to visit the Juvenile Justice Center.

Please visit the How to Access Juvenile Records page.

Unless authorized by statue, persons must petition the court to inspect a Juvenile Record. The Juvenile Court limits access to juvenile court records in accordance with California Rule of Court 5.552, and Welfare and Institution Code section 827. Juvenile court records may not be obtained or inspected by civil or criminal subpoena. Therefore, no information can be released over the telephone because photo identification cannot be verified, and this would include acknowledging that a juvenile case matter or file is on record.

If you are not authorized by Welfare and Institutions Code sections 828 and California Rule of Court 5.552, you must Petition the Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Court for access to police reports.

The required forms are: Petition to Obtain Report of Law Enforcement Agency (JV-575) and Notice to Child and Parent/Guardian re: Release of Juvenile Police Records and Objection (JV-580).

Fill out form JV-575, Petition to Obtain Report of Law Enforcement Agency. Print legibly and complete all relevant fields of the form. Indicate the name of the police department from whom you are requesting the report and the report number. Describe in detail the reason why you believe the records exist, how you intend to use them and why the records are relevant to your intended purpose.

Submit the original and two copies of forms JV-575, and JV-580 to the court. You may do this in person at the Juvenile Court Clerk’s Office, 2500 Fairmont Drive, Suite 3013, San Leandro CA 94578 on the 3rd Floor of the Juvenile Justice Center. You may mail your request to the address mentioned herewith.

The court will contact you by mail or phone as to the status of your request within ten to twelve weeks. The court may either deny or grant your request or ask for additional information. In some cases, the court may set your request for a hearing. If your request is granted, you will receive a certified copy of the order in the mail with instructions. Take the order to the policy agency and a valid identification card with you to obtain your copy of the police report.

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