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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76913 Find in a Library
Title: Court Organization - The Issue of Specialized Courts Versus Courts of General Jurisdiction (From Juvenile Justice Symposium, P 9-55, 1979 See NCJ-76912)
Author(s): R J Cattle
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 47
Type: Conference Material
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A symposium presentation and subsequent discussion examine the issue of the relative merits of specialized family courts and courts of general jurisdiction, with emphasis on three proposed sets of standards on the subject.
Abstract: The proposed standards include those of the Joint Commission of the Institute for Judicial Administration/American Bar Association, the National Advisory Committee for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the Task Force on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The standards' recommendations regarding establishment of a family court as part of the highest court of general jurisdiction, the qualifications of the judges for that court, and their optimal term of service on the family court bench are outlined and analyzed. The wisdom of tampering with the variety of juvenile court structures and jurisdictional boundaries that have developed to meet each State's specific needs and philosophy is questioned. The desirability of assigning all legal matters concerning families to a single court is likened to having all questions affecting corporations, whether criminal or civil in nature, resolved in a separate corporation court. It is argued that the family court doctrine espoused by all three standards assumes that all legal actions concerning children are normally interrelated with family situations and that all family-related actions directly affect the child. Adopting this philosophy will fragmentize the older divisions of the law and create new problems of determining jurisdictional boundaries. It would be desirable, however, to create an age of majority which would be effective nationwide. The subsequent discussion focuses on four themes: defense of the current nonuniform pattern of juvenile court organization and jurisdiction, standards regarding judicial qualifications, problems related to current juvenile court organization and practice, and the process involved in developing the proposed standards.
Index Term(s): Family courts; Juvenile adjudication; Juvenile justice standards; Rights of minors
Note: This document is available on microfiche under NCJ 76912.
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