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Handbook 9: Court Related Issues
9-3.1.1 Noticing for the Selection and Implementation (366.26) Hearing
Court Related Issues
9-3.1.1  Noticing for Selection and Implementation (366.26) Hearings
Reference Points
Overview
Initiating Notice for the 366.26 Hearing

Required Methods for Giving Notice to

a Parent Whose Whereabouts Is Known

Required Methods for Giving Notice to a Parent Whose Whereabouts Is Not Known
Required Methods for Giving Notice to Persons Entitled to Notice Other Than the Parents
Explanation of Service Methods and Timeframes
Due Diligence Search
Noticing for Continued 366.26 Hearings
Other References


Reference Points
Effective Date: TBA
Last Updated: 12/17/08
 Legal Basis:
Popup Window Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) § 294; 294(f)(5)
Popup Window WIC § 366.26


Overview  

Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) § 294 requires the social worker to give notice of the § 366.26 selection and implementation hearing to certain persons including:  the mother; presumed and alleged father(s); the child if 10 years of age or older; siblings of the child; the child's current caretaker; and all counsel of record.  At the § 366.26 hearing, the court orders a permanent plan, which may include adoption and termination of parental rights.

 

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Initiating Notice for the 366.26 Hearing  

To initiate notice for a §366.26 hearing, social workers complete the SC1423 noticing form and submit the form to the County Counsel's office, with due diligence declarations if needed, at least 90 calendar days before the .26 hearing.

See:

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Required Methods for Giving Notice to

a Parent Whose Whereabouts Is Known

 





  • The parent attended the hearing at which the WIC § 366.26 Selection and Implementation Hearing was set
If the recommended permanent plan for the child is.. then the parents entitled to notice of the .26 Hearing are.. and the required service methods are..
  • Adoption

or

  • Legal Guardianship
 

or

  • Planned Permanent Living Arrangement  (PPLA)
  • Mother
  • All presumed fathers
  • All alleged fathers

 

See Others in the chapter section below

1st  Class  Mail.



 

  • The parent lives in California and the parent did not attend the hearing at which the .26 Hearing was set:
If the recommended permanent plan for the child is.. then the parents entitled to notice of the .26 Hearing are.. and the required service methods are..

Adoption

  • Mother
  • Father
  • All presumed fathers
  • All alleged fathers

 

See Others in the chapter section below

  • Legal Guardianship

or

  • Planned Permanent Living Arrangement  (PPLA)
  • Mother
  • All presumed fathers
  • All alleged fathers

 

See Others in the chapter section below

  • Any of the above methods are also acceptable




  • The parent lives out-of-state, and the parent did not attend the hearing at which the .26 Hearing was set:
If the recommended permanent plan for the child is.. then the parents entitled to notice of the .26 Hearing are.. and the required service methods are..
  • Adoption

or

  • Legal Guardianship

or

  • Planned Permanent Living Arrangement  (PPLA)
  • Mother
  • All presumed fathers
  • All alleged fathers

 

See Others in the chapter section below

 



  • No Notice is Required to a Parent
    • Whose rights have been terminated; or
    • Who has relinquished parental rights and the relinquishment has been accepted and filed with notice per Family Code § 8700; or
    • Who is an alleged father who has previously filed a JV-505 (Statement Regarding Paternity) form denying paternity and waiving further notice.
     
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Required Methods for Giving Notice to a Parent Whose Whereabouts Is Not Known  


 





  • The parent's whereabouts is unknown
If the recommended permanent plan for the child is.. then the parents entitled to notice of the .26 Hearing are.. and the service methods are..

Adoption

  • Mother
  • All presumed fathers
 
  • All alleged fathers

 

See Others in the chapter section below

  • Publication, if the parent does not have an attorney*

 

*These service methods require a Due Diligence Search followed by a court order.

  • Legal Guardianship

or

  • Planned Permanent Living Arrangement  (PPLA)
  • Mother
  • All presumed fathers
  • All alleged fathers

 

See Others in the chapter section below

 

*No further notice is required if the Due Diligence Search was legally sufficient.

 

 

 




  • Parent whose whereabouts was unknown is subsequently found
If the recommended permanent plan for the child is.. then the parents entitled to notice of the .26 Hearing are.. and the service methods are..

Adoption

  • Mother
  • All presumed fathers
 
  • All alleged fathers

 

Immediate service of notice by:

  • Legal Guardianship

or

  • Planned Permanent Living Arrangement  (PPLA)
  • Mother
  • All presumed fathers
  • All alleged fathers

 

For parents residing in California, immediate service of notice by:

 

For parents residing out-of-state, immediate service of notice by:

 






  • Parent's identity is unknown
If the recommended permanent plan for the child is.. then the parents entitled to notice of the .26 Hearing are.. and the required service methods are..

Adoption

  • Mother
  • All presumed fathers
  • All alleged fathers

 

See Others in the chapter section below

  • No further Notice if ordered by the court*

 

*Requires a finding that the Due Diligence Search was legally sufficient.

  • Legal Guardianship

or

  • Planned Permanent Living Arrangement  (PPLA)
  • Mother
  • All presumed fathers
  • All alleged fathers

 

See Others in the chapter section below

  • No Further notice to parents is required

 

*Requires a finding that the Due Diligence Search was legally sufficient.

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Required

Methods for Giving Notice to Persons Entitled to Notice Other Than the Parents

 
  • Other parties who are entitled to be Noticed of the .26 Hearing are included in the following chart.

 

If the recommended permanent plan for the child is..

then the persons entitled to notice of the .26 Hearing, other than the parents, are..

and the required service methods are..
  • Adoption

or

  • Legal Guardianship

or

  • Planned Permanent Living Arrangement  (PPLA)
  • Child 10 years or older
  • Dependent siblings if the sibling case is calendared on a different day or in a different courtroom
  • Court Appointed Child Advocate (CASA)
  • De Facto Parent
  • Grandparent if the parents' whereabouts are unknown and the grandparent's identity and address is known
  • All attorneys of Record if the attorney was not present when the .26 Hearing was set or the parents' whereabouts is unknown
  • Current Caregiver
  • Child's identified Indian Tribe
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Explanation of Service Methods and Timeframes  

Following are eight service methods identified in the previous charts with explanations of each method and its required timeframe.


  • Court Order at the Setting of the .26 Hearing
    • At the hearing setting the .26 Hearing date, the Court:
      • Advises the parents of the nature of the proceedings and the requirement that one of four permanent plans be recommended for the child.
      • Orders the parents to return for the 366.26 Hearing.
      • Orders notice to the parent by 1st Class Mail at the parent's usual place of residence or business only.
        • The notices must be mailed at least 55 calendar days before the 366.26 Hearing.


  • Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested (parent resides in state)
    • Is mailed to the parent's last known mailing address.
    • Must be mailed at least 55 calendar days before the .26 Hearing date.
    • Receipt must be signed by the parent to whom notice is addressed.
      • The social worker must receive a signed return receipt and it must be filed in court for notice to be deemed legally sufficient.


  • Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested (parent resides out-of-state)
    • Is mailed to the parent's usual place of residence or business.
    • Must be mailed at least 55 calendar days before the .26 Hearing date.
    • Evidence of the mailing and any returned receipts must be filed with the court.

 

  • 1st Class Mail
    • Sent to the person's usual place of residence or business via 1st Class Mail.
    • Must be mailed at least 55 calendar day before the .26 Hearing.



  • Notice c/o Parent's Attorney
    • Whereabouts of the parent is unknown.
    • The Court finds Due Diligence Search to be legally sufficient.
    • Notice is sent to the attorney.
      • Notice is sent by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested.
      • Mailing must occur at least 55 calendar days prior to the .26 Hearing.
    • Notice must also be sent to the grandparents if their identities and addresses are known.
      • Notice to grandparents:
        • Is sent 1st Class Mail.
        • Must be mailed at least 55 calendar days before the .26 Hearing.


  • Publication
    • Court orders service by publication of the notice citation.
    • Publication must run in a newspaper once a week for four consecutive weeks.
    • The last day the notice citation runs must be at least 30 calendar days before the .26 Hearing.
    • Notice must also be sent to the grandparents if their identities and addresses are known.
      • Notice to grandparents:
        • Is sent 1st Class Mail.
        • Must be mailed at least 55 calendar day before the .26 Hearing.


  • Personal Service
    • Notice is hand delivered to the person entitled to notice.
    • Must be delivered at least 45 days before the hearing.

 

  • Substituted Person Service
    • Notice is hand delivered to a competent person at least 18 years of age at the parent's usual place of residence or business.
    • Immediately following the delivery, a second notice must be mailed to the parent by 1st Class Mail to the place where the notice was delivered.
    • Notice must be served 45 days before the hearing.
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Due Diligence Search  

Due Diligence location efforts should be completed at least 90 calendar days before the hearing to obtain a court finding that the Search is legally sufficient.  The Due Diligence affidavit must be filed in court at least 75 days prior to the hearing.

See OPP Chapter 9-4: Due Diligence Searches and Declarations.

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Noticing for Continued 366.26 Hearings  

Regardless of the type of notice required or the manner in which it is served, once the court has made the initial finding that the WIC § 366.26 Notice has properly been given to the parent or any entitled person, subsequent notice for any continuation of the hearing may be by:

However, if the recommendation subsequently changes from that contained in the notice previously found proper, then notice for that new recommendation must be provided to the parent and to any person entitled to receive notice for the subsequent hearing.

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Other References  
bullet2 OPP Chapter 9-3: Noticing for Court Hearings
bullet2 OPP Chapter 9-4: Due Diligence Searches and Declarations
bullet2 OPP Chapter: 9-3.2  Alleged Parent: Statement Regarding Paternity
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