Removal of children from parents by the state
Removal of children. Not easy on anyone.One of the first great difficulties a parent and child may face in a care and protection case is the emergency removal of a child. As can be imagined this separation can be extremely difficult for all involved. Depending on the extent of the emergency, children may be removed by the Department of Children & Families (DCF) while at day care, at night from their homes or even with the help of the police.
The first court filing by the state. Emergency hearing.A care and protection case starts with the filing of a petition in court, usually by the Department of Children & Families, but others with knowledge of neglect are also permitted to file. Once the petition is filed an emergency hearing is held to determine whether the child should be placed in the temporary custody of DCF. The emergency hearing is almost always conducted with just a judge and a social worker from DCF. Generally, no witnesses are called and there is almost always no chance for opposition at this stage of the process.
The 72 Hour Hearing.The emergency hearing almost always results in a judge granting emergency custody of the child to DCF. Once emergency custody is transferred notice must be given to the parents and a second hearing is scheduled. The second hearing is called a "72 hour hearing." The hearing is called a 72 hour hearing because by law the hearing must be scheduled within 72 hours of the child's removal. Although the law does state that a hearing must be held within 72 hours after emergency removal, the parties sometimes waive this requirement in order to arrange for witnesses or for other strategic reasons.
The 72 hour hearing is a formal hearing with an opportunity for all parties to be heard by the court.
DisclaimerNone of the information or materials posted above is intended to constitute legal advice. Viewing this outline does not constitute an attorney client relationship. Local counsel should always be consulted before contemplating any legal action. The above information is general in nature and should not be undertaken without the express advice of an attorney of your choosing.