The Intake process begins when a citizen makes a complaint to the Juvenile Court involving an alleged delinquent or unruly act by a juvenile. The juvenile is either released to their parents or placed in the detention center pending a hearing. The complaint is assigned to an intake worker to determine the appropriate course of action. A complaint may be handled in one of four ways:
- Formal Action - This requires scheduling the matter for a hearing before the Judge.
- Informal Adjustment - This is a diversion from the Court hearing. The intake officer sets conditions that must be met if the complaint is to be handled informally. This usually means charging an "informal Adjustment fee" and/or setting other specific conditions (attending the Conflict Resolution program, attending a drug and alcohol assessment/treatment, community service etc.) The intake worker using his/her own discretion usually decides whether or not to handle the case informally.
- Dismissal of Complaint - A complaint may be dismissed for several reasons; however, the most common reason is due to a lack of probable cause. If a complaint does not contain adequate information for prosecution, a request can be made by the Assistant District Attorney for the police department to assign a detective to investigate the case further.
- Withdrawal of Complaint - The complainant can withdraw a complaint. The complainant is normally the victim or the parent of the alleged victim. This means that the complainant does not wish to pursue the matter further. The complainant must come to Juvenile Court and sign a "withdrawal".