1. What is Teen Court?
A Second Chance - Teen Court offers eligible youth an alternative to Juvenile Court and receive sentencing from their peers. Teen Court provides positive peer pressure with community based consequences. Teen Court offers a second chance to take responsibility for one's actions by turning mistakes into positive choices. Upon completion of the Teen Court sentence, defendants will have the charge dismissed from their records.
Teen Court is a panel of members made up of high school volunteers throughout Marinette County who go through training to determine an appropriate sentence for a peer defendant. Panel members hear cases of first time teen defendants who commit misdemeanor crimes such as underage tobacco use, theft, or disorderly conduct. These defendants have admitted their guilt and voluntarily enter Teen Court.
2. What types of offenses can be seen in Teen Court?
3. How does Teen Court work?
- Driving without a license
- Computer Harassment
- Trespass Property
- Underage Tobacco Use
- Damage to Property
- Possess THC
- Possess Drug Paraphernalia
- Underage Drinking
Defendants who choose to come to Teen Court must be between the ages of 10 and 17 and have committed a misdemeanor crime or ordinance violation, be referred to Teen Court by a judge or agency, admit guilt to the offense they have been charged with and have a parent/guardian accompany them to Teen Court. Defendants must also be willing to pay a $15 court fee collected on their court date.
Cases are presented in the Marinette County Courthouse in front of a panel of teen court members who have taken an oath of confidentiality. The defendant is questioned by the teen court panel to determine the circumstances of the offense. After carefully listening to the facts, and using restorative justice methods, the teen court panel comes up with constructive sentences. Examples of sentences would inlcude letters of apology, community service, essays, projects, or work-shops.
4. How can I become a Teen Court panel member?
Teen Court panel members must be in grades 9th-12th and be willing to volunteer for at least one year. Members must demonstrate maturity and sensitivity and abide by the Teen Court guidelines. Becoming a Teen Court panel member has many benefits to include: experience that stands out on a job or college resume, opportunity to interact with other area teens, role model and leadership opportunities and scholarship opportunities.
If you are interested in Teen Court, fill out an application available online and send to the information below:
Marinette County Teen Court
Attn: Kalynn Van Ermen
1926 Hall Avenue
Marinette WI 54143
5. What courts refer Teen Court cases?
6. What day is Teen Court held on?
- Marinette County Circuit Court
- Coleman Municipal Court
- Marinette Municipal Court
- Peshtigo Municipal Court
Teen Court is held the third Tuesday of every month. There are months Teen Court does not meet due to no cases needing to appear.
7. What happens if a defendant does not complete the sentences ordered by Teen Court?
The defendant then is required to pay the fine given to them and the crime remains on their record.
8. What happens once I attend Teen Court and complete my sentences?
Once you have attended Teen Court and completed the sentences ordered by the panel members, a letter will be sent to the judge or agency who referred your case and the crime/ordinance violation will be erased from your record.
9. What if a defendant goes to school with a panel member?
Any defendants who attend Teen Court will fill out an application listing the name of their school. Any Teen Court panel members who attend the same school district will be excused from the panel the day of court. Only peers from other school districts will hear the case.