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Manatee County Teen Court and Teen Court Too

Manatee County's Teen Court/Teen Court Too is a diversionary program designed to stop youthful delinquent behavior before a pattern is established. Teen Court/Teen Court Too allow first-time juvenile offenders, ages 10 to 17, a ‘second chance' while holding them accountable for their actions. Their cases are heard before a jury of their peers and sanctions are assigned for the defendant to complete. Failure to successfully complete the sanctions will result in the case being sent to the State Attorney's Office and/or Juvenile Court.

"The program works because it's so simple. Kids won't let other kids' manipulate the system.' They see through any deception to the heart of the matter. This is truly peer pressure at its finest." - Twelfth Judicial Circuit Judge Paul Logan

Information for Teen Court and Teen Court Too Defendants

Your Hearing

On the night of your hearing, you and your parent(s)/legal guardian(s) must be on the 4th floor of the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, by 5:15 p.m. to meet with your defense attorney, if available. For all Teen Court events, please be aware of the environment that you are in and dress accordingly. Dress code is as follows:

  • All shirts must be tucked in.
  • No shorts, tank tops, flip-flops, slides or other beach-type clothing.
  • No shirts with any offensive language or pictures.
  • No clothing that covers the head (hats, bandanas, etc.) or sunglasses.
  • Teen Court and the Clerk's Office will not be responsible for lost or damaged personal items. Cell phones must be turned off and out of sight at all times while in the courtroom.  
  • No gum, food, candy, or drinks will be permitted on the 4th Floor of the Judicial Center. Please discard these items prior to entering the elevator.

Juveniles will be assigned sanctions by a jury of their peers. These sanctions include, but are not limited to, community service hours, jury duties, letters of apology, essays, curfews and/or counseling sessions.

Defendants who are returning to fulfill their assigned sanctions should be properly dressed and on time. They should be at the Judicial Center no later than 5:15 pm on the 4th floor in order to participate. If the child arrives any later than this, the child may not get credit for the evening and will have to make up the date.

Failure to abide by the Manatee County Judicial Center guidelines can result in termination from the Teen Court program and referral to Juvenile Court for your charges. In addition, if any illegal action occurs inside the Judicial Center, you will be subject to arrest and prosecution.

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Youth Volunteer Information

Teen Court/Teen Court Too are run by students ages 10 through 17. We need you to make Teen Court work!

Youth Volunteer Roles

Have you ever thought about being a lawyer? Do you wonder what it would be like to argue your case in front of a judge? Ever want to sit on a jury and see if it is anything like TV? Then volunteer for Teen Court/Teen Court Too. No experience is necessary. We will train you.

Teen volunteers fill the following roles:

How to Become a Youth Volunteer

It's easy to become a volunteer. Print the Teen Court Volunteer Form, fill it out, have a parent or legal guardian sign it and mail it to:

Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court
ATTN: Teen Court/Teen Court Too
P.O. Box 25400
Bradenton, FL 34206-5400

Teen Attorney Information

Teen Attorney volunteers report to the 4th floor of the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton by 5:00 p.m. for trial preparation. Court hearings begin at 6:00 p.m. and normally conclude by 7:15 p.m. Please refer to training manuel for attorney dress code. 

The Teen Court calendar shows the dates when there is no court.

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Adult Volunteer Information

Teen Court/Teen Court Too rely on adult volunteers too. If you want to play an important role in keeping good kids on track and getting the good-at-heart kids back on track, then Teen Court is the place for you. No experience is necessary*. We will train you.

Adult Volunteers:

  • Write Contracts 
  • Monitor the Courtroom/Deliberation Room  
  • *Judge- The only adult who participates in the proceedings is the Judge. To be the Judge, you must be a member in good standing of the Florida Bar.

If you would like to become an adult volunteer, or have any questions about being an adult volunteer, please contact the Teen Court office at (941) 741-4027 to schedule a date to observe a "typical" Tuesday night. We are sure that once you see the program, you will be hooked. However, please be aware that all juvenile hearings are confidential as defined by Florida law.

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Teen Court and Teen Court Too Program Information

Location and Times

Teen Court/Teen Court Too hearings are held every Tuesday night throughout the year from 5:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. on the 4th floor of the Manatee County Judicial Center located at 1051 Manatee Avenue West in Bradenton.

Visit the Teen Court calendar for when Teen Court is not in session.

General Information

Teen Court/Teen Court Too are real courtroom experiences for youth who are first-time offenders. Most misdemeanor offenses qualify for the program. Select felony offenses only qualify with the approval of the State Attorney's Office. A juvenile is required to plead guilty to qualify for the Teen Court/Teen Court Too program. We call our program Diversion Program because attendance in Teen Court/Teen Court Too may keep a child out of the Juvenile Court system.

In the courtroom, teenagers fill the roles of the attorneys, clerk, bailiffs and the jury. The Judge may be a real sitting Judge or a member of the Florida Bar. To participate, teens must be willing to cooperate.

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Contact Information

Email: Sue Lockliear, Teen Court Supervisor

Phone Number: (941) 741-4027

Fax Number: (941) 749-7108

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