This is the first of a series of blogs, hopefully, daily, about the Juvenile Dependency Court process.  This series is intended to help educate parents and relatives about the process which seems to be shrouded in mystery.  I will continue to post blogs about cases and my experiences, however this Series will be devoted to providing information in order to assist the reader, so they may make more informed decisions while going through the process.

  1. Your child can be taken by the Child Protective Services Social Worker, Police Officer, or Sheriff’s Deputies. In Los Angeles County these social workers are employees of the Los Angeles County, Department of Children and Family Services, DCFS.  Each county in California, in the United States for that matter, has the equivalent employees, and generically they are referred to as Child Protective Services Workers, or CPS.
  1. The CPS worker must file a California Mandatory Judicial Council form, known as a section WIC 300 petition, a JV 100 form, alleging that you have abused the child or that the child is at risk of you abusing the child.
  1. The petition must be filed within 48 hours of the child being taken, or removal from your custody, excluding non-court days. California Welfare & Institutions Code (“WIC”) 313.  The remedy for this not being done is to request dismissal of the case.  Even if requested, this request may be denied.
  1. If the child is removed from the parent/s, the initial court hearing must be held no later than the next court date after the filing of the 300 petition. If the child is not removed from the parents the first court hearing must be within 15 days.  California Rules of Court 5.670(a) and (d).  The remedy for this not being done may also be to request dismissal of the petition.
  1. The mother, presumed or alleged fathers, legal guardian, children over 10, siblings subject to the courts court’s jurisdiction, Indian tribes, attorneys, probate department and the County District Attorneys must be given notice of this initial hearing. In my experience in many different counties, this is not done.
  1. The notice of this first hearing may be written or oral. WIC 290.1.  I personally believe this violates due process and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  But that’s the rule.  However, notice of the jurisdictional hearing must be by personal service or certified mail, return receipt requested; unless the person appeared at the detention hearing, then first class mail notice of the jurisdictional hearing is permitted.
  1. Any “alleged” father must also be served with a California form JV 505. And incarcerated parents must be served with a JV 450 and 451.  CRC 5.530(f)(5)).  The term “alleged” father is specifically defined in the law, and will be discussed in a later blog.
  1. During this time before the first court hearing, the law contemplates a number of things to happen, which rarely happen for many reasons. First, and foremost, the social worker should be arranging visitation between you, your family and the child.  Unfortunately, the child sometimes doesn’t see the parents or family for days after the initial court hearing.  Add that to the 2 or 3 days before the hearing, we are talking sometimes a week before the child sees the parent or family.
  1. Second, and probably the most important thing in the juvenile dependency process, the social worker is supposed to be investigating placing the child with a relative or close family friends. This theme of placement with family is extremely important, rarely done or investigated as it should be, and can have dire consequences after the disposition hearing, and certainly after reunification services are terminated.  These topics will be fully explored and explained in future blogs.  Suffice it to say, get the kids with relatives, if they aren’t returned to the parent/s.  And don’t DELAY.

If you or anyone you know needs a free consultation, a case analysis, or legal representation in the Juvenile Dependency Court, call us NOW.  Our representation of parties is State Wide.  We currently represent parties in cases in Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County, Orange County, Shasta County, San Diego County and San Juaquin County.

 

Vincent W Davis, Esq.
Juvenile Dependency Trial Lawyer
Graduate of Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College
Graduate of National Institute of Trial Attorneys
www.FightChildProtectiveServices.com

888-506-6810


When you talk to me, Vincent W. Davis, you can be sure of one thing, that I am listening. Child Protective Services (CPS or DCFS) and your accusers have their story, and it is our job to make sure that your story is heard and we keep your family together. If your kids or grand-kids have already been taken, we will find the best and fastest way to reunite your family.

Call me personally - 888-888-6582 - I am waiting to hear your story now, to defend you and keep your family together or reunite you and your precious loved ones.

We Are Your Juvenile Dependency Lawyers and we are proud to serve    Los Angeles,   Orange,   Riverside,   San Bernardino , Ventura, and  San Diego Counties.

Email: v.davis@vincentwdavis.com


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