Preliminary Inquiries

A preliminary inquiry is an informal review of the petition where the court decides what action is appropriate. Preliminary inquiries are only held when a juvenile has neither been detained nor is there a request for detention before the court. The purpose of this hearing is for the court to decide whether the case should be treated formally or informally, based on the best interests of both the juvenile and the public-at-large. Subject to certain laws, the court may decide to 1) deny the petition, 2) assign the case to the diversion docket, 3) order further informal inquiry, or 4) authorize the petition and proceed with the case on the formal docket.