Juvenile Court

        The Paulding County Juvenile Court continues to hold mainly virtual hearings. Effective September 15, 2021- Delinquency matters will be handled in person
  •  Please make sure the Juvenile Court has your correct phone number, mailing address and email address, so that you will receive notification of your court date. You can contact the Clerks’ office at 770-443-7532 or email us at juvenileclerks@paulding.gov. Attorneys, if your client provides their email address to the clerks office, we will include you and them on the COS for the Order Setting Hearing.

  •  As to Delinquency or CHINS cases (child that has pending charges), we encourage parties to either apply for a Public Defender or hire your own Attorney. If you have questions about how to apply, you may contact the Public Defenders Office at 770-443-3463.
  • As to Dependency cases, (Child that has been deprived), you may apply to the courts for a court appointed attorney. The Financial Affidavit is on our website, you may email it back to us at the juvenileclerks@paulding.gov or mail it to 280 Constitution Blvd, Room 2106, Dallas, Georgia 30132.
  • Upon submission of a financial affidavit, you are required to submit the five most recent check stubs, w-2 form or bank statement showing your income.


  • Under these unprecedented times, dropping your payment in the mail is a good way to go. We accept money orders only. In addition, before you get your money order please contact the clerk’s office for the discounted rate. The money order needs to be made out to Paulding County Juvenile Court. If you have taken the Defensive Driver's Course please send the certificate in with the payment
  • Mailing Address: Paulding County Juvenile Court-  280 Constitution Blvd. Room: 2106 Dallas, Georgia 30132


Welcome to the Paulding County Juvenile Court. This website will enable you to become aware of various resources and services available to you through this office.

The Paulding County Juvenile Court is organized under Chapter 11 of Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia.

Jurisdiction & Function

The Court is dedicated to serving the residents of Paulding County. The Court has jurisdiction over most children under the age of 17 who are charged with violating any law or are deemed runaways, ungovernable, or beyond parental control.

The Court also hears all cases involving allegations of deprivation of children under the age of 18 found within its jurisdictions.

  1. Documents & Forms
-For each dependency packet submission we require a criminal background check for each adult over the age of 18 living in the home. One has been included in the packet above, you may also print additional forms to turn in with the packet. 
-Criminal background checks are a fee of $10.00 per submission. Our office accepts money orders only. 

Helpful information

Dependency Complaint Codes
-15-11-10 Purpose of article
The purpose of this article is:

(1) To assist and protect children whose physical or mental health and welfare is substantially at risk of harm from abuse, neglect, or exploitation and who may be further threatened by the conduct of others by providing for the resolution of dependency proceedings in juvenile court;

(2) To ensure that dependency proceedings are conducted expeditiously to avoid delays in permanency plans for children;

(3) To provide the greatest protection as promptly as possibly as possible for children;

(4) To ensure that the health, safety, and best interests of a child be the paramount concern in all dependency proceedings. 

CHINS Complaint Codes

-2018 Georgia Code Title 15-Courts. Chapter 11- Juvenile Code. Article 5- Child in Need of Services. Part 1- General Provisions

§ 15-11-381. Definitions

Universal Citation: GA Code § 15-11-381 (2018)

As used in this article, the term:

• (1) "Comprehensive services plan" means an interagency treatment, habilitation, support, or supervision plan developed collaboratively by state or local agency representatives, parties, and other interested persons following a court's finding that a child is incompetent to proceed.

• (2) "Habilitation" means the process by which a child is helped to acquire and maintain those life skills which will enable him or her to cope more effectively with the demands of his or her own person and of his or her environment and to raise the level of his or her physical, mental, social, and vocational abilities.

• (3) "Plan manager" means a person who is under the supervision of the court and is appointed by the court to convene a meeting of all relevant parties for the purpose of developing a comprehensive services plan.

• (4) "Runaway" means a child who without just cause and without the consent of his or her parent, guardian, or legal custodian is absent from his or her home or place of abode for at least 24 hours.

• (5) "Status offense" means an act prohibited by law which would not be an offense if committed by an adult.

• (6) "Truant" means having ten or more days of unexcused absences from school in the current academic year.

Juvenile Terminology



Definitions of Terms Used in Juvenile Court


Adjudication: Like a trial; the hearing in which a judge listens to testimony and declares if the alleged charges are true.


Affidavit: Written statement of facts; the person who signs the affidavit swears an oath that the information given is true.


Allegation: A charge or claim made against someone.


Appeal: A complaint to a higher court asking to overturn the decision made by a lower court.


CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate): A specially trained community member who is selected by the judge to advocate for the best interests of the child.


Case Plan: The list of steps that all parties must take before a child returns to the parents home; it is very important that parents follow the case plan and complete every requirement of the plan; case plans are reviewed at least every 6 months.


Case Manager: The person employed by DFACS to monitor the progress that a family is making on their case plan; the case manager can assist in providing services to the family and arranging visitation with the children.


Child Abuse: When a parent or caretaker intentionally injures a child; when a parent or caretaker intentionally neglects or exploits a child; any sexual abuse or exploitation of a child.


Child Advocate: Attorney assigned by the judge to represent the best interests of a child; the child advocate does not work for DFACS or for either parent of the child.


Citizen Review Panel: A group of trained community members who review the progress a family is making on their case plan and report those findings to the judge.


Complaint: A formal charge or allegation made against another person.


CPS (Child Protective Services): The section of DFACS that responds to initial complaints of possible abuse of deprivation.


Custodian: Person who has been given physical custody of a child and is required to provide for that child's needs and safety.


Delinquency: Juvenile actions or conduct in violation of criminal law and, in some contexts, status offenders.


Delinquent: Juvenile who has been adjudicated by a judicial officer of a juvenile court as having committed a delinquent act.


Deprived Child:

  1. A child who is not receiving proper parental care; this includes a child who is not getting proper food, is not going to school, or is not receiving proper medical care;

  2. A child who has been illegally adopted;

  3. A child who has been abandoned;

  4. A child who does not have a parent or guardian.


DFACS (Division of Family and Children Services): A state agency under the Department of Human Resources that provides child protection services and case management services families.


Disposition: Hearing after the adjudication to determine where a child will live while the parents complete the case plan.


Foster Care: State licensed temporary home, group home or shelter where a child may stay during court proceedings and while the parents work on the terms of the case plan.


Guardian: Person, other than the parent, who has legal responsibility for a child.


Hearing: A trail or proceeding before a judge.


Jurisdiction: The power of a court to hear a case.


Legal Father: A man who has a legal right to be included in the upbringing and care of a child; a legal father is one of the following:

  1. A man who is married to the mother at the time a child was conceived or born;

  2. A man who is not married to the mother, but acknowledges paternity and legitimates the child through a court action; or administratively at the hospital.

  3. A biological father who acknowledges paternity and marries the mother.

Note: Naming a man as the biological father on a birth certificate, merely determining paternity through a blood test or ordering him to pay child support does not necessarily make him a legal father.



Legitimation: The process in which a man acknowledges paternity and establishes a legal father-child relationship.


Mandated Reporter: A person required by law to report suspicion of a child abuse; this includes doctors, nurses, teachers, police officers, childcare providers, and others.


Mediation: Alternative to court proceeding where families try to reach solution on their own; an impartial mediator leads the session and helps the parties come to an agreement among themselves rather than having a judge decide.


Non-Reunification: A plan in which custody will not go back to the parents; in some cases, non-reunification plans may precede a termination of parental rights action.


Party: Either the petitioner or the respondent in a lawsuit. The parties to a deprivation case are DFACS, parents and the child advocate.


Permanency Hearing: A hearing after the disposition to determine what the permanent plan for the child is going to be; Federal law says this hearing must take place no later than 1 YEAR after the day a child is taken into custody.


Petition: A legal document that states the reasons the court should get involved in a matter and asks the court to take a certain action.


Petitioner: Party that is making the claim of abuse or deprivation against the parents.


Putative Father: Man who is alleged to be the biological father of a child; putative fathers have no legal rights to the child, but can establish those rights by legitimating the child.


Respondent: Person against whom allegations or charges are brought.


SAAG (Special Assistant Attorney General): the lawyer who represents DFACS.

Judge Altman

Presiding Judge Carolyn Altman 

(770) 443-7532


Chief clerk, alicia jacobs

(770) 443-7532

Staff Directory

Juvenile Court Directory   Phone Number
Reception/Deputy Clerk  Allison Allen  770-443-7532    
Deputy Clerk Angie Chandler 770-443-7532    Ext 4
Senior Deputy Clerk Sherese Lackey 770-443-7532 Ext 3
Legal Assistant Ashley Gray 770-443-7532 
Treatment Services Coordinator Michele Freeman 678-224-4254  
Law Clerk Kimberly Mullins 678-224-8872
Court Clerk Lindsey Brady 678-224-4251

Contact Us

  Juvenile Court Contacts Email
  Dependency dependency@paulding.gov
  Delinquency delinquency@paulding.gov
  CHINS (Children In Need of Services) chins@paulding.gov
  Conflicts and Leave of Absence conflictsandloa@paulding.gov
  To Contact Judge Altman ashley.gray@paulding.gov 
  To contact the Clerk's office  juvenileClerks@paulding.gov