Intake and Diversion FAQ

How do I file unruly charges against my child and where do I go?

Submitting documents alleging a child is unruly can be done by contacting one of the five (5) Intake & Diversion Unit branch offices, located throughout the county, to schedule an appointment with an intake & diversion officer. Scheduling an appointment is a requirement. Having a scheduled meeting date and time ensures the availability of the IDO to talk with you face-to-face to discuss the situation, to make certain all required forms are completed, to answer any questions you have about the process and to inform you of what to expect next.

Coming directly to the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Justice Center, located at 9300 Quincy Avenue in Cleveland, is also an option; however this location is primarily an intake drop off site and in most instances, the convenience of a face-to-face meeting cannot be provided.

The “Notice to the Public” link found on the juvenile court website provides further instructions and lists the office locations.

The “Unruly Referral Instructions & Forms” link found on the juvenile court website provides further details regarding the steps you must take to begin the process.  Submitting incomplete paperwork to the court will delay the processing of your case. 

My child is on probation and still not following my rules. Can I file unruly charges?

A child engaging in a pattern of unruly behavior while on probation is a violation of probation rules. This behavior should be reported to the assigned community control officer. It is currently not the policy of the court to take official action with respect to unruly behavior committed by children already subject to a probation order made by the court.

Do you have a scared straight or boot camp program my child can attend?

No. While there are organizations across the country that provide these types of programs and interventions, the Intake & Diversion Unit does not contract with agencies or individuals who operate these particular types of programs and/or interventions.

I want my child on probation, house arrest or better yet, locked up. Can I drop off my child and leave him/her at the court?

The intake & diversion officer does not have the ability or authority to place children on probation, house arrest or have them locked up. The unit’s “Mission Statement & Overview” link found on the juvenile court website provides details and information about what personnel in this unit are authorized to do.

A parent/guardian who abandons his/her child at the juvenile justice center or branch office may be subject to criminal charges.

I need to file documents to obtain and/or change a custody and/or parenting order.

Staff in the Pro Se Office located on the second floor of the juvenile justice center can answer questions related to custody and will assist you with completing the required documents specific to your needs.

I want to file charges against a child and was told by the police officer to come here and talk to a prosecutor.

People employed in the intake & diversion unit are not prosecutors or law enforcement officials, therefore they are not responsible for investigating alleged crimes with respect to children. The intake & diversion officer will do his/her best to explain what documents must be completed and provide you with some helpful forms to begin the process. The intake & diversion officer will make every effort within his/her means to collaborate with the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office and law enforcement agencies in an attempt to assist you. The “Citizen Referral Instructions & Forms” link found on the juvenile court website provides more details regarding the steps you must take to begin the process.

I am the foster parent of a child and I want to file unruly charges against my foster child.

In general terms, the law states any person having knowledge of a child who appears to be a juvenile traffic offender, delinquent, unruly, neglected, dependent, or an abused child may file a complaint in the juvenile court where the child resides or where the offense occurred. As it relates to foster parents who in many cases do not have custody of the child, the outcomes and possible services will vary widely as decisions are made on a case-by-case basis depending on each individual situation. The intake & diversion officer will review all the facts and explain options to you during your scheduled appointment.