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Intake decision
Referred cases are first screened by an intake department (either within or outside the court). The decision made by juvenile court intake may result in the case either being handled informally (nonpetitioned) at the intake level or being petitioned (formally handled) and scheduled for an adjudicatory or waiver hearing.

In informally handled (nonpetitioned) cases, duly authorized court personnel, having screened the case, decide not to file a formal petition. Such personnel include judges, referees, probation officers, other officers of the court, and/or agencies statutorily designated to conduct petition screening for the juvenile court.

Formally handled (petitioned) cases are those that appear on the court calendar in response to the filing of a petition, complaint, or other legal instrument requesting the court to adjudicate a youth as a delinquent, status offender, or dependent child or to waive jurisdiction and transfer a youth to criminal court.