Section 12-15-1

(Subject to the satisfaction of contingencies specified in Act 98-392) Definitions.

When used in this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings:

(1) ADULT. An individual 19 years of age or older.

(2) AFTERCARE. Conditions and supervision as the court orders after release of legal custody.

(3) CHILD. An individual under the age of 18, or under 19 years of age and before the juvenile court for a matter arising before that individual's 18th birthday.

(4) CHILD IN NEED OF SUPERVISION. A child who does any of the following:

a. Being subject to compulsory school attendance, is habitually truant from school.

b. Disobeys the reasonable and lawful demands of the child's parents, guardian, or other custodian and is beyond their control.

c. Has committed an offense established by law but not classified as criminal or one applicable only to children.

d. In any of the foregoing, is in need of care or rehabilitation.

(5) COMMIT. Transfer legal and physical custody.

(6) CONSENT DECREE. An order, entered after the filing of a delinquency petition and before the entry of an adjudication order, suspending the proceedings and continuing the case of the child under supervision in the child's own home, under terms and conditions agreed to by all parties concerned.

(7) COURT or JUVENILE COURT. The juvenile division of the district court or the juvenile division of the circuit court as established by this chapter.

(8) DELINQUENT ACT. An act committed by a child that is designated a violation, misdemeanor, or felony offense under the law of this state or of another state if the act occurred in another state or under federal law or a violation of a municipal ordinance except violations of municipal curfew ordinances. The term shall not include traffic offenses committed by one 16 years of age or older, other than those charged pursuant to Section 32-5A-191 or a municipal ordinance prohibiting the same conduct. Additionally, the term shall not include any criminal act, offense, or violation committed by a child who has previously been transferred for criminal prosecution pursuant to Section 12-15-34 and convicted or adjudicated a youthful offender on the criminal charge.

(9) DELINQUENT CHILD. A child who has committed a delinquent act and is in need of care or rehabilitation.

(10) DEPENDENT CHILD. A child:

a. Who, for any reason is destitute, homeless, or dependent on the public for support; or

b. Who is without a parent or guardian able to provide for the child's support, training, or education; or

c. Whose custody is the subject of controversy; or

d. Whose home, by reason of neglect, cruelty, or depravity on the part of the parent, parents, guardian, or other person in whose care the child may be, is an unfit and improper place for the child; or

e. Whose parent, parents, guardian, or other custodian neglects or refuses, when able to do so or when such service is offered without charge, to provide or allow medical, surgical, or other care necessary for the child's health or well-being; or

f. Who is in a condition or surroundings or is under improper or insufficient guardianship or control as to endanger the morals, health, or general welfare of the child; or

g. Who has no proper parental care or guardianship; or

h. Whose parent, parents, guardian, or custodian fails, refuses, or neglects to send the child to school in accordance with the terms of the compulsory school attendance laws of this state; or

i. Who has been abandoned by the child's parents, guardian, or other custodian; or

j. Who is physically, mentally, or emotionally abused by the child's parents, guardian, or other custodian or who is without proper parental care and control necessary for the child's well-being because of the faults or habits of the child's parents, guardian, or other custodian or their neglect or refusal, when able to do so, to provide them; or

k. Whose parents, guardian, or other custodian are unable to discharge their responsibilities to and for the child; or

1. Who has been placed for care or adoption in violation of the law; or

m. Who for any other cause is in need of the care and protection of the state; and

n. In any of the foregoing, is in need of care or supervision.

(11) DETENTION CARE. The temporary care of delinquent children or children alleged to be delinquent in secure custody pending court disposition or transfer to a residential facility or further care of a child adjudicated a delinquent.

(12) GUARDIAN AD LITEM. A licensed attorney appointed by a court to defend or represent a child in any action to which the child may be a party.

(13) INTAKE OFFICE. The office in the probation service or designee of the judge with the duty of primary contact with the law enforcement agency and complainants of children coming under the jurisdiction of the court.

(14) JUDGE. Judge of the juvenile court as prescribed by this chapter.

(15) LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER. Any person, however denominated, who is authorized by law to exercise the police powers of the state or local governments.

(16) LEGAL CUSTODIAN. A person, agency, or department, other than a parent or legal guardian, to whom legal custody of the child has been given by court order or who is acting in loco parentis.

(17) LEGAL CUSTODY. A legal status created by court order which vests in a custodian the right to have physical custody of the child and to determine where and with whom the child shall live within the state and the right and duty to protect, train, and discipline the child and to provide the child with food, shelter, clothing, education, and ordinary medical care, all subject to the powers, rights, duties, and responsibilities of the guardian of the person of the child and subject to any residual parental rights and responsibilities. An individual granted legal custody shall exercise the rights and responsibilities personally unless otherwise authorized by the juvenile court.

(18) MINOR. An individual who is under the age of 19 years and who is not a "child" within the meaning of this chapter.

(19) MULTIPLE NEEDS CHILD. A child coming to the attention of the court or one of the entities listed herein who is at imminent risk of out-of-home placement or a placement in a more restrictive environment, as a result of the conditions of emotional disturbance, behavior disorder, mental retardation, mental illness, dependency, chemical dependency, educational deficit, lack of supervision, delinquency, or physical illness or disability, or any combination thereof, and whose needs require the services of two or more of the following entities: Department of Youth Services, public school system (services for exceptional needs), Department of Human Resources, Department of Public Health, juvenile court probation services, or Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation.

(20) PROBATION. The legal status created by court order following an adjudication of delinquency or in need of supervision whereby a child is permitted to remain in a community subject to supervision and return to court for violation of probation at any time during the period of probation.

(21) PROBATION SERVICES. The performance of any of the following:

a. The making of investigations, reports, and recommendations to the court as directed by law.

b. The receiving and examining of complaints and charges of delinquency for the purpose of considering the commencement of proceedings under law.

c. The supervision of a child placed on probation by order of the court.

d. The supervision of a child placed on aftercare by order of the court.

e. The making of appropriate referrals to other private or public agencies of the community, if their assistance appears to be needed or desirable.

f. The taking into custody and detaining of a youth who is under the supervision and care of the Department of Youth Services as a delinquent where there is reasonable cause to believe that the health or safety of the youth or that of another is in imminent danger, or that he or she may abscond or be moved from the jurisdiction of the court, or when ordered by the court pursuant to the Juvenile Code.

g. The performing of all other functions designated by the Juvenile Code or by order of the court pursuant thereto.

(22) PROTECTIVE SUPERVISION. A legal status created by court order following an adjudication of dependency whereby a child is permitted to remain in the child's home subject to supervision and to return to the court for violation of protective supervision at any time during the period of protective supervision.

(23) RESIDENTIAL FACILITY. A dwelling, other than a detention or shelter care facility, providing living accommodations, care, treatment, and maintenance for children, including institutions, foster family homes, group homes, half-way houses, and forestry camps, and, where not operated by a public agency, licensed, or approved to provide the care.

(24) RESIDUAL PARENTAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES. Those rights and responsibilities remaining with the parent after the transfer of legal custody or guardianship of the person, including, but not necessarily limited to, the right of visitation, the right to consent to adoption, the right to determine religious affiliation, and the responsibility for support.

(25) SHELTER CARE. The temporary care of children in group homes, foster care, or other nonpenal facilities.

(Acts 1975, No. 1205, p. 2384, §5-101; Acts 1988, No. 88-226, p. 353, §1; Acts 1990, No. 90-674, p. 1304, §1; Acts 1997, No. 97-621, §1; Act 98-392, p. 782, §2.)