MIDLAND TEEN COURT
Midland ISD Administration Building
615 W Missouri #226
Midland, TX 79701
Phone: (432) 689-1065
Fax: (432) 689-1087
Office hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 am- 5:00 pm.
Office closed when MISD Administration Building is closed
Sessions held at:
Midland County Courthouse
500 N. Loraine
Monday Evenings (as set) 5-7 p.m.
Amanda Orona, Executive Director
Melissa Hernandez, Administrative Assistant
Charter Member of the Texas Teen Court Association
WHAT IS TEEN COURT?
Midland Teen Court provides an alternative system of justice for youth to promote accountability and community engagement. Teen Court is a “hands on” educational opportunity, which allows both offenders and teen volunteers to better understand our system of justice. A youth deferred to Teen Court appears before a jury of peers, both secondary school volunteers and youth who are serving as part of their sentence. Evidence from Midland and many other cities indicates that young people do stay out of trouble following a Teen Court appearance and that the program saves hundreds of thousands of dollars of community expense.
Midland Teen Court hopes to interrupt developing patterns of criminal behavior by increasing self-esteem, motivating youth for self-improvement, and developing healthy attitudes toward authority. The program stresses the responsibility and accountability of an individual for his actions. Service on a Teen Court jury challenges a youth to perform at his/her highest level of ability and places a high priority on educating youth for life responsibilities as an individual, family member, and citizen.
Midland Teen Court, Inc. is a non-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. A governing board comprised of members of the community at large as well as representatives of the funding bodies and the judiciary oversees the program.
WHO COMES TO TEEN COURT?
Persons (ages 10 to 18 or who are enrolled full time in an accredited secondary school working toward a high school diploma) may request Teen Court for most Class C misdemeanors, (including traffic tickets, Simple Assault, Disorderly Conduct, Theft under $50, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Minor in Possession or Consuming Alcohol, or violation of city ordinances such as curfew, fireworks inside the city limits, etc.)
Only one citation may be referred to the Teen Court Program within a two-year period from Municipal Court or Justice Courts.
Consent of parent or guardian is required.
Under Article 45.052 in the Code of Criminal Procedure, successful completion within a 90-day period results in dismissal of the citation, which may not be part of the defendant’s criminal record or driving record used for any other purpose.
Other citations may be referred to Teen Court upon recommendation of the Municipal Court or Justice Court Judges.
Failure to complete the Teen Court program within the allowed 90-day period results in payment of the set fine and a conviction on the defendant’s record.
TEEN COURT SIGN-UP
Youth who receive citations in Midland must first appear before the Municipal Court Judge or the Justice of the Peace, depending on the case.
At that Court, youth must enter a plea of “guilty” or “nolo contendere” and request deferral to Teen Court. Non-refundable court costs and administrative fees must be paid to the City or County, but successful completion of Teen Court will be in place of the fine. The youth and parent/guardian then contact the Teen Court Office at 689-1065 to discuss the rules, regulations, and procedures of the program and to set a Teen Court appearance.
Participants should contact their chosen agency within one week of their Teen Court appearance to schedule their volunteer work. Community service work is available for non-profit or governmental agencies or school throughout the area. Each youth is responsible for setting his schedule, performing the work, and reporting the completed hours in writing to the Teen Court Office within the allowed 90 days.
TEEN COURT PROCEDURE
Teen Courts are held on the set Monday evenings, with check-in beginning at 5:00 p.m. at the County Courthouse. Come to the specified location, check in with the Court volunteers or staff, and be seated in the assigned location. Each non-traffic defendant will be appointed a teen defense attorney; traffic offenders appear before the Master Jury and do not have a teen attorney. Teens and attorneys meet during the check-in period to discuss the case. Some defense attorneys may call their assigned defendants at home prior to the Court date. The Master Jury hears most traffic cases where the jury itself questions the defendant. Jurors in both Courts are teens, either volunteers or completing a sentence. Local judges and licensed attorneys preside over the Teen Courts.
RULES & DRESS CODE
Court is a formal, serious place, demanding respect and appropriate behavior from all participants. Anyone in violation will be asked to leave and receive no credit for the evening’s attendance.
All persons shall be appropriately attired for Court proceedings, dressed in clean, neat clothing. (Shorts, caps or hats, tank tops, rompers, tattered or soiled clothing, and inappropriate tee shirts are NOT ALLOWED.)
Constructive sentences are set by the teen jury within a set grid:
Rank 1: 5-10 hours community service and 1-2 evenings jury service (Seatbelts, Speeding 14 mph or less over speed limit)
Rank 2: 10-15 hours community service and 2-3 evenings jury service (Speeding 15- 24 mph over the speed limit or in a school/hospital zone.)
Rank 3: 15-25 hours of community service and 3-4 evenings of jury service (Speeding greater than 24 mph over the speed limit, No Driver’s License, Curfew, Tobacco Offenses)
Rank 4: 25-40 hours of community service and 3-5 evenings of jury service (Disorderly Conduct, D.U.I. (minor), Minor Consuming Alcohol, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Simple Assault, Theft under $50, Speeds greater that 80 mph.)
All traffic cases must take a traffic education class as part of their case requirement.
Midland Teen Court provides these classes on a regular basis at the Midland Independent School District Administration Building 615 W Missouri Ave, #226. Students will have the opportunity to sign up for classes at court or call Teen Court office 689-1065.
Midland Teen Court provides Educational Seminars monthly (except August & December) to provide all students information so they can make better choices and become more effective citizens.
STEPS TO COMPLETION
* Call 689-1065 to confirm enrollment
* Attend an office appointment if case is non-traffic
* Return signed contract to Teen Court Office
* Have case heard by the teen jury at the Midland County Courthouse.
* Complete assigned Jury Duties
* Complete community service hours at a non-profit organization (including school, church, government and non-profit agencies)
* Attend any required courses such as Teen Court Traffic Classes, Educational Seminars, Victim Impact Panel, State-Approved Alcohol Awareness Classes, etc.
* Return documentation of your community service and any other requirements to the Teen Court office before your completion date.
*Upon receipt of required documentation, MIdland Teen Court issues a Certificate of Completion.
*Take a copy of Certificate of Teen Court Completion and any requirements set by your referring judge to the Court on or before your completion date.
Teen Court records all jury service, attendance at Educational Seminars and Traffic Classes. However, all other requirements such as proof of community service, apology letters, special courses, etc. must be turned into the Midland Teen Court Office by the student or parent/guardian to receive the Completion Certificate.
FUNDING & SUPPORT
The City of Midland
Midland Independent School District
Secondary school students are needed to serve as volunteer jurors, and may train to serve as prosecuting or defense attorneys. Adult volunteers help with court administration or in the office.
Midland Teen Court awards scholarships, funded by designated donations, to selected graduating volunteers to be used to further their education.
AUTHORITY FOR TEEN COURT
Chapter 45, Article 45.052 Texas Code of Criminal Procedure; Chapter 54, 54.032, Texas Family Code, Chapter 103.021 Texas Government Code
Dear Parents and Community Friends:
Many youth in Midland are fortunate to have their first experience with our judicial system through Midland Teen Court. Midland Teen Court is funded primarily by the City, County, School Districts, local foundations, civic clubs, churches, corporations, and individuals.
We need and would appreciate your financial help. Consider what Teen Court may have done for you; saved you an increase on your monthly insurance, kept your child’s record clean while teaching a lesson, provided a framework of positive peer pressure, given your child an opportunity to make amends to the community through volunteer service and a reason not to repeat a mistake, and provided a hands on experience in the judicial system.
We are glad to be the vehicle to provide these benefits. We are counting on your support to help us to continue. Your contributions will enhance the programs and/or scholarships provided for the youth of Midland.
The Midland Teen Court Board of Directors
Please send your contribution to the
Midland Teen Court, Inc.,
615 West Missouri, #226,
Midland, Texas 79701.
For further information visit www.midlandteencourt.org or contact the office at 432-689-1065.
Amanda Orona, Executive Director, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Melissa Hernandez, Administrative Assistant, email: email@example.com
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