Probation Department, Director Gerald Zimmerman: Promoting safe and peaceful communities throughout Cattaraugus County

Juvenile Probation Officer

Juvenile Probation

The Juvenile/Family Court unit of the Probation Department deals with Juvenile Delinquency and PI.N.S. (Persons in Need of Supervision) behaviors. Juvenile Delinquency proceedings occur when an individual under the age of 16 and over the age of 7 commits an offense or engages in behavior which would be considered a criminal offense committed by an adult.

In Juvenile Delinquency matters individuals are usually issued apprearance tickets by local law enforcement officers and ordered to report to the Probation Department on a given date with their parents or guardians.

In the case of either Juvenile Delinquency or P.I.N.S. petitions cases may be handled outside of Family Court depending on the seriousness of the charge and the willingness of the youths to cooperate with informal sanctions.

For cases that are handled through the Family Court youths can be placed on probation or placed outside the home and residential supervision with either the Department of Social Services or the Office of Children and Family Services.

The Juvenile / Family Court unit works closely with treatment agencies and service providers in the County to match juveniles up with any appropriate counseling or supportive services which they may be in need of.

Emancipation of Juveniles in New York State


There is NO official court process inNew YorkState for a youth to be declared “emancipated”. Unlike some other states,New York does not issue so-called “emancipation orders.” A determination of emancipation is “ancillary” to some other proceeding. That means that as part of another proceeding a finding may be made that a youth is emancipated, but only with regards to that particular proceeding. For example, the filing of a support petition in Family Court may result in an order declaring a youth to be emancipated, but only with respect to a party’s obligation to support the youth. 

Important Ages to Remember:

  1. Under 21: Parents are liable for support, subject to the child’s obeying reasonable rules and regulations of the household.

  2. Under 18: Parents are subject to Family Court jurisdiction for neglecting the child’s support needs or for abusing the child.

  3. Under 18: The child is subject to Family Court jurisdiction as a Person In Need of Supervision if she/he fails to obey the reasonable rules and regulations of the household, such as by running away or being otherwise incorrigible.

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