When a party does not agree with a final order or ruling of the Court, the party may file an appeal which requests that a higher court examine the procedure and ruling of the lower court. Time limits usually apply for the appeal to be filed.
Burden of Proof
The duty of one party in a legal case to convince the Judge that their version of the facts is true.
Cradles to Crayons (C2C)
Cradles to Crayons is a specialized court and services for dependency cases involving children from ages 0-3.
A dependency case is filed when there is a child who is in need of proper and effective parental care and control and there is no parent or guardian who is willing or capable of providing that care and control. A dependency case could also be filed when there has been abuse, neglect, cruelty or depravity by a parent or guardian or other person having custody or control of the child. A dependency case could involve the children being in or out of the home and requires that a parent be involved with CPS and the juvenile court.
Witnesses who testify or exhibits that are presented at a hearing or trial to convince the Judge of a party’s version of the facts.
A permanent guardianship may be filed during a dependency case which requests that the child(ren) be placed with a fit and proper person and that the best interests of the child(ren) would be served by granting the permanent guardianship. When a guardianship is granted, the dependency case is dismissed and CPS is no longer involved with the family except to provide an annual report to the Court. A guardianship does not permanently terminate the parent(s)' rights and may be revoked in the future if the parent is able to parent AND it is in the child(ren)'s best interests to revoke the guardianship.
An In-Home Intervention is a dependency case filed with the Court that does not involve a formal finding of dependency and services are provided to the parent in the home. In order to qualify for this type of case, there must not have been a prior removal by CPS, all parties must be in agreement with all services, and the issue(s) which caused the case to be filed are believed to be able to be resolved within one year.
A severance action requests that the Court permanently "sever" or terminate the relationship between the parent(s) and child(ren). The severance may be filed by a motion during a dependency case or by a separately filed petition. In order to terminate parental rights, the court must find sufficient evidence to meet the statutory burden of one or more severance ground(s), as well as a finding of whether it is in the child(ren)'s best interests to have their parents’ rights terminated.
Failure of a parent to provide reasonable support and maintain regular contact with the child.
Felony Conviction - Length
The parent is convicted of a felony and the parent's sentence is of such a length that the child will be deprived of a normal home for a period of years.
Felony Conviction - Nature
The parent is convicted of a felony and the felony is of such nature as to prove the unfitness of that parent to have future custody and control of the child.
Mental Illness / Mental Deficiency / Chronic Substance Abuse History
The parent is unable to care for their child(ren) because of mental illness, mental deficiency, or a history of chronic abuse of dangerous drugs, controlled substances or alcohol and there are reasonable grounds to believe the condition will continue for a prolonged, indeterminate period.
Neglect / Abuse
Serious physical or emotional injury or situations in which the parent knew or should have known that a person was abusing or neglecting a child.
A parent who had a prior open dependency case and had the child(ren) returned to the parent may have their parental rights terminated if the child(ren) is removed from the home again by CPS within eighteen (18) months of the prior dependency case being closed and the parent is unable to discharge their parental responsibilities. The prior dependency case could be from another state.
Parental rights may be terminated if the parent has had parental rights to another child terminated within the preceding two years for the same cause and the parent is currently unable to parent due to the same cause.
Time in Care
6 Months Time-in-Care: The child(ren) who is/are under the age of three (3) has been out of the parent(s)' home for a cumulative total period of six (6) months or longer and the parent has substantially neglected or willfully refused to remedy the circumstances as to why the child(ren) came into care.
9 Months Time-in-Care: The child(ren) has been out of the parent(s)' home for a cumulative total period of six (6) months or longer and the parent has substantially neglected or willfully refused to remedy the circumstances as to why the child(ren) came into care.
15 Months Time-in-Care: The child(ren) has been out of the parent(s)' home for a cumulative total period of fifteen (15) months or longer and the parent has been unable to remedy the circumstances which caused the child to be out of the home, and there is a substantial likelihood that the parent will not be capable of exercising proper and parental care and control within the near future.