You can ask to have your children back at every phase of a dependency hearing. At the first hearing, which is detention, you can ask to have your kids back. There are a lot of things that the social worker has to tell the court they did to prevent the continued removal. Many times, they don’t do what they are supposed to do and there are a lot of opportunities at that stage to ask that the children be returned. At that stage, you can get creative and propose to have Grandma and Grandpa stay in the home with you to supervise, or to have one of the parents stay elsewhere while the case is pending.
At the jurisdictional phase, the judge decides if certain allegations are true or not. They might find one allegation true out of five. The case then has a different light. Of course, you would ask to have your children returned. Hopefully, between the detention and the jurisdiction hearing, you’ve done a lot of things to dispel some of the concerns the social worker had. For example, you’ve now completed three individual therapy sessions and six parenting classes. If the judge is not ready to return the kids at that point, we’ll ask again at disposition. Sometimes, at the disposition hearing, the social worker will recommend that the children be returned home. If they don’t, you can go to trial.
At trial, it’s the burden of proof for the county to show, by clear and convincing evidence, that there are no reasonable means to protect the children if they are to be returned to the parents. By then, you’ve got 10 parenting classes and seven individual therapy sessions completed, and a letter from your therapist saying that you show up on time, you are addressing your issues, you are making progress, and you are accomplishing your goals. You’ve got some information from the parenting class’ structure that says you participate, you provide good examples for the class, and you are grasping the concepts. You also have had some really good visits with your children. The visits have been going great and the kids hate it when it’s time to leave. These are the kinds of arguments you can make at every stage.
Must There Be A Warrant To Remove My Child From The Home If Allegations Of Abuse Have Been Made?
Removal of a child from his or her family normally requires a warrant or a court order. However, in circumstances where there is an imminent risk of serious bodily injury, an exigency may exist such that a warrantless removal can be justified. Most cities and counties have some sort of joint protocol where CPS is joined by law enforcement in either obtaining a warrant or conducting a warrantless removal. If a child is removed without a warrant or a court order and there is no imminent risk of serious bodily injury, the child’s constitutional right will be violated under the Fourth Amendment and the parent’s constitutional rights under the Fourteenth Amendment will be violated.
For more information on Getting Children Back In A Dependency Case, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (925) 952-8900 today.