Persons in need of supervision


A person in need of supervision (PINS) is an individual under the age of 18 who:

  • Does not attend school
  • Behaves in a way that is incorrigible, ungovernable, or habitually disobedient
  • Is beyond the control of a parent, guardian or lawful authority
  • Is suspected of drug abuse
  • And requires supervision or treatment


The petitioner in a PINS case is usually the parent, guardian, school, or the presentment agency acting on behalf of the county or city.

Probation Adjustment: Before a PINS petition can be filed, the potential respondent and a parent or guardian must meet with a probation officer in an attempt to resolve the case without going to court. This process includes holding at least one conference with the juvenile and the individual or organization seeking to file the petition.

  • If this process reveals that the juvenile requires treatment or other services, a referral will be made and a plan developed to assist the juvenile with accessing and receiving the services needed to amend his or her behavior.
  • The adjustment process may last for 90 days and may be extended for an additional 90 days by a judge.


If adjustment fails, a PINS petition may be filed in court. However, although a PINS petition is filed, the adjustment process may continue with the juvenile's consent. If adjustment is successful, the petition will be dismissed.

Initial Court Appearance: At the initial court appearance, the juvenile, now officially the respondent, accompanied by a parent or guardian, is informed of his or her rights, including the right to an attorney. If the parent or a guardian does not appear, the court can appoint an Attorney for the Child(law guardian) and if necessary a guardian ad litem to represent the respondent.

In rare cases, the respondent is held or remanded to a detention facility pending a fact-finding hearing in PINS cases.

At the fact-finding hearing, the judge must decide whether the respondent committed the alleged acts, behaved in a way that was "incorrigible, ungovernable, or habitually disobedient", was out of the control of a parent or guardian, or is abusing drugs.

  • If the judge determines that none of the above conditions have been satisfied or the allegations have not been proven, the case will be dismissed.
  • If the judge determines otherwise, a dispositional hearing will be scheduled.


During or following the fact-finding hearing, the judge may order with the consent of the parties that the proceedings be adjourned in contemplation of dismissal (ACD) for 6 months with the goal of ultimate dismissal of the petition.

If the respondent is found to be a person in need of supervision, the judge may order any of the following:

  • Discharge or release of the respondent with a warning
  • Adjournment in contemplation of dismissal (ACD)
  • Suspension of judgment for up to 1 year
  • Placement of the respondent in his or her own home, in the custody of a suitable relative, or in a group or a foster home for up to 18 months
  • Probation for up to 1 year
  • The respondent, if over the age 10, to make restitution through community service or other means


If the respondent violates the terms of the court order, the supervising probation officer or agency may file a violation petition with the court.

  • A new dispositional hearing may be held and if the violation is proven, the court may change its original order.


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