2022 Georgia Code
Title 15 - Courts
Chapter 11 - Juvenile Code
Article 6 - Delinquency
Part 12 - Disposition
§ 15-11-600. Disposition Hearing; Time Limitations; Findings; Evidence

Universal Citation: GA Code § 15-11-600 (2022)
    1. After a finding that a child has committed a delinquent act, the court shall hear evidence and determine whether:
      1. Such child is in need of treatment, rehabilitation, or supervision;
      2. Such child’s continuation in his or her home is contrary to such child’s welfare; and
      3. Reasonable efforts have been made to prevent or eliminate the need to remove such child from his or her home.
    2. After hearing the evidence described in paragraph (1) of this subsection, the court shall make and file its findings based upon such determinations.
  1. The court may proceed immediately to the disposition hearing after the adjudication hearing or conduct the disposition hearing within 30 days of the adjudication hearing. The disposition hearing may occur later than 30 days after the adjudication hearing only if the court makes and files written findings of fact explaining the need for delay.
  2. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, evidence sufficient to warrant a finding that felony acts have been committed shall also be sufficient to sustain a finding that the child is in need of treatment or rehabilitation.
  3. If the court finds that a child who committed a delinquent act is not in need of treatment, rehabilitation, or supervision, it shall dismiss the proceeding and discharge such child from any detention or other restriction previously ordered.
  4. If the court finds that a child who committed a delinquent act is in need of supervision but not of treatment or rehabilitation, it shall find that such child is a child in need of services and enter any disposition authorized by Code Section 15-11-442.
  5. The court may consider any evidence, including hearsay evidence, that the court finds to be relevant, reliable, and necessary to determine the needs of a child who committed a delinquent act and the most appropriate disposition.
    1. Prior to the disposition hearing, and upon request, the parties and their attorneys shall be afforded an opportunity to examine any written reports received by the court.
    2. Portions of written reports not relied on by the court in reaching its decision which if revealed would be prejudicial to the interests of any party to the proceeding, or reveal confidential sources, may be withheld in the court’s discretion.
    3. Parties and their attorneys shall be given the opportunity to controvert written reports received by the court and to cross-examine individuals making such reports.
  6. In scheduling investigations and hearings, the court shall give priority to proceedings in which a child is in detention or has otherwise been removed from his or her home.

History. Code 1981, § 15-11-600 , enacted by Ga. L. 2013, p. 294, § 1-1/HB 242; Ga. L. 2014, p. 34, § 1-1/SB 365.

Law reviews.

For article, “The Child as a Party in Interest in Custody Proceedings,” see 10 Ga. St. B.J. 577 (1974).

For note criticizing jurisdiction of juvenile justice system over runaways and advocating alternative legal approaches, see 24 Emory L. J. 1075 (1975).

For article, “Termination of Parental Rights: Recent Judicial and Legislative Trends,” see 30 Emory L. J. 1065 (1981).

For article on the 2014 amendment of this Code section, see 31 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 25 (2014).

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