The Juvenile Court judge is assisted in their judicial duties by magistrates appointed by themselves. The judge may direct any case or class of cases to be heard in the first instance by a magistrate, who has the same authority and powers as the judge. Any party dissatisfied with the decision of the magistrate may petition for a hearing before the judge.
The Judicial Department oversees three different offices:
- Office of Advocate for Noncustodial Parents
- Office of the Guardian Ad Litem
- Office of the Juvenile Defender (public defender)
Office of Advocate for Noncustodial Parents
The Office of Advocate for Noncustodial Parents was created by Judge Person to provide assistance to pro-se litigants, so that the courts are open and accessible. An attorney is available to advise parents on the law, and provide guidance on the use of the proper legal forms to help them get their matter before the court. However, no attorney-client relationship is established.
Office of the Guardian Ad Litem
The Office of the Guardian Ad Litem, created in 2006, is charged with assuring competent guardian ad litem representation for children in required Juvenile Court cases in compliance with federal and state laws and Juvenile Court policy and procedure.
The office is also charged with serving as a liaison between guardians ad litem, other attorneys, the Department of Children's Services, departments within Juvenile Court, and other private and governmental agencies to promote the best practices and policies in dealing with affected children.