The Court Services Unit provides the primary mechanism for filing petitions, also called complaints or charges, with the Arlington County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. In compliance with statutory requirements, the intake officer interviews petitioners to determine probable cause, verify correct jurisdiction, and prepare petitions.
In complaints alleging serious or violent juvenile offenses, the intake officer also assesses the risk posed by the juvenile to himself or herself, and to the community. When the intake officer determines there to be sufficient risk, he or she issues a detention order, authorizing the youth to be held in the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center.
The petitioners who typically file complaints through the CSU include Falls Church Police Officers, the truant officer for the Falls Church Public Schools, Child Protective Services, and parents. Petitioners also include any business, individual, or family member who alleges to be a victim of a juvenile offense within the city.