If a CPS social worker determines that a child is at risk of harm of abuse or neglect, they may file a juvenile dependency petition with the court.
This petition initiates a legal process that can result in the removal of the child from their home and placement in foster care.
What is a Jurisdictional Hearing?
A jurisdictional hearing is a crucial stage in the juvenile dependency process.
It is a court hearing where the judge determines whether the allegations in the CPS petition are true and whether the child should be placed under the jurisdiction of the court.
The jurisdictional hearing is a trial but rather an opportunity for the judge to hear evidence and determine whether the case should proceed to the dispositional phase.
What Happens at a Jurisdictional Hearing?
At a jurisdictional hearing, CPS presents evidence supporting their abuse or neglect allegations. The evidence will include reports CPS prepares as a result of their investigation. This evidence may also include testimony from witnesses, medical records, and police reports.
In addition, the parents or guardians of the child also have the chance to present evidence and testify on their own behalf. The judge will consider all the evidence presented and decide based on what is in the child’s best interests.
Possible Outcomes of a Jurisdictional Hearing
After the jurisdictional hearing, the judge may make one of the following decisions:
Dismiss the case: If the judge finds that there is not enough evidence to support the allegations in the CPS petition, they may dismiss the case, and the child will not be placed under the jurisdiction of the court.
Sustain the petition: If the judge finds that the allegations in the CPS petition are true, they will sustain the petition, and the child will be placed under the court’s jurisdiction. The case will proceed to the dispositional phase, where the judge will make decisions about the child’s placement and services.
What to Expect at a Jurisdictional Hearing
If you are a parent or guardian involved in a CPS or juvenile dependency case, knowing what to expect at a jurisdictional hearing is necessary. Here are notes to keep in mind and to help you prepare:
Dress appropriately: Dress professionally and avoid clothing with logos or slogans.
Be on time: Always arrive at least 30 minutes early to allow time for speaking with your lawyer, parking, and security screening.
Be respectful to everyone: Address the judge as “Your Honor” and be respectful to everyone in the courtroom.
Bring any evidence: If you have any evidence to present, such as medical records or witness statements, bring them with you.
WHAT SHOULD YOU IF YOU NEED A CPS LAWYER FOR A CPS CASE IN ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA?
If you have been accused of abuse or neglect, it is crucial to get a CPS lawyer as soon as possible.
You deserve to have a CPS lawyer who will help you fight to get your children back. If you are dealing with a juvenile dependency case, child-welfare services case, or CPS case in Orange County, California, or Southern California, you need thejuvenile dependency attorneys at ALL Trial Lawyers by your side.
Don’t risk calling the wrong lawyer. If CPS is investigating you, you do not have to deal with them alone.