Livingston County will be closed on Monday, May 27th in honor of Memorial Day.

Status Offenses

Offenses that apply to minors only, such as curfew violations

School Truancy

Failure to comply with school attendance requirements


Repeat and continuous misbehavior


Services to foster accountability, address needs, and encourage positive involvement

Youth under the age of 18 alleged to have broken the law are respondents in Juvenile Delinquency cases. Juvenile respondents, are considered innocent until proven “responsible” by a “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard. Youth have the right to have a jury trial on all of the charges before the court.

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. The court works to provide the most effective services, at the lowest cost to the community and to families, and in a way that keeps youth in their homes, schools, and the community whenever possible.


Families may retain an attorney at any point in the process. To obtain a Court Appointed Attorney, you must complete a Request for Appointment of Attorney and a Financial Statement and return the signed originals to Juvenile Court. You will receive a copy of the Order Appointing an Attorney. You will be responsible for this attorney’s fees.


A series of hearings take place. The family is advised of rights to consult with an attorney at any point. The first hearing is a Preliminary Inquiry, to determine if further action should be taken. This is usually scheduled within two weeks of when the petition is filed with the court and is an informal hearing, not on the record, in front of a Juvenile Hearing Officer, not a judge or referee. The purpose is to review the petition, determine whether it is likely that the petition will be authorized, and consider options. 
Next Steps Might Include:
  • Continued Preliminary Inquiry: Continue to gather information and discuss the case to decide on the appropriate course of action.
  • Preliminary Hearing or Pre-Trial: At either of these types of hearings, the court will decide whether to “authorize” the petition (make a finding that there is probable cause to believe that the allegations are true) and one of three things happens:
    • The juvenile will admit responsibility to the original allegations,
    • A plea agreement is reached, OR
    • The case moves to the next step, which is Trial
  • Trial: The Juvenile has a right to a bench trial before the Referee or the Judge, or a Jury Trial before the Judge.  
Juvenile Charges Flowchart

Probation Officers

Livingston County has a team of dedicated and experienced Juvenile Probation Officers who get involved in the case as early as appropriate to get to know the youth/family, assess for strengths and needs, gather information from other sources such as school and service providers, and make a recommendation to the court.

At a Disposition Hearing, the court issues orders that must be followed. These orders generally include that the youth must meet regularly with the Probation Officer, and must participate in certain services or experiences that are designed to address the specific issues identified in the assessment. In some cases, parents are also ordered to participate in services.

Juvenile Court
Livingston County Official Logo


(517) 546-1500


Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Closed County Holidays

Judicial Center

204 S. Highlander Way
Suite 3
Howell, MI 48843


(517) 546-3731