Any act committed by someone under the age of 18, which would be either a crime or a disorderly person's offense if committed by an adult, is an act of juvenile delinquency. The Sussex County Family court, a branch of the Superior Court, handles all juvenile delinquency complaints. The family court is held to the same principles of presumption of innocence, burden of proof, and proof beyond a reasonable doubt as the other branches of the Superior Court.
Juvenile courts were first established in New Jersey in 1929 with the primary goal of rehabilitating juveniles. More recently, these courts have broadened their purpose to include holding juvenile offenders responsible for their actions and protecting the public. As a victim of a juvenile offender, you are given the same rights and services as victims of adult offenders are. You will have the opportunity to complete a Juvenile Victim Impact Form to relay your thoughts and feelings to the Assistant Prosecutor assigned to your case. You will also be able to detail your losses and ask for restitution for any out-of-pocket expenses you have incurred.
For more information regarding juvenile cases, please call the Sussex County Prosecutor's Office at 973-383-1570 and ask for the Advocate for the Juvenile Unit.