DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

  DFCS Online Policies & Procedures

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Handbook 9: Court Related Issues
9-3  Noticing for Court Hearings
Court Related Issues
9-3 Noticing for Court Hearings
Reference Points
Overview
DFCS/Office of County Counsel Agreement
Petition and Detention Hearings
Status Review Hearings
Notice and Court Report Log
Noticing Incarcerated Parents
Noticing for ICWA
Caregiver Information Form
Other References


Reference Points
Effective Date: TBA
Last Updated: 5/2/07
 Legal Basis:
Popup Window Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) § 364.05 and 366.05
Popup Window California Department of Social Services Manual (CDSS) Manual of Policies and Procedures (MPP) Division 31-515
 Non CWS/CMS Forms:
MS Word Caregiver Information Form


Overview  

Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) § 364.05 and 366.05 requires that notice be served to parties in a juvenile dependency matter.  The parties include the mother, presumed and alleged father(s), legal guardian(s), and children 10 years of age and older whose whereabouts are known or become known prior a court hearing.  The hearings to be noticed include the initial petition hearing, jurisdictional/dispositional hearing, status review hearing, selection and implementation hearing and all sequential dependency hearings.  The notice and a copy of the court report must be received by the parties at least 10 calendar days prior to the hearing, except in the case of the initial petition and jurisdictional/dispositional hearings. 

Separate procedures for noticing when the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) applies or may apply are summarized in the California Department of Social Services Manual (CDSS) Manual of Policies and Procedures (MPP) Division 31-515.  DFCS policies and procedures for noticing for ICWA cases can be found in OPP Chapter 9-3.1.

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DFCS/Office of County Counsel Agreement   The Department of Family and Children's Services and County Counsel have entered into an agreement whereby the Office of County Counsel generates and mails Notices for parties for all hearings except for Initial Petition Hearings, Jurisdictional/Dispositional Hearings and Application and Order Hearings.
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Petition and Detention Hearings  

Social Workers filing juvenile court petitions are responsible for providing Notices of the dependency proceedings to the following parties.  As a step towards reasonable efforts, the social worker may contact the first seven parties named below by telephone or in-person at least 24 hours prior to an Initial Petition Hearing, a 342 or 387 Petition Hearing or a Detention Hearing:


The social worker:

  • Completes the 300 Petition Worksheet or 387 Supplemental Petition Worksheet  with the names of all parties that need to be noticed.
  • Submits the worksheet with the Petition packet to the clerical staff.

The DFCS petition clerk submits the Notice to the County Clerk's office, along with the original and copies of the petition.  The Court Clerk serves the Notice to the parents and other parties at the hearing.

If a petition needs to be amended, the DFCS petitioning clerk will send out the amended petition with the Notice to all parties by certified mail, if the Hearing is scheduled more than 3 days from the filing date of the amended petition.

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Status Review Hearings  

At two to three week intervals the Dependent Intake clerical staff sends to each supervisor a batch of green Noticing Worksheets (SC1423) for Review Hearings for all cases in the unit that fall approximately two months from the date the Worksheets are sent.  

Social Workers:

  • Complete each SC 1423.
    • Provide the names and addresses for all parties who are required to be noticed (side 1 and 2).
    • Indicate recommendations and identified issues (side 2).
  • Submit the completed forms to the unit supervisor for approval signatures.

Supervisors:

  • Forward the SC 1423s to the Office of County Counsel. 
    • The County Counsel clerical staff generates and mails Notices for parties named on the SC 1423.

Noticing Worksheets should be received at the Office of County Counsel at least 35 days prior to the scheduled hearing.  This allows time for processing of the Notices so that the requirement that the parties receive the Notices at least 10 days prior to the hearing can be met.

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Notice and Court Report Log   When the Noticing Worksheets (SC 1423) are distributed, each supervisor receives with them a Notice and Court Report Log, which is a tool to track timelines for Notices and Court Reports.  The Log has a column which indicates the date by which the SC 1423 should be received by County Counsel.  There is also a column for supervisors to track when they receive the completed Worksheets from social workers and a column to track when they sign off on the Worksheets and forward them to County Counsel.
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Noticing Incarcerated Parents   Court assistants make arrangements for the transport of parent prisoners from jail or prison to the court hearings.  To initiate transportation arrangements, social workers contact the court assistant (491-4200) assigned to the courtroom in which the hearing is scheduled.
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Noticing for ICWA   See OPP Chapter 9-3.1 ICWA: Notices for Hearing.
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Caregiver Information Form  

The Caregiver Information Form is mailed out with each Notice sent to a substitute care provider.  This form is a format for the caregiver to provide the Court with information regarding the child's current status.  The form may be sent to the Court or to the social worker, or the caregiver may attend the court hearing. 

At times, caregivers may ask social workers questions about attending a court hearing.  Social workers are advised to inform caregivers that they have a right to attend court hearings.  They are further advised not to discourage caregivers from attending hearings.

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Other References  
bullet2 OPP Chapter 9-3.1  ICWA: Notice for Hearings
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