Filing a Petition


In order to process a delinquent case, a copy of the police report is mandatory. Identifying information must include the child’s name, date of birth, address, and parent names before we can proceed with any legal action.

Child in Need of Supervision (CHINS)

This filing concerns a child alleged truant, a runaway, or ungovernable.

  • A child who has run away from home whereby his or her whereabouts are unknown should be reported to law enforcement for immediate assistance. If unable to locate, a copy of the police report should be brought to Intake at the Juvenile Probation Office to allow a petition filing and the issuance of a juvenile pickup order.
  • A child who is ungovernable must be engaging in ongoing behavior problems in the home whereby current or past counseling efforts have failed. Juvenile Court requires that significant ongoing attempts be made in counseling before approaching the court for assistance.


A child alleged truant will typically be referred by school authorities in the jurisdiction of attendance. Any attendance issue should be directed to that system’s Student Services Division. 

  • Shelby County Board of Education Student Services
    Ph: (205) 682-7046
  • Hoover Board of Education Student Services
    Ph: (205) 439-1026
  • Alabaster City Schools
    Ph: (205) 663-8400
  • Pelham City Schools
    Ph: (205) 624-3700


This filing concerns a child who is alleged abused, neglected, or without proper supervision and care. If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, please contact the Shelby County Department of Human Resources at (205) 669-3000 or your local law enforcement agency to make a report.

When filing for custody of a child, it is strongly recommended that you call Intake at the Juvenile Probation Office first. Due to significant law changes, the circumstances in your case may not allow filing in Juvenile Court. Further, when filing in Juvenile Court, please ensure you have both mailing and physical addresses for all parties. Doing so will expedite and ensure proper service and notification.

Private-attorney prepared petitions must direct their clients to come to Intake at Juvenile Court Services to have their petitions sworn and affirmed firsthand.