100 Woodland Street, Nashville, TN 37213
Phone: 615-862-5740 | Fax: 615-862-5709
The Juvenile Division of the Metropolitan Public Defender’s Office was created in 1978, and currently has a staff of five lawyers, two social workers, and one legal secretary. The Office is located on the bottom level of the Juvenile Justice Center, and can be reached by phone at (615) 862-5740. The Assistant Public Defenders in Juvenile Court primarily represent indigent juveniles who are accused of committing delinquent acts (generally an act that would constitute a crime if committed by an adult). Additionally, the Office employs one attorney who serves as a guardian ad litem and one attorney who works on educational issues for children enrolled in Metro Schools.
The Juvenile Division represents children under the age of 18 who are accused of offenses ranging from trespass to homicide. We also represent children whom the State is trying to transfer to criminal court to be tried as adults. Finally, our attorneys file motions to expunge records and restore driving privileges for people of all ages who have prior juvenile history.
Educational Advocacy and Representation
The Education Rights Project in the Juvenile Division aims to divert at-risk youth with disabilities from contact with the juvenile justice system by ensuring that students receive appropriate educational services. We provide advocacy and legal representation in discipline proceedings, Individualized Education Program (IEP) team meetings, Support Team meetings (S-Team) and meetings regarding 504 plans. We also provide training to parents, counselors and other professionals in the law and school policy related to special education law, school discipline, and truancy.
Guardian ad Litem Program
The Guardian ad Litem attorney in the Juvenile Division is appointed by the Court to advocate for the best interests of a child in custody, parentage, educational neglect, and neglect/dependency cases. The Court may appoint a guardian ad litem either on its own motion or at the request of any party to a case when the Court deems it appropriate. The guardian ad litem is appointed by the Court to represent the child by advocating for the child’s best interest and ensuring that the child’s concerns and preferences are expressed to the Court.