Trials / Adjudications

If a petition is authorized at either the preliminary inquiry or the preliminary hearing, a trial, or “adjudication,” will be scheduled. The purpose of the trial is to determine if the allegations meet the statutory requirements for the court to take jurisdiction over the child. The parents have a right to an attorney at trial. The State will bear the burden of proving that the child comes within the jurisdiction of the court. When a child comes within the jurisdiction of the court, it means that the court has the power to enter orders affecting the child, his or her parents, and certain other individuals. If the allegations in the petition are proven by the State, the court will take jurisdiction of the child, and a dispositional hearing will be scheduled. If either the petitioner or respondent disapproves of the Court’s determination, they have the right to file an appeal.