Warning: Declaration of TCB_Menu_Walker::walk($elements, $max_depth) should be compatible with Walker::walk($elements, $max_depth, ...$args) in /home/khventur/public_html/wp-content/plugins/thrive-visual-editor/inc/classes/class-tcb-menu-walker.php on line 0
Juvenile Court Proceedings Open To The Public? - Krause & Hirschhorn, P.C.

Available 24 Hours / 7 Days a Week: 805.330.1529

blog

Juvenile Court Proceedings Open To The Public?

Are Juvenile Court proceedings open to the public?

As a general rule, the answer is "no", the general public is not permitted to come into the juvenile courtroom and spectate. In order to maintain the confidential nature of your child's name and charges, the proceedings in juvenile court are not open to the public.

Welfare and Institutions Code section 676 prohibits the public from attending juvenile court hearings, unless:

  1. Requested by both the minor and his/her parents or guardian who is present; OR 
  2. The court finds that someone has a direct and legitimate interest in the case or the work of the court; OR
  3. Allegations that a minor is a person described in Section 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code by reason of the violation of any of the 28 specified serious/violent offenses.

In cases involving one of the specified serious offenses, the public may be admitted in the same manner as in adult criminal court trials. Welfare and Institutions Code section 676 requires that the juvenile court post, in a conspicuous place, which is accessible to the general public, a written list of hearings that are open to the public as well as the time and location of the hearings. When the petition alleges the commission of certain specified sexual offenses, members of the public shall not be admitted to the hearing in either of the following instances:

  1. Upon a motion for a closed hearing by the district attorney, who shall make the motion if so requested by the victim.
  2. During the victim's testimony, if at the time of the offense the victim was under 16 years of age.

Nothing in Welfare and Institutions Code section 676 prohibits or precludes the attendance of up to two family members of a prosecuting witness for the support of that witness and/or a victim of the offense (subject to exclusion in certain circumstances).

In the Juvenile Branch of the Ventura County Superior Court, the list of hearings open to the public are posted directly on the right ride of the doors leading into department J3 and directly to the left of the doors leading into department J4.

Juvenile Court Proceedings open to the public for Serious/Violent Offenses as listed in Welfare and Institutions Code section 676(a):

(1) Murder.

(2) Arson of an inhabited building.

(3) Robbery while armed with a dangerous or deadly weapon.

(4) Rape with force or violence, threat of great bodily harm, or when the person is prevented from resisting due to being rendered unconscious by any intoxicating, anesthetizing, or controlled substance, or when the victim is at the time incapable, because of a disability, of giving consent, and this is known or reasonably should be known to the person committing the offense. 

(5) Sodomy by force, violence, duress, menace, threat of great bodily harm, or when the person is prevented from resisting due to being rendered unconscious by any intoxicating, anesthetizing, or controlled substance, or when the victim is at the time incapable, because of a disability, of giving consent, and this is known or reasonably should be known to the person committing the offense. 

(6)  Oral Copulation by force, violence, duress, menace, threat of great bodily harm, or when the person is prevented from resisting due to being rendered unconscious by any intoxicating, anesthetizing, or controlled substance, or when the victim is at the time incapable, because of a disability, of giving consent, and this is known or reasonably should be known to the person committing the offense.

(7) Any offense specified in subdivision (a) or (e) of Section 289 of the Penal Code.

(8) Kidnapping for ransom.

(9)  Kidnapping for purpose of robbery.

(10) Kidnapping with bodily harm.

(11) Assault with intent to murder or attempted murder.

(12) Assault with a firearm or destructive device. 

(13) Assault by any means of force likely to produce great bodily injury.

(14) Discharge of a firearm into an inhabited dwelling or occupied building.

(15) Any offense described in Section 1203.09 of the Penal Code.

(16) Any offense described in Section 12022.5 or 12022.53 of the Penal Code.

(17) Any felony offense in which a minor personally used a weapon described in any provision listed in Section 16590 of the Penal Code.

(18) Burglary of an inhabited dwelling house or trailer coach, as defined in Section 635 of the Vehicle Code, or the inhabited portion of any other building, if the minor previously has been adjudged a ward of the court by reason of the commission of any offense listed in this section, including an offense listed in this paragraph.

(19) Any felony offense described in Section 136.1 or 137 of the Penal Code.

(20) Any offense as specified in Sections 11351, 11351.5, 11352, 11378, 11378.5, 11379,and 11379.5 of the Health and Safety Code.

(21) Criminal street gang activity which constitutes a felony pursuant to Section 186.22 of the Penal Code. 

(22) Manslaughter as specified in Section 192 of the Penal Code.

(23) Drive by shooting or discharge of a weapon from or at a motor vehicle as specified in Sections 246, 247, and 26100 of the Penal Code.

(24) Any crime committed with an assault weapon, as defined in Section 30510 of the Penal Code, including possession of an assault weapon as specified in Section30605 of the Penal Code.

(25) Carjacking, while armed with a dangerous or deadly weapon.

(26) Kidnapping, in violation of Section 209.5 of the Penal Code.

(27) Torture, as described in Sections 206 and 206.1 of the Penal Code.

(28) Aggravated mayhem, in violation of Section 205 of the Penal Code.