2021 Georgia Code
Title 15 - Courts
Chapter 11 - Juvenile Code
Article 6 - Delinquency
Part 12 - Disposition
§ 15-11-601. Disposition of Delinquent Act
- At the conclusion of the disposition hearing, if a child who committed a delinquent act is determined to be in need of treatment or rehabilitation, then after considering the results of such child's risk assessment if the court is contemplating placing such child in restrictive custody, the court shall enter the least restrictive disposition order appropriate in view of the seriousness of the delinquent act, such child's culpability as indicated by the circumstances of the particular case, the age of such child, such child's prior record, and such child's strengths and needs. The court may make any of the following orders of disposition, or combination of them, best suited to such child's treatment, rehabilitation, and welfare:
- Any order authorized for the disposition of a dependent child other than placement in the temporary custody of DFCS unless such child is also adjudicated as a dependent child;
- An order requiring such child and his or her parent, guardian, or legal custodian to participate in counseling or in counsel and advice. Such counseling and counsel and advice may be provided by the court, court personnel, probation officers, community supervision officers, professional counselors or social workers, psychologists, physicians, physician assistants, qualified volunteers, or appropriate public, private, or volunteer agencies and shall be designed to assist in deterring future delinquent acts or other conduct or conditions which would be harmful to such child or society;
- An order placing such child on probation under conditions and limitations the court prescribes and which may include the probation management program. The court may place such child on probation under the supervision of:
- A probation officer of the court or the court of another state or a community supervision officer;
- Any public agency authorized by law to receive and provide care for such child; or
- Any community rehabilitation center if its chief executive officer has acknowledged in writing its willingness to accept the responsibility for the supervision of such child;
- An order placing a child on unsupervised probation under conditions and limitations the court prescribes;
- In any case in which such child who has not achieved a high school diploma or the equivalent is placed on probation, the court shall consider and may order as a condition of probation that he or she pursue a course of study designed to lead to achieving a high school diploma or the equivalent;
- An order requiring that such child perform community service in a manner prescribed by the court and under the supervision of an individual designated by the court;
- An order requiring that such child make restitution. In ordering a child to make restitution, the court shall follow the procedure set forth in Article 1 of Chapter 14 of Title 17. Such order may remain in force and effect simultaneously with another order of the court, including but not limited to an order of commitment to DJJ. However, no order of restitution shall be enforced while such child is at a secure residential facility or nonsecure residential facility unless the commissioner of juvenile justice certifies that a restitution program is available at such facility. Payment of funds shall be made by such child or his or her family or employer directly to the clerk of the juvenile court entering the order or to another employee of such court designated by the judge, and that court shall disburse such funds in the manner authorized in the order. While an order requiring restitution is in effect, the court may transfer enforcement of its order to:
- The juvenile court of the county of such child's residence and its probation staff, if he or she changes his or her place of residence; or
- The superior court once such child reaches 18 years of age as set forth in Code Section 17-14-5 if he or she thereafter comes under the jurisdiction of such court, and the court shall transfer enforcement of its order to superior court if the terms of such order are not completed when such child reaches 21 years of age;
- An order requiring such child remit to the general fund of the county a sum not to exceed the maximum fine applicable to an adult for commission of any of the following offenses:
- Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used;
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Driving without proof of minimum required motor vehicle insurance;
- Fraudulent or fictitious use of a driver's license;
- Hit and run or leaving the scene of an accident;
- Homicide by vehicle;
- Manslaughter resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle;
- Possession of controlled substances or marijuana;
- Racing on highways or streets;
- Using a motor vehicle in fleeing or attempting to elude an officer; or
- Any violation of the provisions contained in Title 40 which is properly adjudicated as a delinquent act;
- An order suspending such child's driver's license for a period not to exceed the date on which he or she reaches 18 years of age or, in the case of a child who does not have a driver's license, an order prohibiting the issuance of a driver's license to such child for a period not to exceed the date on which he or she reaches 18 years of age. The court shall retain the driver's license during such period of suspension and return it to such child at the end of such period. The court shall notify the Department of Driver Services of any actions taken pursuant to this paragraph;
- An order placing such child in an institution, camp, or other facility for delinquent children operated under the direction of the court or other local public authority only if such child was adjudicated for a delinquent act involving:
- An offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult; or
- An offense that would be a misdemeanor if committed by an adult and such child has had at least one prior adjudication for an offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult and at least three other prior adjudications for a delinquent act as defined in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (19) of Code Section 15-11-2;
- With the same exceptions as set forth in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (10) of this subsection, an order committing such child to DJJ; or
- Any order authorized under Code Section 15-11-29.1.
- This subsection shall apply to cases involving:
- An offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult; or
- An offense that would be a misdemeanor if committed by an adult and such child has had at least one prior adjudication for an offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult and at least three other prior adjudications for a delinquent act as defined in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (19) of Code Section 15-11-2.
- In addition to any other treatment or rehabilitation, the court may order such child to serve up to a maximum of 30 days in a secure residential facility or, after a risk assessment and with the court's approval, in a treatment program provided by DJJ or the juvenile court.
- This subsection shall apply to cases involving:
- Any child ordered to a secure residential facility under subsection (b) of this Code section and detained after the adjudication hearing in a secure residential facility or nonsecure residential facility pending placement in a secure residential facility shall be given credit for time served in a secure residential facility or nonsecure residential facility awaiting placement.
- A child shall be given adequate information concerning the obligations and conditions imposed upon him or her by the disposition ordered by the court and the consequences of failure to meet such obligations and conditions. Such information shall be given in terms understandable to a child to enable such child to conform his or her conduct to the requirements of the disposition.
(Code 1981, §15-11-601, enacted by Ga. L. 2013, p. 294, § 1-1/HB 242; Ga. L. 2015, p. 422, § 5-15/HB 310; Ga. L. 2017, p. 604, § 1-4/SB 175.)Cross references.
- Diploma requirement as condition of probated or suspended sentence in criminal proceedings, § 17-10-1.
Power of juvenile court to require restitution by delinquent child as condition or limitation of probation, § 17-14-5.
Power of court to place delinquent children pursuant to Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, § 39-4-7.
Further provisions regarding commitment of delinquent child to Department of Juvenile Justice, §§ 49-4A-8 and49-5-7.
Post-adjudication transfer of Juvenile Court cases for supervision, Uniform Rules for the Juvenile Courts of Georgia, Rule 5.3(c).Editor's notes.
- Ga. L. 2015, p. 422, § 6-1/HB 310, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment by this Act shall apply to sentences entered on or after July 1, 2015.Law reviews.
- For article on the 2015 amendment of this Code section, see 32 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 231 (2015).
- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, decisions under former Code 1933, § 24A-2302, pre-2000 Code Section 15-11-35, and pre-2014 Code Section 15-11-66, which were subsequently repealed but were succeeded by provisions in this Code section, are included in the annotations for this Code section. See the Editor's notes at the beginning of the chapter.Applicability.
- Contrary to a juvenile's claim that the juvenile court erred in committing the juvenile into the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice for two years consecutive to a 60-day boot camp program, the disposition was valid under both former O.C.G.A. §§ 15-11-66(b)(1) and15-11-70(a) (see now O.C.G.A. §§ 15-11-443,15-11-601, and15-11-607) as: (1) the former granted the court the discretion, in a case involving a felony offense, to order the juvenile to serve up to a maximum of 60 days in a youth development center in addition to any other treatment or rehabilitation; and (2) under the latter, an order of disposition continued in force for two years, or until the child was sooner discharged by the department. In the Interest of J.R., 280 Ga. App. 143, 633 S.E.2d 447 (2006) (decided under former O.C.G.A. § 15-11-66).Limitation on "sentencing."
- After hearing evidence during the adjudicatory phase, the juvenile court makes a single determination of whether the child is delinquent, regardless of the number of offenses committed; thus, the court did not have the power to order a juvenile to serve two consecutive 90-day terms in a youth development center for separate acts of delinquency. In re M.D., 233 Ga. App. 261, 503 S.E.2d 888 (1998) (decided under former O.C.G.A. § 15-11-35).Limited restraining order appropriate disposition.
- After a juvenile attacked a store detective, and subsequently displayed violent behavior and threatened another store employee, the court's conclusion that the juvenile was in need of treatment and rehabilitation, and the court's limited restraining order preventing the juvenile from entering any store owned by the company in Fulton County, except in the immediate presence of a parent or adult relative, was an appropriate disposition and justified by the evidence. In re J.M., 237 Ga. App. 298, 513 S.E.2d 742 (1999) (decided under former O.C.G.A. § 15-11-35).
Designation of work of public purpose for destruction of public property is constructive rather than punitive. It comes within the statutory mandate that juvenile court judges are to make such disposition of a delinquent child as is "best suited to his treatment, rehabilitation, and welfare." M.J.W. v. State, 133 Ga. App. 350, 210 S.E.2d 842 (1974) (decided under former Code 1933, § 24A-2302).Restitution as condition for probation.
- Both power and necessity to require restitution as condition for probation exist under the Juvenile Code. P.R. v. State, 133 Ga. App. 346, 210 S.E.2d 839 (1974) (decided under former Code 1933, § 24A-2302).
Term "conditions and limitations" must include right to order restitution. This right is inherent in the power of the court, in what is, in effect, the burden upon the court, to make such disposition of a delinquent child as is "best suited to his treatment, rehabilitation, and welfare." P.R. v. State, 133 Ga. App. 346, 210 S.E.2d 839 (1974) (decided under former Code 1933, § 24A-2302).Liability for restitution not conferred on parents.
- Paragraph (a)(5) of former O.C.G.A. § 15-11-35 (see now O.C.G.A. § 15-11-601) fixes the restitution obligation on the juvenile, the offending party, and does not confer liability for restitution on the parents. In re C.R.D., 197 Ga. App. 571, 398 S.E.2d 845 (1990) (decided under former O.C.G.A. § 15-11-35).Mechanics of forwarding restitution funds to court.
- Reasonable reading of the concluding language of paragraph (a)(5) of former O.C.G.A. § 15-11-35 (see now O.C.G.A. § 15-11-601) was that the language specified acceptable means or conduits by which the money owed by the juvenile offender could be paid, i.e., the mechanics of forwarding the restitution funds to the court. It was a statement of practical administrative convenience deemed necessary to implement restitution. It did not independently broaden restitution liability. In re C.R.D., 197 Ga. App. 571, 398 S.E.2d 845 (1990) (decided under former O.C.G.A. § 15-11-35).30-day limitation not applicable to pre-dispositional period.
- Despite the 41-day confinement of the first juvenile, the juvenile court complied with the statutory limits relied upon by the first juvenile as the disposition order did not include any confinement in a secure residential facility, so the 30-day confinement limit was not directly implicated by the disposition order and, by its plain terms, the credit-for-time-served requirement only addressed dispositional confinement, not other confinement. In the Interest of B. L., 333 Ga. App. 860, 777 S.E.2d 705 (2015).Commitment to Department of Juvenile Justice proper.
- Juvenile defendant's commitment to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) was proper because the defendant was on probation for a delinquent act and the defendant's violation of probation terms was also a delinquent act, and commitment to DJJ was found to be the treatment or rehabilitation best suited to the child's needs. In the Interest of B. Q. L. E., 297 Ga. App. 273, 676 S.E.2d 742, cert. denied, No. S09C1197, 2009 Ga. LEXIS 787 (Ga. 2009) (decided under former O.C.G.A. § 15-11-66).Confinement of juvenile for public indecency not allowed.
- Since the defendant's delinquent act of public indecency did not constitute an act which, if committed by an adult, would be punishable either as a felony or as a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature involving bodily injury or a substantial likelihood of injury under former O.C.G.A. § 15-11-66 (see now O.C.G.A. § 15-11-601), the juvenile court's sentence which included confinement exceeded that allowed by law and was void. In the Interest of C. H., 319 Ga. App. 373, 735 S.E.2d 291 (2012) (decided under former O.C.G.A. § 15-11-66).Prohibition against driving during period of probation authorized.
- After a juvenile was found delinquent, the court did not exceed the court's authority by prohibiting the juvenile from driving until the expiration of the juvenile's probation, rather than the juvenile's eighteenth birthday. In re A.H.S., 223 Ga. App. 824, 479 S.E.2d 157 (1996) (decided under former O.C.G.A. § 15-11-35).Credit for time served.
- Juvenile court erred in expressly denying a juvenile credit for the time served in detention prior to the delinquency adjudication because under O.C.G.A. § 15-11-601(11)(c), the juvenile court was required to give a child credit for time served in a secure residential facility and the credit for time served applies to the disposition of all offenses, including felonies, pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 15-11-604(b). In the Interest of D. D., 335 Ga. App. 676, 782 S.E.2d 728 (2016).Appeal of adjudication after disposition order expired was not moot.
- Juvenile who appealed the juvenile's adjudication of delinquency after the disposition order had expired was not required to show adverse collateral consequences in the record in order to avoid a finding of mootness; such consequences were presumed based on the uses to which a prior adjudication of delinquency could be put. In the Interest of M. F., 305 Ga. 820, 828 S.E.2d 350 (2019).
OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, decisions under pre-2000 Code Section 15-11-35, and pre-2014 Code Section 15-11-66, which were subsequently repealed but were succeeded by provisions in this Code section, are included in the annotations for this Code section. See the Editor's notes at the beginning of the chapter.Court costs.
- Juvenile court had no authority to impose court costs on child as part of conditions of probation. 1982 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U82-14 (decided under former O.C.G.A. § 15-11-35).
All costs related to subsistence and detention, including emergency medical costs, incurred on behalf of juveniles held in Department of Juvenile Justice facilities prior to a formal commitment to the Department of Juvenile Justice are properly assessed to the counties. 2002 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 2002-6 (decided under former O.C.G.A. § 15-11-66).Free education of school-age children.
- School-age children placed in facilities by the Department of Human Resources or the Department of Children and Youth Services must be provided with a free education by the local school system in which the facility is located. 1996 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 96-23 (decided under former O.C.G.A. § 15-11-35).
Am. Jur. 2d.
- 42 Am. Jur. 2d, Infants, § 50. 47 Am. Jur. 2d, Juvenile Courts and Delinquent and Dependent Children, §§ 56 et seq., 110 et seq.C.J.S.
- 43 C.J.S., Infants, § 234 et seq.U.L.A.
- Uniform Juvenile Court Act (U.L.A.) § 31.ALR.
- Defense of infancy in juvenile delinquency proceedings, 83 A.L.R.4th 1135.