Teen Court

Teen Court Volunteer Application

City of Lufkin-Teen Court

What is Teen Court?

Teen court is a specially designed court that hears only certain Class C misdemeanor cases charged against teen defendants. The individual cases are defended and prosecuted by teen attorneys and the verdict is rendered by a jury of teens.

Why does the City of Lufkin have a Teen Court?

Teen Court programs across the State of Texas have proven to be effective in reducing the number of teen repeat offenders by making the youth accountable for their actions and by providing them with a positive peer group. Teen Court also teaches teens about the judicial process through first hand experiences.

Who is eligible for Teen Court?

Any person who meets the following criteria may be eligible:

  • Is between the ages of 13** and 17** (some 18 year old’s may be eligible if still in school);
  • has received a certain Class C misdemeanor citation (no speeding 25+ miles over posted speed, offenses in a work zone, fail to stop/pass a school bus, assault, drug, alcohol or tobacco offenses);
  • pleads guilty or nolo contender (no contest) to the offense;
  • enrolled full time in a school district in Angelina County;
  • has not been a defendant in Teen Court the year preceding alleged offense date;
  • must remain a student in an accredited secondary school while completing the teen court sentence;
  • anyone who is on probation or whose case involves personal injury must obtain approval from the Judge having original jurisdiction.

**A parent or guardian MUST accompany the defendant under 17 to Teen Court.

How do I request my case be heard in Teen Court?

If your citation was issued by Lufkin Police Department, you may apply in person at the Paul L. Parker Municipal Court at 222 E. Shepherd, Lufkin, Texas 75901. Please ask for the Juvenile Case Manager (JCM). If eligible, you will be given an application and related forms. This paperwork, along with a $20.00 nonrefundable court fee, must be completed and returned prior to your case being scheduled for Teen Court docket. Defendants will be notified of their court date by mail.

Is there a dress code for Teen Court?

Absolutely! Teen Court is a legal court held in a regular courtroom. ALL participants must observe the following:

  • No cell phone use in the courtroom;
  • No jeans, shorts or rompers;
  • No hats or caps;
  • No T-shirts, or sheer see-through clothing;
  • No tank tops, spaghetti straps or low cut tops;
  • No visible skin mid-thigh to the stomach;
  • No gum chewing;
  • No sandals, slides, shower-shoes or flip-flops;
  • Shirts must be tucked in;
  • Teen boys must wear a belt.

Teen Court reserves the right to refuse participation for anyone who does not meet these guidelines. Defendants’ cases may be referred back to a regular court if rules are not followed.

What are the Teen Court penalties that can be imposed?

Penalties consist of Community Services Restitution (CSR) hours and required jury services. The judge may also impose additional requirements, as needed. Offenses are categorized into five classes:

  • Class 1: 5-10 hours CSR + 1-2 jury service terms.
  • Includes individual seat belt, vehicle equipment, parking violations
  • Class 2: 10-20 hours CSR + 1-3 jury services terms
  • Includes exp. Driver’s license, stop sign, fail to yield/signal, speeding 1-9 miles over.
  • Class 3: 20-30 hours CSR +2-3 jury service terms
  • Includes speeding 10-24 mph over the limit, third party seat belt violations, speeding 1-24 in a school zone, traffic light, following too closely (non-collision), failure to use signal.
  • Class 4: 30-40 hours CSR +2-4 jury service terms
  • Includes public order, criminal mischief, no insurance (FMFR), and any violation where a collision was involved.
  • Class 5: 40-50 CSR +3-4 jury service terms
  • Includes handicapped parking and theft under $100.00.
What is Community Service Restitution (CSR)?

Instead of a fine, a Teen Court Defendant must agree to perform CSR as determined by the jury. CSR hours must be performed at a non-profit organization in the Lufkin area or at another location pre-approved by the Juvenile Case Manager (JCM). Immediately after their penalty has been determined, the defendant will be given a log sheet on which all CSR hours must be recorded.

In addition to CSR hours, juries assign mandatory jury terms. One complete night of jury duty is considered one jury term. All juries must stay for the entire court docket.

Defendants have 90 days to complete these jury service hours. The original log sheet must be returned to the court after all hours and jury terms are completed. Anyone failing to complete his or her obligation within the prescribed 90 days, will be referred back to the originating court for sentencing. This may result in a conviction and payment of the original fine.

What happens if a Teen Defendant successfully completes the assigned CSR hours and jury terms?

This results in dismissal of the citation.

Who can I contact with questions?

Cara Blair, Juvenile Case Manager    936-633-0259

Lisa Ramos, Court Administrator      936-633-0315

Kristi C. Skillern, City Attorney        936-633-0260

When are the Teen Court sessions scheduled?

Generally, the Teen Court dockets will be held from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. on Monday nights at the City of Lufkin Municipal Court at 222 E. Shepherd, Lufkin, Tx. 75901.

*Teen Court Kick-off and Training Day for teen volunteers for the Spring semester will be January 8, 2024- 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

Teen Court Trial Docket Schedule
Monday, January 29, 2024
Monday, February 12, 2024
Monday, March 25, 2024
Monday, April 29, 2024

All trial docket nights start with dinner at 5:00 p.m. for volunteers and the trial docket at 6:00 p.m.