Juvenile Court


56th Judicial Circuit CourtFamily Division
Eaton County Juvenile Court 
822 Courthouse Dr. 
Charlotte, MI 48813

Phone: (517) 543-6003 x1247
Fax:       (517) 543-3749

Division Director/Attorney Referee: 

Chief Probation Officer:

Juvenile Register:

Amanda G. Pollard   Phone: (517) 543-6003 

Kirk Ballard   Phone: (517) 543-6003 x1250                                                                                                   

Kelly Russell   Phone: (517) 543-6003 x1482

The Juvenile Division of the Circuit Court has jurisdiction over juvenile delinquency cases, child protection proceedings, and adoptions.  The goal of the Juvenile Division is to provide timely and professional assistance to the youth and families in Eaton County.  


The Juvenile Division of the Circuit Court oversees the filing and finalization of all adoptions through Eaton County.  Adoptions provide permanency and stability for the county’s children through direct placement adoption, agency adoptions, private adoptions, step-parent adoptions, relative adoptions, and adult adoptions, among others.  The Juvenile Division facilitates these proceedings through filing services, in-home investigations, and hearing coordination.     


The Juvenile Division of the Circuit Court has jurisdiction over child protective proceeding cases filed by private individuals and the Department of Health and Human Services. In these cases, Petitions are filed with the Juvenile Division requesting jurisdiction of minor children. Parties appear for a preliminary hearing where the court decides whether to authorize the filed petition, whether to remove the children, and what contact children have with parents during these proceedings. If the petition is authorized, the court will set the case for further hearings. Parents have the opportunity to admit, deny, not contest, or stand silent as to the allegations in the petition. If there is no plea, the parents have a right to a trial in front of a judge or jury. If the children are found to fall under the child protection laws, the court can issue different dispositions including case closure, in home placement with jurisdiction, out of home placement with jurisdiction, or termination of parental rights.

Parents and children have a right to court appointed counsel at these hearings and an attorney will be provided for each party to the case.  Each parent is individually responsible for paying back all of his/her court appointed attorney’s fees, the guardian ad litem’s fees, and other associated court costs subject to a findings on ability to pay.


In delinquency cases, youth under the age of 17 are brought to court on petitions filed by city attorneys and the county prosecutor. Juvenile delinquency cases begin with an Inquiry Hearing where the youth is advised of the charges against him or her.  In some cases, these matters are handled through court or county diversion programs.  In other cases, the juvenile will have opportunity to plead or request a trial on the allegations. The Juvenile Division’s goal is rehabilitation of youth through development of individualized case service plans and monitoring.  If a juvenile pleads, or is found guilty of an offense, there are a number of dispositions available including: warning and case closure, consent calendar, standard probation, home intensive probation, boot camp, tether, Day Treatment, substance abuse treatment, Community Based Treatment, Residential Treatment, and detention. 

The court will make appointed counsel available to represent juveniles upon request. Parents and juveniles are jointly and severally responsible for paying back all attorney fees, probation fees, court costs, and other such fees associated with these proceedings subject to a findings on ability to pay.  


  Kirk Ballard:          Chief Probation Officer 
                                (517) 543-6003 X 1250 

  William Kennedy:  Juvenile Drug Treatment Court and Family SAFE-T Court Coordinator
                                (517) 543 -6003 X 1271

  Elizabeth Grounds: Home Intensive Care Probation 
                                (517) 543-6003 X 1112

  Kayla Miller:          Day Treatment Program 
                                (517) 543-6003 X 1251

  Lauren Whitaker: Standard Probation
                                (517) 543-6003 X 1616

  Kellie Ward:         Standard Probation, Truancy
                                (517) 543-6003 X 1254

  Kyle Howarth:       Home Intensive Probation 
                                (517) 543-6003 X 1249

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