These juvenile justice standards deal with the organization of juvenile courts, the court functions of judicial and chief administrative personnel, court functions, and the responsibility of the family court division to effectuate its duties and orders.
Standards for the basic organizational structure of the juvenile court call for the creation of a family court to replace the juvenile court, and the transfer of juvenile intake, probation, and detention services to executive agency administration is recommended. The family court would be placed within the highest court of general trial jurisdiction. Judges would be assigned from the prestigious jurists of the trial court, with assignment on a modified rotation. Standards for the functions of judicial and administrative personnel emphasize the need for increased competency of family court judges and a consequent increase in the quality of judicial decisions. The practice of using referees (masters, commissioners) to perform judicial functions is eliminated. Formalized rules of procedure, rules of administration, and written guidelines and policies are viewed as essential for the family court. The primary responsibility for their preparation and implementation is borne by the judiciary. The court's decisionmaking role is extended to include enforcement of judicial orders. In setting forth the powers and duties of the court to fulfill its responsibilities, approaches for obtaining adequate resources are presented, together with the extraordinary remedy of 'inherent powers,' which the court should consider only when its integrity as a separate branch of government is threatened. The dissenting view and a bibliography of 28 listings are presented. (Author summary modified)
American Bar Association
Date Published: January 1, 1980