If the parents are willing to reach an agreement at the time of the hearing, they can send a lawyer on their behalf to present the agreement. If neither parent has a lawyer, the parent who filed the case (the applicant) must be present to file the agreement. Pre-conference procedures may vary. The judge may address the bank parties, meet with lawyers in private, or ask the court counsel to speak with the parties. Clerk The employee of a social service agency who is involved in a case is usually referred to as a clerk. Social workers are often required to gather information about those involved in a case and report to the court. Petitions for child abuse and neglect may accuse the parent, guardian or person legally responsible for a child of neglecting or abusing the child. Neglect and abuse can include causing emotional or physical harm or the risk of harm to the child. It may also involve failing to protect a child from harm caused by others.
The allegation of abuse or neglect must be proven at a family court hearing. If the case is not proven, the child must be returned to the parent or guardian. If the court finds that there has been abuse or neglect, it may issue an order requiring the removal of the child from the home for a maximum period of twelve months. The order may also require parents or guardians to participate in programs and services designed to help eliminate problems that caused the abuse or neglect. After twelve months, the child may be sent home, the Department of Social Services may request an extension of the child`s placement or the Department of Social Services may file an application for termination of parental rights (see „Permanent Neglect”), below). These applications follow the same steps as described above, including an initial appearance, a fact-finding hearing, and a decision hearing. In some cases of juvenile delinquency that do not involve serious acts of violence, probation officers may interview the person who filed the complaint, the police officer and the accused child to see if the case can be resolved without going to court and to decide whether the child should be sent home or temporarily detained. No one can be forced to talk to probation officers at this time. What is said during the interrogation is not disclosed unless the court concludes that it is a crime.
Subpoena A document that notifies the person named in the lawsuit against them. A subpoena requires the presence of a person in court. Petition forms can be requested from the Office of the Family Court Clerk. The application is an affidavit setting out the facts of the case to be decided by the family court. If you are not represented by a lawyer, you must complete the application yourself. In juvenile delinquency cases, the district prosecutor will prepare the petition. If possible, you should consult a lawyer before filing an application. The application must be submitted to the clerk of the family court. The Registrar ensures that the application is properly registered (filed) and sets a date for the first hearing of the case. The hearing in family court can be done in one or two stages. Custody, visitation, paternity or support cases are decided in a single stage – the fact-finding hearing. Cases of family offences, persons requiring supervision (PINS), juvenile delinquency (JD), abuse, neglect or permanent neglect are decided in two stages – the trial takes place first and the decision hearing is the second stage.
There is no jury in family court; The judge holds all hearings. If the facts are proven in cases involving family offences, abuse, negligence or permanent negligence, the case moves on to the second stage of the hearing procedure, the decision hearing. Courts hold application hearings on certain days of the week. When you make an application, your hearing is scheduled for the next available application day, usually weeks or months. In case of urgent problems, ask the clerk if you would like to request an expedited hearing. This is also known as a closed hearing (in private) and is an opportunity for the child to express feelings about the case without pressure from the parents. The next time you meet with your lawyer, bring information or documents to help you explain your version of the case. Your lawyer can best help you if you provide ALL THE FACTS.
The Lawyers` Code of Ethics prohibits them from disclosing anything about your case that you tell them confidentially. Let your lawyer know if there are people who would speak on your side of the case in court. Tell your lawyer how to get in touch with people who would be witnesses for you. If paternity is proven or admitted, the judge signs a parentage order, an official court document stating that the person is the father of the child. Then, the hearing will continue to decide on eligibility fees. A man accused in a controversial paternity case may hire a lawyer to represent him or have a lawyer appointed if he cannot afford it. If the mother uses the services of the maintenance collection unit of the Ministry of Social Services, this unit represents the mother regardless of her income. Lay (non-expert) witnesses testify to what they personally observed.
These witnesses often include the parents themselves, relatives, childminders, therapists and family doctors, etc. In Circuit Court, the parent opening the case must also provide a confirmatory witness to verify the facts of the case. The hearings you have depend on your case, your court, and whether you are divorced or unmarried to the other parent. Note that procedures vary. At any time, parents can agree on a plan and have it signed by a judge. Then they move on to step 7 of the court case. The judge will likely ask you to file a pre-trial note (the judge may also call it a „pre-trial brief”). This is a summary of the arguments you wish to present to the court.
You must file the pre-trial brief within the time limit set for the judge and serve it on the other party […].