Teen Court Participants

Juror - Participates as a member of a six person to twelve-person jury. The teen jury determines the sentence of the defendant after reviewing the facts of the case. Using the established sentence guidelines, the jury must come to a unanimous decision, keeping in mind the assigned consequences are designed to hold the youth responsible for his/her actions, and requires the youth to be accountable to the community and victim.

Attorney - Volunteers interested in becoming an attorney must have participated at least twice as a juror before attending attorney training scheduled in the Fall. Attorneys may be assigned independently or in teams of two and sometimes three per case. A new and inexperienced attorney is assigned with an experienced attorney for the first few cases and/or until the youth is confident serving as an attorney independently. Youth acting as attorneys must be willing to come to court prepared to present their case. Case paperwork must be handled in a confidential manner.

Prosecutor – The prosecutor’s role is to represent the state; to represent the public interest by requesting a sentence that is strict but fair; to avoid playing judge, and to maintain respect for the judicial system.

Defense Counsel – The role of defense counsel is to represent a client zealously within the bounds of the law. The defense counsel must not represent persons if his/her ability to represent them effectively is impaired. Like the prosecutor, the defense counsel has the duty to maintain public respect for the judicial system.

Adult Volunteer Judge/ Master Jury Judge - The Adult/Master Jury Volunteer Judge is in charge of the master jury hearing and follows the Master Jury Script. The judge will ensure that questioning of the witness by jurors is thorough and on-track and that each juror asks a minimum of one question. Stays during deliberations and makes certain that the discussion pertains to the case. Administers after-sentencing instructions to defendant.

Bailiff - The Bailiff calls the jurors to the jury box at the start of each hearing. Upon completion of the hearing, the bailiff leads the jury to the deliberation room and monitors the jury at all times. After deliberation, the bailiff leads the jury back into the courtroom. The bailiff is also responsible for maintaining order in the courtroom and assisting the judge upon request.

Court Clerk - The clerk sits next to the judge during the entire court session. The clerk completes the court docket as the cases progress. He/she also assists the judge upon request.

Sign-in Clerk - The sign-in clerk assists the coordinator prior to court at the table. As jurors, volunteers, and defendants enter the courtroom, the sign-in clerk helps with jury assignments and answers questions