Teen Court is a deferred program of the Irving Municipal Court. Teen court volunteers, under the guidance of adults, present the case, deliberate, and construct a sentence for teens who have received a Class C misdemeanor ticket.
Qualifications for Volunteers:
Teen volunteers must be at least 14 years of age. You must demonstrate an ability to treat each case individually, with objectivity and without prejudice. You must have an ability to communicate with your peers and work in a group setting, and be able to maintain confidentiality of all cases.
Prospective bailiffs, clerks and jurors will attend a shorter training session.
Prospective attorneys must attend an initial all-day training session. Training sessions are held three times a year - on a Saturday in January, May and September. Training is conducted by Teen Court staff members who will teach you the steps to becoming a Teen Court attorney. You will then serve as an assistant attorney for several months before advancing to associate attorney. After serving as an associate for one 4-month term, you will be eligible to apply to become a lead attorney. Volunteers do not have to be Irving residents.
You will attend court sessions as scheduled, follow the guidelines in your manual, maintain confidentiality, treat all participants with respect, represent your client (defense attorneys) or the State of Texas (prosecutors) to the best of your ability, attend all trainings, and follow the court rules. You will also dress professionally. Girls are expected to wear a dress, skirt/blouse, or pantsuit. Boys must wear a dress shirt and tie (coat is optional). No jeans are allowed.
You will participate as a member of a six-person teen jury. You will listen objectively to the court hearing about the offense and the circumstances surrounding the offense. You will then assign consequences designed to hold the defendant responsible for his or her actions. Jurors who are licensed drivers may also sit on our Master Jury, which hears traffic, curfew and abusive language cases.
A minimum of one Tuesday night per month from 5:30 p.m. until approximately 8:30 p.m. (although you may certainly come more often).
Length of Commitment:
Four months. We schedule by four-month terms. At the end of the term, you will be given the opportunity to commit to another term.
You must be dependable! If you miss two of your scheduled court sessions without giving us advance notice, you will be removed from the Teen Court program. You must also be flexible! There are always last-minute changes on court nights, and we expect you to be willing to serve where you are needed.
Adults* can apply to help with:
- checking-in of jurors
*Local attorneys are welcome to apply to volunteer as Teen Court judges.
- making jury assignments
- overseeing the courtrooms
- handling checkout of defendants
Interested persons may contact the Teen Court office:
- Telephone: (972) 721-3601
- Fax: (972) 721-3606
- Mail: Irving Teen Court, P.O. Box 152288, Irving, Texas 75015-2288. Applications are available at the Irving Criminal Justice Center, 305 N. O’Connor Road or online.