Youth Court

Youth Court

Youth Court Services combines court and probation services for juvenile offenders in Blaine County with the juvenile hearings presided over by District Court Judge Yvonne Laird.

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17th Judicial District Youth Court Services
The Blaine County office is located on the lower level of the Courthouse in Room 53.

Juvenile probation is an integral part of the 17th Judicial District Youth Court Services and is overseen by the District Court Judge Yvonne Laird. The primary goal is to provide supervision of the juvenile offenders in the least restrictive environment where each case plan addresses the community’s protection, victim empathy, and competency development of the juvenile probationers. The youth is referred to a variety of services to include community service, counseling or vocational opportunities.

The Juvenile Probation Office receives referrals primarily from Law Enforcement agencies for violations of the law by juveniles. Referrals also come from parents and schools. Most referrals to the Youth Court’s juvenile probation office are in the form of a ticket accompanied by a report from law enforcement. Juvenile probation officers may handle any referral except traffic and fish and game violations, which fall under the jurisdiction of other courts.

The youth and their parent/guardian will be sent “Notice to Appear” letter for Intake Hearing. At the hearing, the youth and their parent/guardian will be advised of their rights and the alleged charges. Most youth will answer to the allegations against them through an “Informal Proceeding” with their parent/guardian before a Juvenile Probation Officer. If the youth admits to the facts of the particular charge, the Juvenile Probation Officer will decide on what avenue to take that is in the best interest of the youth with community protection in mind. However, if the youth denies the charge, the Probation Officer has no other alternative but to make a referral to the County Attorney’s Office for filing a Youth Court Petition and a formal hearing before the Youth Court.

In some cases, a “Formal” process is initiated whereby the referral is forwarded to the county attorney and a petition is filed charging the youth to be a delinquent youth or a youth in need of intervention. The Court will issue summons for the youth and their parent/guardian to appear before the Court at the “Initial Hearing”. If a private attorney cannot be secured, an attorney is provided the youth through the Public Defender’s Office. At the “Initial Hearing”, the Judge advises the youth of their rights and charges. The youth and their attorney will be asked if they are ready to enter a plea. If the youth and attorney decide to admit to the charges, the Probation Officer and County Attorney will make recommendations to the Judge concerning the disposition (final decision). Disposition hearing can be set for a later date. If the youth denies the charge, then a further hearing will be set.

 

Juvenile Probation/Youth Court Services

Hours: 8 am to 5 pm

Staff

Deputy Juvenile Probation Officer

Blaine County
Tina M. Mord
PO Box 1536
Chinook MT 59523
(406) 357-2369 ext 259
(406) 390-0763
tmord2@mt.gov

Chief Juvenile Probation Officer

Phillips County
Clark Kelly
(406) 654-2087
ckelly@mt.gov

Deputy Juvenile Probation Officer

Valley County
Melanie Sorensen
(406) 228-6265
msorensen@mt.gov

Office Assistant

Blaine County
Laurie Huestis
(406) 357-2369 ext 258
(406) 357-2370 fax
lhuestis@mt.gov

Office Assistant

Phillips County
Cheryl Moore
(406) 654-2087
cherylm@mt.gov