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Initial Petition Hearing or Detention Hearing (WIC 319)

January 14, 2022

INITIAL PETITION HEARING OR DETENTION HEARING (WIC 319)

An initial Petition Hearing, or a Detention Hearing, is a hearing to determine whether a child is temporarily removed from the home of one or both parents. The hearing is required to be held within 72 hours of the child being taken from the home. The standard of proof is a “prima facie showing” that the child[ren] comes within one of the provisions of section 300.

The court will read the report prepared by Child Protective Services (CPS) but shall also consider other “relevant evidence.” Relevant evidence can mean arguments, statements, and documentation provided to the court. Some courts require a formal presentation of evidence, such as calling witnesses under oath, requiring a foundation for documents, but the code doesn’t require that level of formality.

The court decides whether to remove a child from one or both parents and where to place a child if out-of-home care is needed, such as a relative. In addition, the court determines what orders need to be put in place to protect the child. This includes whether the child remains in the home or not, such as stay-away orders, visitation parameters, etc.

This hearing may be continued one day without any showing of good cause at the request of the parent or child. (WIC 322.) The court is obligated to make temporary findings if this occurs. However, the hearing may be continued beyond a single day for a showing of good cause. (WIC 352.)

If you are dealing with a Juvenile Dependency or CPS case, you need the CPS attorneys at ALL Trial Lawyers by your side. Call now for your free consultation. Call us at (866) 811-4255.

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