Juvenile Division

Assistant District Attorney Felix J. (Joe) Bruyninckx has headed the Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Juvenile Division since 2008. The Juvenile Division handles three basic categories of complaints. All involve persons under the age of 17 years. The three categories are delinquency, Children in Need of Care (CINC), and Families in Need of Services (FINS).

Delinquency involves the prosecution of juveniles for criminal acts including traffic citations, misdemeanors, and felonies. Local law enforcement investigates criminal acts by juveniles, then, if appropriate, refers cases to the District Attorney’s Office for a determination of whether to institute prosecution. If prosecution is instituted, the juvenile is brought to court to admit or deny his guilt. When a juvenile admits to the charged offense or goes to a hearing and is adjudicated–found guilty–the juvenile is then determined to be a child in need of supervision by the court. The judge can sentence a minor ranging from a term of probation to “juvenile life,” which is to the juvenile’s 21st birthday, in a secure or non-secure facility.

The second category of matters handled in the Juvenile Division involves Children in Need of Care. This involves investigation of acts of abuse or neglect on the part of parents or guardians toward their minor children. Upon a referral for investigation, the acts are investigated by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). In life threatening situations, the child(ren) can be immediately removed from the parents/guardian and taken into custody by the State. In other cases, the investigatory report is submitted to the District Attorney’s Office for a determination of whether to petition the matter before the judge for review. If the matter is petitioned for review, the judge can order the parents to work with the Office of Family Services. All children who are removed and placed in foster homes are brought back to court by the District Attorney’s Office every six months to one year for review.

The third category, Families in Need of Services (FINS), are cases referred to the District Attorney’s Office by the FINS program coordinator for petition and court hearings in regard to minor children. These cases involve truant children, ungovernable children, runaway children, and criminal acts committed by children under 10 years of age. These children and/or their families are brought to court in an effort to have the families and children under court supervision to prevent further involvement in the criminal court system. The children are sometimes given a term of probation or detention in a non-secure facility.

Office Locations

  • District Attorney John M. Lancaster
    PO Box 805 • Oak Grove, LA 71263
    318.428.3219 • da@fifthda.org
  • Franklin Parish District Attorney's Office
    6568 Main St, 2nd Flr • Winnsboro, LA 71295
    318.435.3386 • franklin@fifthda.org
    Located in Franklin Parish Courthouse,
    Second Floor
  • Richland Parish District Attorney's Office
    PO Box 417 • Rayville, LA 71269
    318.728.3166 • richland@fifthda.org
    Located in Richland Parish Courthouse,
    Second Floor
  • West Carroll Parish District Attorney's Office
    PO Box 1209 • Oak Grove, LA 71269
    318.428.3213 • westcarroll@fifthda.org
    Located in West Carroll Parish Courthouse,
    Second Floor

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