About the Juvenile Court
Purpose and Authority
The authority of the juvenile court is established in Chapter 211 of the Missouri Revised Statutes. Additional authority and guidance is provided by the Supreme Court of Missouri in its Rules, Practice and Procedures.
The purpose of Chapter 211 is "to facilitate the care, protection and discipline of children who come within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. This chapter shall be liberally construed, therefore, to the end that each child coming within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court shall receive such care, guidance and control as will conduce the child's welfare and the best interest of the state, and that when such child is removed from the control of his parents the court shall secure for him care as nearly as possible equivalent to that which should have been given him by them."
Questions about Your Involvement with the Juvenile Office?
If your child is involved with the juvenile justice system, you may find the following information helpful:
Missouri's Circuit Courts
Missouri's circuit courts are organized by county and the City of St. Louis into 45 circuits. More information about each circuit can be found at Your Missouri Courts.
Every circuit of Missouri has a "juvenile court", except for a few larger metropolitan areas that have "family courts". The Juvenile Court hears all cases concerning delinquency, status offenses, child abuse and neglect, adoption, and guardianship. In delinquency, the juvenile or family court hears cases involving any child who was under the age of 17 when the act was committed. Exceptions to this rule include traffic and tobacco offenses.
The 17th Judicial Circuit includes both Johnson County and Cass County. The Juvenile Division of the 17th Judicial Circuit has two offices: one in Cass County and one in Johnson County.