How Does the Juvenile Court Have Jurisdiction Over Your Juvenile Dependency / CPS Case?
Juvenile dependency matters, and CPS cases are complicated. If you have a juvenile dependency case or a CPS case, the dependency court will decide whether your children will be removed from your custody.
The juvenile dependency court is in charge of protecting the health, safety, and well-being of children who have been abused or neglected or are in danger of becoming abused or neglected. The court’s role is to oversee that children and their families’ rights are safeguarded and exercised according to the law.
But what gives the court the power, or jurisdiction, over your case? First, the complaint filed against you will have allegations. These allegations will point to a subsection under WIC 300 that you violated.
If you violated a subsection under WIC 300, the juvenile dependency court would now have the power to hear your case. So what are these subsections? Keep reading to learn more.
Under WIC 300(a), the court will examine whether the child has been physically harmed or is at risk of being physically harmed by their parent. In addition, the injury must have been intentional and not a result of an accident.
A past non-accidental injury caused by the parent or guardian, a history of recurrent physical damage inflicted on the child or the child’s siblings, and other behaviors that signal that the child is in danger are all factors considered to evaluate the risk of physical harm.
WIC 300(b) Neglect or Abandonment
This section is primarily concerned with whether or not the parent or guardian neglected to provide proper care and supervision.
The court will look at whether the child has suffered or is at substantial risk of suffering serious physical harm or illness as a result of the failure or inability of the child’s parent or guardian to supervise or protect the child adequately,
WIC 300(c) Emotional Damage
The child is experiencing or is on the verge of experiencing significant emotional damage. For example, the court will look for evidence of a child’s despair, withdrawal, extreme anxiety, and violent conduct exhibited by the child and whether these behaviors were caused by a guardian or parent’s action or lack thereof.
The court may assess these factors to determine the emotional damage caused to your child.
WIC 300(d) Sexual Abuse
A parent, guardian, or household member has sexually abused the child or is in danger of being sexually abused. Even if the parent did not commit the sexual abuse themselves, the court will examine whether the parent or guardian failed to adequately protect the child from sexual abuse when they knew or reasonably should have known that the child was in danger of sexual abuse.
WIC 300(e) Severe Physical Abuse
For section WIC 300 (e) to apply, the child must be under five years of age and has suffered severe physical abuse by a parent.
The abuse can also occur by a person known by the parent. The court will examine whether the parent knew or reasonably should have known that the person was physically abusing the child.
Severe physical abuse is defined as a single act of abuse that causes permanent disfigurement, permanent physical disability, or death if left untreated.
WIC 300(f) Death of another Child
The child’s parent or guardian caused the death of another child through abuse or neglect. This statute focuses on the harm caused to other children.
WIC 300(g) No Parent or Guardian (NPG)
The court looks to see whether the child was left without anyone to care for them. Many categories fall under this provision. These can include:
The child has been left without any provision for support.
Physical custody of the child has been voluntarily surrendered, and the child has not been reclaimed within 14 days.
Child’s parent has been incarcerated or institutionalized and cannot arrange for the child’s care.
A relative or other adult custodian with whom the child resides or has been left is unwilling or unable to provide care or support for the child
The parent’s whereabouts are unknown, and reasonable efforts to locate the parent have been unsuccessful.
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