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Curry County Juvenile Department

    

Common Questions - Click on question to see answer at bottom of page

The Curry County Juvenile Department, and Juvenile Court are located in the Curry County Courthouse located at 29821 Ellensburg Avenue in Gold Beach, Oregon. The Curry County Juvenile Department operates a south county satellite office located in the South County Sheriff's Substation at 16350 Lower Harbor Road, Suite 203 in Harbor, Oregon. The Curry County Juvenile Department is open Monday through Friday from 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM. The Juvenile Court is regularly in session on Mondays at 1:30 PM, excluding judicial holidays, at the Curry County Courthouse in Gold Beach, Oregon.
The normal working days and operational hours for the Curry County Juvenile Department are Monday through Friday from 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM. If you have an after hours issue requiring immediate assistance you can call your local law enforcement agency. A juvenile counselor is available 24 hours a day - seven days a week to assist law enforcement.

In juvenile delinquency cases your child may be eligible for a court appointed attorney. As a parent of a child involved in a delinquent act, you are not eligible for a court appointed attorney. If the parent or the youth cannot afford to pay for the attorney, the court can so order an attorney be appointed. The judge will review a parent's income/financial qualifying form and make a decision concerning eligibility.

In dependency cases (child abuse, neglect and abandonment), parents may be appointed attorneys. Again, this will be based upon financial and income level criteria.

There are three ways in which a parent or a child can get another court appointed attorney. You may discuss the matter with your current court appointed attorney and request that they file a motion to be relieved of the case and have another attorney appointed. Secondly, you present your case to the judge during a court hearing. Lastly, you may write a letter to the court requesting such action.

As the parent of a child involved in a delinquent act, you are not eligible for a court appointed attorney. You may, however, obtain an attorney to represent your interests if you think it is necessary.

If eligible, in dependency cases, (those involving child abuse, neglect or abandonment), parents may have attorneys appointed. The judge will review a parent's income as provided on a qualifying form and make a decision concerning eligibility.

Probation is either imposed by a judge or as an outcome of an agreement between the youth, parents and a juvenile counselor. A judge can imposes a maximum probation period of five years and shall not extend beyond the juvenile's 23rd birthday. Six months to two years is a common period of probation. The length of time depends on the seriousness of the offense, the need for supervision, and the youth's compliance with the conditions of probation. If probation is the product of an agreement with the juvenile counselor, the maximum probation period for an offense is one year.
Only the court or the court's designee can authorize placement of a youth into a juvenile detention facility. There are strict legal criteria outlining when a juvenile offender is eligible for detention. A parent cannot have their child placed in detention.

Of course any illegal drug or alcohol use by a child or adolescent is reason for alarm. Whether it is your child's first attempt or there have been other occasions, now is the time to intervene and get help from a professional. Level of use is broken down into five categories:

1) Experimental use (one time use),

2) Social use (two or more incidents, very irregular use and possibly some negative consequences.),

3) Habitual use (regular use, daily, weekly or monthly and possibly some negative consequences),

4) Abuse (regular use and has experienced negative consequences associated with its use), and

5) Addiction (regular use, has and has experienced significant consequences associated with its use, has difficulty stopping and may be in denial).

The form of help you obtain should depend on your child's level of use issues. Your first step should be to obtain a drug and alcohol assessment from a professional who is qualified to perform drug and alcohol assessments. Our staff regularly responds to this issue and is quite well prepared to guide you to appropriate resources.

If you have further questions you may call the Curry County Juvenile Department (541) 247-3302 , or Toll Free (877) 739-4254, Monday through Friday 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM.

It would be best to contact the Oregon State Bar at 1-800-452-4776 to learn about obtaining restraining orders. They will have brochures, pamphlets, explanatory tapes and other information concerning this subject.

Some parts of a juvenile record are confidential and some parts are not confidential. Generally a juvenile record consists of two parts, social and legal. The social file includes reports and material relating to the child's or youth's history and prognosis and are considered privileged. Except at the request of the youth, this information is not to be disclosed directly or indirectly to anyone other than the judge of the juvenile court, those acting under the judge's direction, and to the attorneys of record.

Information in the legal file which can be released includes:

• the name and date of birth of the child or youth,

• the basis for the juvenile court's jurisdiction over the child or youth,

• date, time and place of any juvenile court proceeding in which the child or youth is involved,

• the act alleged by the youth, level of resistance at time of arrest, and

• that portion of the juvenile court order providing for the legal disposition of the charge.

If a youth has no legal file but has been placed on a Formal Accountability Agreement the following information is not confidential:

• The name and date of birth of the youth

• The act alleged and

• The portion of the agreement providing for the disposition of the crime. [reference ORS 419C.239(2)]

Further, information contained in reports or the child's history and prognosis, may be released if, in the professional judgment of the juvenile counselor, caseworker, teacher or detention worker, that information indicates a clear and immediate danger to another person or to society. For further detail about confidentiality please refer to ORS 419A.255.

Under most circumstances a juvenile's record can be destroyed at some point. The process of getting a juvenile record and associated police reports destroyed is called an expungement. Curry County Juvenile utilizes two different paths to consider when thinking about expunction:

First, is a "Five Year Expunction." In order to be eligible for this type of expunction, five years needs to have elapsed from the date of the last case termination. The five year expunction applies whether Court wardship was established or not. This method of expunction is the most widely used by the Juvenile Department.

The second option is a "Best Interest Expunction". This method of pursuing expunction can be used by almost any person regardless of age or how long it has been since the case has been closed. People who apply for the Best Interest Expunction are typically those who are not yet eligible for an automatic expunction, and may be considered in certain cases.

You may apply for an expunction of your juvenile court records at any time. However, some limitations include:

1) there cannot be legal proceedings pending in juvenile or criminal court,
2) the person cannot presently be within the jurisdiction of any juvenile court,
3) there cannot be a pending investigation by any law enforcement agency.
4) some records are not eligible for expunction because of the seriousness of the crime, such as serious person to person crimes and many sex crimes.

The expunction laws are complex and, as such, if you think you qualify for an expunction, you might want to consider discussing your situation with the Juvenile Department at (541) 247-3302, or Toll Free at (877) 739-4254, and ask to see if your record can be destroyed.

Your child's education is important! A good place to start is by scheduling a meeting with your school's administrator. Between the two parties, try to identify and address all reasonable barriers to your child's success. For example, if you find that your child is embarrassed about dressing down for physical education classes, you might ask the administrator for a recommendation, or for options. Your child may be the victim of a bully, explore this option. Communicate regularly, and work closely as a team with your child's school.

A long history of trying to respond to this problem has taught juvenile counselors that success, if it is going to occur, requires a commitment from all concerned parties. Engaging the support of friends, other family members, school authorities, your local police department and, if a juvenile department counselor has been assigned for a different reason, is a good place to start. As you take on this task, commitment, good communication and coordination is necessary on your part. Some parents go to school- regardless of their child's age - and attend class on a daily basis until their child gets the message.

To be emancipated means that a minor (someone under 18 years of age) has legally been given certain rights which are normally reserved for adults. In order to be emancipated, a minor must be at least 16 years of age and the court must find that the best interests of the minor will be served by emancipation.

To attain emancipated status, juveniles must be fully self-supporting, have an adequate place to live and be able to demonstrate sufficient maturity and sense of responsibility to function on their own without adult supervision.

Prior to Emancipating a Minor the Court Must Consider:

Whether the parent of the minor consents to the emancipation.

Whether the minor has been living away from the family home and is substantially able to be self-maintained and self-supported without parental guidance and supervision.

Whether the minor can demonstrate that he or she is sufficiently mature and knowledgeable to manage his or her affairs without parental assistance.

It is common for the Juvenile Court Judge to expect the minor to come to court prepared with a budget, a stable source of income, a stable residence, and transportation and school issues addressed.

A Decree of Emancipation Serves Only to:

  1. Recognize a minor as an adult for the purposes of contracting and conveying, establishing residence, suing and being sued, and recognize the minor as an adult for purposes of criminal laws of the State of Oregon.
  2. Terminate most parental responsibilities to the emancipated minor.

A decree of emancipation does not affect any age qualification for purchasing alcohol or the requirements for obtaining a marriage license, nor declare the person to have reached the age of majority.

Factors to be Considered:

Below are general guidelines to use as factors the County Judges have identified in verifying appropriate standards for emancipation; the youth shall:

Be employed at least 25 to 30 hours per week at minimum wage or more for at least 3 months and be able to furnish a most recent payroll document. (Another source of income, such as a social security trust, may be acceptable.)

Be graduated from high school, have received a GED, or attending educational or vocational school full-time.

Have at least one month's salary in a checking or savings account. (Minimum of $800).

Be able to provide own medical insurance or be able to continue under parent's coverage. Must show documentation from health care provider proving eligibility and availability.

If living away from parental home, be established in a residence for two or three months. The residence cannot be with the youth's boyfriend or girlfriend. (Exception: If emancipation is needed to enter into rental agreement, youth must furnish documentation so indicating.)

Maturity and responsibility: Youth must demonstrate the ability to be on his/her own without adult supervision by the following:

parental testimony

recommendation from reliable adults

reports from school instructors or employers

development and submission of monthly budget 

There shall be no pending law violations involving the youth.

The Emancipation Process:

Prior to filing for emancipation a youth may meet with a juvenile department counselor who can answer questions, guide the youth through the process and counsel the youth on the viability of an emancipation.

Once the youth has decided to go forward with the emancipation application the youth must go to the juvenile department in the county where he or she resides and file an application with the associated fee. The filing fee is nonrefundable. Once the application for emancipation has been filed, the juvenile court will assign a juvenile department counselor who will answer questions, ask questions in order to gather relevant information, and prepare a report which summarizes the significant issues and concludes with a recommendation to the judge. The court will conduct a preliminary hearing within ten (10) days of the date of filing. A final hearing will be held no later than sixty (60) days after filing.

Parents are notified of any emancipation proceeding. At the preliminary hearing the youth is informed of the civil and criminal rights and liabilities of an emancipated minor and an emancipation hearing date is scheduled.

At the emancipation hearing the judge will hear testimony, review materials presented and ask questions. The minor must be prepared with relevant documents and answers to questions at the time of the hearing.

If the minor is emancipated, he or she is provided a copy of the Decree of Emancipation and instructed to obtain an Oregon driver's license or an Oregon identification card through the Oregon Department of Transportation which makes a notation of the minor's emancipated status.

Miscellaneous Information:

Please be aware that an emancipation, under most circumstances, can not be reversed.

Emancipated minors are subject to jurisdiction of the adult courts for criminal offenses.

It is not unusual for parents to want to emancipate their child, however, this action must be initiated by the person being emancipated.

When people ask this question they are typically wanting to be told a specific age when a child can be left alone. To the surprise of many, there is no specific age provided for by law. In these circumstances, the good judgment of the parent or guardian is most important. Generally speaking there are three primary variables which need to be considered. First, the maturity of the child, second, the environment provided for the child and third, how long the child will be unattended. The best advise is to error on the side of caution, safety and the best interest of the child. As a guideline it is also advisable to be extra cautious with children under 10 years of age. If in doubt it would be wise to call the State Office for Services to Children and Families, In regard to maturity, a child may be 13 years old and yet immature and unskilled at providing for him or herself when alone or during an emergency. Under these circumstances, if notified, the police or State Office for Services to Children and Families may be concerned. However, a child may be 11 years of age, very mature, quite skilled at meeting his needs and well prepared to respond to an unanticipated event. In this case it may be appropriate to leave the child unattended for a short period of time.

The child's environment is also of great concern. Central issues of concern include the provision of food, heat, emergency planning, and access to a responsible adult if needed. Ideally, if a child must be left unattended for a short period of time, a neighbor should be available to periodically check in on the child. Of course, regular phone calls from a parent demonstrates appropriate concern too.

It is not advisable to leave any child unattended for an extended period of time.

Some laws which pertain:

Abandonment of a child: It is considered "abandonment of a child" if a parent or guardian of a child under 15 years of age deserts their child in any place with intent to abandon him or her. Abandonment is a felony crime, (ORS163.535).

Child Neglect in the Second Degree: The law says a person who has custody or control of a child under 10 years of age commits the crime of child neglect in the second degree if, with criminal negligence, the person leaves the child unattended in or at any place for such a period of time as may be likely to endanger the health or welfare of such child. Child neglect in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor, (ORS 163.545).

Failing to supervise a child: A person commits the offense of failing to supervise a child if the person who is the parent, lawful guardian or other person lawfully charged with the care or custody of a child under 15 years of age and the child:

a) Commits an act that brings the child within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court as a delinquent.

b) Violates a curfew Law of a county or any other political subdivision, or

c) Fails to attend school as required by law., (reference ORS 163.577).

Your response to a situation like this should depend upon the level of urgency. If there is doubt in your mind and clearly no immediate danger you can call the State Department of Human Services and ask how to respond. If, on the other hand, the child is clearly in danger, do not hesitate. Dial 911 and report the incident and details to the police. The State Department of Human Services - Curry Branch can be contacted at (541) 247-4515. Oregon law states, "Anyone participating in good faith in the making of a report of child abuse and who has reasonable grounds for the making thereof shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal . . ." [419B.025]

This question is probably the most frequent of all questions at the Juvenile Department. Unfortunately this is probably the one question which is least likely to have a well specified answer. At the Juvenile Department we see a variety of definitions for the phrase "out of control". On one hand some parents complain of defiance and noncompliance and on the other hand some parents report stories where their home has been severely damaged and they are fearful for their lives. If the "out of control" problem roots from the youth wanting to be more independent, your approach is likely to be very different than if the problem stems from a mental health concern, i.e., Conduct Disorder or Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder. It is advisable to talk with a professional, such as a family physician or counselor, as soon as possible. A remedy for this sort of problem will be more successful if it is dealt with in its early development stages.

There are several ways to approach the problem of an out of control child. The following are some ideas which might prove helpful:

1. Reading, (I.e., Back in Control by Gregory Bodenheimer)

2. Support groups, (I.e., Tough Love)

3. Lifestyle issues, (i.e., sleep and eating habits, family conflict issues, etc.)

4. Parent education, (i.e., Classes offered through Community Schools)

5. Counseling, (I.e., Community Family Counseling)

6. Seeking medication, (Talk with your physician)

7. Seeking an out of home placement for the child, (private providers)

8. If a crime has been committed, seeking police involvement

(The above examples are not to be considered endorsements)

Having an out of control child is both frustrating and humbling. Probably most frustration comes from the inability to force the child to do what is right and behave in an acceptable fashion. Be careful how you respond. It is not advisable that you let your child rule your home or come and go as he or she pleases. These conflicts, especially with a teen, can have a profound effect on family relations for years to come. Think through your family rules. Be sure to know which rules are mandatory (nonnegotiable) and which ones are negotiable. It is possible that some form of empowerment may be the "out" your child is looking for. Recognize that most "out of control" youth are engaging in a power struggle. Think through a plan to prevent a progressive escalation of this power struggle.

If you are certain your child ran away you can call your local police department to file a runaway report. If you do not live in an incorporated city and live in County, call the County Sheriff's office and ask how to file a runaway report. Some police departments require that your child be away for at least 24 hours before a report will be accepted.

While waiting for your child to return, or be located, you can use this time to educate yourself about your options and counseling resources. You can also use this time to develop a plan to implement when your child returns home.

Please be advised, if your child has only been taken into custody for runaway he will NOT be placed in detention, (unless he or she is an out of State runaway). Out of State runaways can be placed in detention until arrangements can be made to return the runaway to his or her home State, (ORS 419C.156).

Being a runaway is an indication of turmoil within your home. Sometimes the problems stem from your choices, sometimes from your parent or guardian actions, some combination of the two, or even some other cause. Rather than finding a place for blame, the focus is on trying to solve the problem(s) or at least reduce the tension in the home enough so that it is once again livable. Of course there are some situations where returning a runaway to his or her home is not safe and your safety is our greatest concern.

If you are a runaway and a police report has been filed, you should either return home or turn yourself in. You can turn yourself in to any police officer. If the police find you first, you will be taken into custody. Once you are in custody you will likely either be taken home or taken to the County Shelter Care Center.

Please be advised, if you have only been taken into custody for runaway you will NOT be placed in detention, unless you are an out of State runaway. Out of State runaways can be placed in detention and held until arrangements can be made to return the runaway to his or her home State, (ORS 419C.156)

Oregon Revised Statute 419C.680 says: (1) No minor shall be in or upon any street, highway, park, alley or other public place between the hours of 12 midnight and 4 a.m. of the following morning, unless:

 (a) Such minor is accompanied by a parent, guardian or other person 18 years of age or over and authorized by the parent;

 (b) Such minor is then engaged in a lawful pursuit or activity which requires the presence of the minor in such public places during these hours;

 (c) The minor is legally emancipated

Please note that cities have the ability to enact special ordinances pertaining to curfew in their jurisdiction. The City of Brookings has such a curfew ordinance of 10:30pm to 4:00am.

Measure 11 is an Oregon law which says if a youth is 15, 16 or 17 years of age, and does any of the following list of crimes in Oregon, he or she must be tried as an adult and must go to prison for a long time.

Why Does Oregon Have this Law?

Measure 11 is a law designed to assure that dangerous juvenile offenders are removed from society. It is designed to make the citizens of Oregon feel safer by taking the most violent juvenile offenders out of circulation and locking them up for a long time.

What are the Measure 11 Crimes?

 Following is a list of the Measure 11 crimes and the associated mandatory sentence:

CRIME

YEARS/ Months

Robbery II *

5 years 10 months

Robbery I

7 years 6 months

Sexual Abuse I

6 years 3 months

Unlawful Sexual Penetration II

6 years 3 months

Unlawful Sexual Penetration I

8 years 4 months

Sodomy II

6 years 3 months

Sodomy I

8 years 4 months

Rape II

6 years 3 months

Rape I

8 years 4 months

Kidnapping II *

5 years 10 months

Kidnapping I

7 years 6 months

Assault II *

5 years 10 months

Assault I

7 years 6 months

Manslaughter II

6 years 3 months

Manslaughter I

10 years

Conspiracy to Commit Murder

10 years 5 months

Attempted Murder

7 years 5 months

Murder

25 years

Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Murder

10 years

Attempted Aggravated Murder

10 years

Aggravated Murder

30 years to life

Arson I

7 years 6 months

Using child in display of sexually explicit conduct

5 years 10 months

Compelling Prostitution

5 years 10 months

 * Under certain circumstances there may be a less than minimum for this crime.

 -- With Measure 11 crimes probation, parole and early release are not allowed.

 Examples of Measure 11 Crimes:

 Robbery II: You, alone or with a friend, want someone's baseball cap. You either pretend to have a weapon or threaten to beat the owner up. Upon conviction for Robbery II you and your friend go to prison for 5 years and 10 months.

 Assault II: You and a friend get into a fight with another person. Your friend pokes the other person in the eye with the handle of a hairbrush causing serious injury to the eye. You and your friend go to prison for 5 years and 10 months when convicted.

 Sexual Abuse I: You are on a date and touch your partner in the buttock, crotch or breast. In spite of being told to stop, you touch the person again. When convicted of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree you go to prison for 6 years and 3 months.

Kidnapping II: You are mad at another person and go to their house to confront them. You force the person outside to beat him up. You go to prison for 5 years and 10 months if convicted.

 Will the Judge Give You a Break if You Have Never Been in Trouble?

 No! The law says the judge MUST send anyone to prison who is 15 or older and guilty of a Measure 11 crime.

Generally, an offense is a "violation" if, (a) the offense is designated as a violation in the statute defining the offense, (b) the statute prescribing the penalty for the offense provides that the offense is punishable by a fine but does not provide that the offense is punishable by a term of imprisonment, (ORS 153.008)

A "crime" is an offense for which a sentence of imprisonment is authorized. A crime is either a misdemeanor or a felony, (ORS 161.515). Generally misdemeanor crimes are considered less serious than felony crimes.

Misdemeanor:

A crime is a misdemeanor if it is so designated in any statute of Oregon or if a person convicted thereof may be sentenced to a maximum term of imprisonment of not more than one year, (ORS 161.545). A fine can also be imposed.

Misdemeanor crimes are classified for the purpose of the sentence into the following categories:

Misdemeanor Classification

Prison Term Maximum

Fines for Misdemeanors

Class A misdemeanor

1 year

$6,250

Class B misdemeanor

6 months

$2,500

Class C misdemeanor

30 days

$1,250

Theft in the second and third degree (shoplifting), harassment, and some criminal mischief crimes are examples of misdemeanor crimes.

Felony:

A crime is a felony if it is so designated in any statue of Oregon or if a person convicted under a statue of this state may be sentenced to a maximum term of imprisonment of more than one year, (ORS.161.525). A fine may also be imposed.

Felony crimes are classified for the purpose of the sentence into the following categories:

 

Felony Classification

Prison Term Maximum Limitation

Fines for Felonies

Class A felony

20 years

$375,000

Class B felony

10 years

$250,000

Class C felony

5 years

$125,000

Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle, Theft in the First Degree, Burglary, Robbery and some Assaults are Felony crimes.

A status offense is a law violation, (not a delinquency, crime or violation) which only applies to juveniles. For example, curfew is a status offense. A juvenile can commit the status offense of violating curfew but adults, (those over 18) can, all things being equal, stay out all night long if they so wish. Other examples of status offenses include:

• Runaway

• Truancy

• Possession of tobacco

• Possession of alcohol, (though this is a peculiar one because it applies to those under 21 years of age).

• Being beyond control

• Behavior such as to endanger the welfare of the youth or others

Youth who commit status offenses are not thought to be "delinquent" youth.

A delinquent act is a law violation which if done by an adult (someone 18 years old or older) would be a crime. For example, if an adult steals a car and is convicted he or she is thought of as someone who has committed a crime and to be a criminal. A juvenile who steals a car and is convicted is thought of as someone who has committed a delinquent act, (an act which would be a crime if he or she were an adult.), and to be a delinquent.

Youth's who commit delinquent acts are thought of as more serious offenders than status offenders.

Stalking orders are obtained through civil court. If you go to the State Court Clerk’s Office - Civil in the Curry County courthouse, you can ask for stalking forms to complete. Clerks are available to assist you and they will set a court hearing for the judge to rule on the stalking motion.

A parent should call the State Department of Human Services and ask for the licensing department. Once connected, ask if the State has licensed the program you are interested in. They can tell you information in their files concerning the program.

If the program is not licensed with the State, ask the program director for staff credentials. Does the staff have college degrees? What certifications do their staff carry? What work experience does staff have in serving adolescents? Ask if there are pending law suits against the program? Ask for professional and previous client references. A good program should be eager to share this information. Ask for their philosophy on managing resistive, out of control youth. Ask to see their staff's training records for first aid, CPR, physical and mechanical restraints.

You might also ask to see any reports the program may generate addressing performance measurements. How many clients successfully complete the program? How has the program measured long term impact?