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Manatee County Teen Court and Teen Court Too

Manatee County's Teen Court and Teen Court Too are diversionary programs designed to stop youthful delinquent behavior before a pattern is established. Teen Court and Teen Court Too allow first-time juvenile offenders, ages 10 to 17, a ‘second chance' while holding them accountable for their actions. Their cases are heard before a jury of their peers and sanctions are assigned for the defendant to complete. Failure to successfully complete the sanctions results in the juvenile being sent back to Juvenile Court.

"The program works because it's so simple. Kids won't let other kids' manipulate the system.' They see through any deception to the heart of the matter. This is truly peer pressure at its finest." - Twelfth Judicial Circuit Judge Paul Logan

Information for Teen Court and Teen Court Too Defendants

Your Hearing

On the Tuesday night of your hearing, you and your parent(s)/legal guardian(s) must be on the 4th floor of the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, by 5:15 p.m. to meet with your defense attorney. For all Teen Court events, please be aware of the environment that you are in and dress accordingly. Please follow the criteria below or you will not be permitted inside the Judicial Center:

  • All shirts must be tucked in.
  • No shorts, T-shirts, tank tops, flip-flops, or other beach-type clothing.
  • No clothing that covers the head (hats, bandanas, etc.) or loose fitting/baggy clothing.
  • Teen Court and the Clerk's Office will not be responsible for lost or damaged personal items. Cell phones must be turned off and out of sight at all times while inside the Judicial Center.
  • Purses and book bags should be placed in the Teen Court box until all hearings are completed.
  • No gum, food, candy, or drinks will be permitted on the 4th Floor of the Judicial Center. Please discard these items prior to entering the elevator.

Juveniles who are present for their "sentencing" hearing will be assigned sanctions by a jury of their peers. These sanctions include, but are not limited to, community service hours, jury duties to attend, letters of apologies, essays, counseling sessions, and drug screens (for substance abuse charges).

Defendants who are returning to fulfill their assigned sanctions should be properly dressed and on time. They should be at the Judicial Center no later than 5:15 pm on the 4th floor in order to participate. If the child arrives any later than this, the child may not get credit for the evening and will have to make up the date.

Failure to abide by the Manatee County Judicial Center guidelines can result in termination from the Teen Court program and referral to Juvenile Court for your charges. In addition, if any illegal action occurs inside the Judicial Center, you will be subject to arrest and prosecution.

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Youth Volunteer Information

Teen Court and Teen Court Too are run by students ages 10 through 17. We need you to make Teen Court work!

Youth Volunteer Roles

Have you ever thought about being a lawyer? Do you wonder what it would be like to argue your case in front of a judge? Ever want to sit on a jury and see if it is anything like TV? Then volunteer for Teen Court and Teen Court Too. No experience is necessary. We will train you.

Teen volunteers fill the following roles:

How to Become a Youth Volunteer

It's easy to become a volunteer. Print the Teen Court Volunteer Form, fill it out, have a parent or legal guardian sign it and mail it to:

Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court
ATTN: Teen Court/Teen Court Too
P.O. Box 25400
Bradenton, FL 34206-5400

Tuesday Night Information

Youth volunteers report to the 4th floor of the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday evenings for trial preparation. Court hearings begin at 6:00 p.m. and normally conclude by 7:15 p.m. Your attire should be appropriate for Court.

The Teen Court calendar shows the five holidays per year when there is no court.

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Adult Volunteer Information

Teen Court and Teen Court Too rely on adult volunteers too. If you love children and want to play an important role in keeping good kids on track and getting the good-at-heart kids back on track, then Teen Court is the place for you. No experience is necessary*. We will train you as a volunteer.

Adult Volunteer Roles

Adult volunteers fill the following roles:

  • Contract Writer
  • Jury Room Monitor
  • Mentor
  • *Judge- The only adult who participates in the proceedings is the Judge. To be the Judge, you must be a member in good standing of the Florida Bar.

If you would like to become an adult volunteer, or have any questions about being an adult volunteer, please contact the Teen Court office at (941) 741-4027 to schedule a date to observe a "typical" Tuesday night. We are sure that once you see the program, you will be hooked. However, please be aware that all juvenile hearings are confidential as defined by Florida law.

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Teen Court and Teen Court Too Program Information

Location and Times

Teen Court and Teen Court Too hearings are held every Tuesday night throughout the year from 6:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. on the 4th floor of the Manatee County Judicial Center located at 1051 Manatee Avenue West in Bradenton.

Visit the Teen Court calendar for the five holidays per year when Teen Court is not in session.

General Information

Teen Court and Teen Court Too are real courtroom experiences for kids who break the law and get caught for the first time. The charge has to be a first time misdemeanor and the juvenile needs to admit guilt to qualify for the Teen Court and Teen Court Too programs. We call our programs Diversion Programs because attendance in Teen Court and Teen Court Too may keep a child out of the Juvenile Court system.

In the courtroom, teenagers fill the roles of the attorneys, clerk, bailiffs and the jury. The Judge may be a real sitting Judge, a member of the Manatee County Bar Association or an Attorney from the State Attorney's Office. Teen Court is for teenagers ages 14, in the 9th grade, to 17 and they must be either in school or working. Teen Court Too hears cases for students ages 10 to 14 years old. To participate, teens must show remorse for their crime and be willing to cooperate.

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Contact Information

Email: Sue Lockliear, Teen Court Supervisor
Phone Number: (941) 741-4027
Fax Number: (941) 749-7108

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