Juvenile Code: Delinquency

ORS 419C.005


The juvenile court has exclusive original jurisdiction in any case involving a person who is under 18 years of age and who has committed an act that is a violation, or that if done by an adult would constitute a violation, of a law or ordinance of the United States or a state, county or city.


The provisions of subsection (1) of this section do not prevent a court of competent jurisdiction from entertaining a civil action or suit involving a youth.


The court does not have jurisdiction as provided in subsection (1) of this section after a minor has been emancipated pursuant to ORS 419B.550 (Definitions for ORS 419B) to 419B.558 (Entry of judgment of emancipation).


The court’s jurisdiction over a person under this section or ORS 419C.067 (Case transferred to juvenile court after verdict in criminal court) continues until one of the following occurs:


The court dismisses a petition filed under this chapter or waives the case under ORS 419C.340 (Authority to waive youth to adult court). If jurisdiction is based on a previous adjudication, then dismissal or waiver of a later case does not terminate jurisdiction under the previous case unless the court so orders.


The court transfers jurisdiction of the case as provided in ORS 419C.053 (Transfer to court of county of youth’s residence), 419C.056 (Transfer of jurisdiction by court in county of youth’s residence) and 419C.059 (Facilitation of disposition).


The court enters an order terminating jurisdiction.


The person becomes 25 years of age.


The court places the person under the jurisdiction of the Psychiatric Security Review Board as provided in ORS 419C.529 (Finding of serious mental condition). If the court also has jurisdiction over the person based on a previous adjudication under this chapter or ORS chapter 419B, placing a person under the jurisdiction of the board in a later case does not terminate wardship under the previous case unless the court so orders. [1993 c.33 §149; 1995 c.422 §73; 2003 c.396 §98; 2005 c.843 §7; 2019 c.634 §14]

Notes of Decisions

Under former similar statute

Jurisdiction depends on the defendant’s age at the time judicial proceedings are initiated, not at the time of the alleged offense. State v. Watchman, 20 Or App 709, 533 P2d 361 (1975), Sup Ct review denied. But see 41 Or App 469, 599 P2d 1160 (1979)

Where young age of juvenile prevents placement in correctional facility, state need not prove criminal charge beyond reasonable doubt. State ex rel Juvenile Dept. v. K., 26 Or App 451, 554 P2d 180 (1976), Sup Ct review denied

A juvenile court adjudication of whether or not a child committed acts which would be a criminal violation if committed by an adult must necessarily include an adjudication of all affirmative defenses that would be available to an adult being tried for the same criminal violation. State ex rel Juvenile Dept. v. L.J., 26 Or App 461, 552 P2d 1322 (1976)

A juvenile court retains jurisdiction until the juvenile reaches the age of 21 only over the same matter which caused the juvenile to be initially made a ward of the court. State v. Porter, 29 Or App 67, 562 P2d 566 (1977)

Absent evidence of prejudice to his defense, defendant was not denied due process by fact that juvenile proceedings against him were terminated immediately before his 18th birthday so that complaint could be brought against him as an adult. State v. Richmond, 31 Or App 553, 570 P2d 1014 (1977). But see 41 Or App 469, 599 P2d 1160 (1979)

Juvenile court jurisdiction on basis of offense committed in other state does not contravene Art. I, sect. 20 of Oregon Constitution or Equal Protection Clause of Fourteenth Amendment. State ex rel Juvenile Department v. W., 34 Or App 437, 578 P2d 824 (1978)

Exclusive jurisdiction of juvenile court over persons under 18 does not vest jurisdiction in juvenile court of contempt proceedings arising out of juvenile’s refusal to testify before grand jury. State v. Tripp, 36 Or App 141, 583 P2d 591 (1978), Sup Ct review denied

Where juvenile court properly obtained jurisdiction over defendant, state could not circumvent juvenile court by indicting defendant in circuit court after its remand motions had been denied. State v. Thornton, 41 Or App 469, 599 P2d 1160 (1979)

Where district attorney delayed prosecution of a juvenile offender until he reached 18 in order to avoid a remand proceeding, the offender could initially be prosecuted only in juvenile court. State v. Scurlock, 286 Or 277, 593 P2d 1159 (1979)

Juvenile court does not have jurisdiction over juvenile proceeding to which Warm Springs Indian is a party or over substantive crimes which are alleged acts of juvenile delinquency committed on Warm Springs Reservation. United States v. E.K., 471 F Supp 924 (1979)

Detention of juvenile pending adjudication of merits of case constitutes seizure which requires showing of probable cause under U.S and Oregon Constitutions; prompt judicial determination of probable cause is prerequisite to extended detention of juvenile pending adjudication, and determination that there was “reason to believe” child committed alleged acts was insufficient to satisfy probable cause requirement. Roberts v. Mills, 290 Or 441, 622 P2d 1094 (1981)

Where appellant was under 18 and had not otherwise complied with the statutory emancipation procedures, juvenile court did not lack jurisdiction over her solely because she was married. State ex rel Juv. Dept. v. Williams, 55 Or App 951, 640 P2d 675 (1982)

Absent remand from juvenile court, circuit court did not have jurisdiction to accept guilty plea of defendant who was not yet 18 when taken into custody and indicted. Delaney v. State of Oregon, 58 Or App 442, 648 P2d 1302 (1982)

Defense of incapacity due to immaturity set forth in ORS 161.290 is not applicable in juvenile proceeding. State ex rel Juv. Dept. v. Wicks, 97 Or App 390, 776 P2d 582 (1989)

Jurisdictional phase of juvenile delinquency proceeding is not criminal proceeding; therefore no right to jury trial exists. State ex rel Juv. Dept. v. Reynolds, 317 Or 560, 857 P2d 842 (1993)

In general

Juvenile court has jurisdiction to make post-adjudication dismissal of delinquency petition. State ex rel Juvenile Dept. v. Dreyer, 328 Or 332, 976 P2d 1123 (1999)

Conduct of juvenile may be criminal violation notwithstanding that juvenile is not subjected to criminal responsibility for violation. State ex rel Juvenile Dept. v. Fitch, 192 Or App 56, 84 P3d 190 (2004), Sup Ct review denied

1995 amendments extending period of juvenile court control over youth offenders do not apply to youth committing delinquent act prior to effective date of amendments. State ex rel Juvenile Dept. v. Nicholls, 192 Or App 604, 87 P3d 680 (2004)


Last accessed
Mar. 11, 2023