A Person In Need of Supervision (PINS) petition is filed to ask a court to order treatment or supervision of a child who has a history of behaving inappropriately.
A PINS petition may be filed by a parent or guardian, school district, or social service agency with whom a child is placed. Before a PINS petition is filed in court, the child and his family must meet with a probation officer of a representative of another social service agency, who attempts to resolve the problems and keep the case out of court. This process is called "diversion" and can last for up to 90 days. If diversion fails, a PINS petition may be filed to ask the court to order treatment or supervision of the child.
A person in need of supervision (PINS) is a person under the age of 16 who does any or all of the following:
- Fails to attend school
- Behaves in a way that is out of control
- Often disobeys parents, guardians, or other authorities
- Is in possession of marijuana
- Runs away or stays out late
A trial of fact-finding hearing is held to determine if the statements in the petition are true. If the court finds that they are, a dispositional hearing is held to determine if the child needs supervision or treatment. If a child is placed by the court in foster care, the Department of Social Services may file a petition for child support against the parent as a result of the PINS proceeding.
A criminal lawyer experienced with criminal law can help you properly file a PINS petition if there is a child you believe needs supervision. Additionally, if a petition is filed, the child is entitled to an attorney appointed by the court. The court may also assign a lawyer to represent you (as the complaining party) if you cannot afford one.