In its 1908 session, the Louisiana Legislature, in Act No. 83, created a Court to deal with the "children" of Louisiana. This basic concept was further developed through various statutes and amendments to the Constitution of the State of Louisiana. However, the Orleans Parish Juvenile Court, as it exists today, came into existence via the Louisiana Constitution of 1921.
Prior to 1937, the Court was known as the Juvenile Court of the Parish of Orleans and it had only one judge. A second judgeship was created that year to deal with the increased juvenile population of the City of New Orleans. By 1956, the juvenile population resulting from the post world War II "baby boom" necessitated the addition of a third judgeship, so Section "C" was created by the Legislature.
In 1962, the name of the Court was changed, by legislative Act, to the Orleans Parish Juvenile Court. An increase in the numbers of juveniles handled annually by the Court resulted in the addition of Section "D" by the Legislature in 1969. In response to a dramatic increase in the amount of serious crime perpetrated by juveniles in the early 1970's, the Legislature established Section "E" of the Court in 1979. In 1991 Section "F" was created.
The Court has developed steadily from its earliest days, with a staff of fewer than ten persons and a budget of less than $10,000.00 per year. Although the Court is a state district court, by statute the expense of its operation is borne primarily by the City of New Orleans, with the exception of the salaries of the Judges and the cost of the Protective Care Monitoring Program, which items are paid in full by the State of Louisiana.
The jurisdiction of the Court is broad and varied. It handles all juvenile delinquency (criminal) matters, juvenile status offenses, cases of neglect and/or abuse of juveniles, criminal non-support and U.R.E.S.A. cases, adoptions, abandonment proceedings, voluntary transfers of custody, termination of parental rights cases, and juvenile traffic cases for the Parish of Orleans.