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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 1022
Preliminary orders of court before petition filed
Family Court Act (FCT) CHAPTER 686, ARTICLE 10, PART 2
§ 1022. Preliminary orders of court before petition filed. (a) (i) The
family court may enter an order directing the temporary removal of a
child from the place where he or she is residing before the filing of a
petition under this article, if (A) the parent or other person legally
responsible for the child's care is absent or, though present, was asked
and refused to consent to the temporary removal of the child and was
informed of an intent to apply for an order under this section and of
the information required by section one thousand twenty-three of this
part; and

(B) the child appears so to suffer from the abuse or neglect of his or
her parent or other person legally responsible for his or her care that
his or her immediate removal is necessary to avoid imminent danger to
the child's life or health; and

(C) there is not enough time to file a petition and hold a preliminary
hearing under section one thousand twenty-seven of this part.

(ii) When a child protective agency applies to a court for the
immediate removal of a child pursuant to this subdivision, the court
shall calendar the matter for that day and shall continue the matter on
successive subsequent court days, if necessary, until a decision is made
by the court.

(iii) In determining whether temporary removal of the child is
necessary to avoid imminent risk to the child's life or health, the
court shall consider and determine in its order whether continuation in
the child's home would be contrary to the best interests of the child
and where appropriate, whether reasonable efforts were made prior to the
date of application for the order directing such temporary removal to
prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child from the home. If
the court determines that reasonable efforts to prevent or eliminate the
need for removal of the child from the home were not made but that the
lack of such efforts was appropriate under the circumstances, the court
order shall include such a finding.

(iv) If the court determines that reasonable efforts to prevent or
eliminate the need for removal of the child from the home were not made
but that such efforts were appropriate under the circumstances, the
court shall order the child protective agency to provide or arrange for
the provision of appropriate services or assistance to the child and the
child's family pursuant to section one thousand fifteen-a of this
article or subdivision (c) of this section.

(v) The court shall also consider and determine whether imminent risk
to the child would be eliminated by the issuance of a temporary order of
protection, pursuant to section one thousand twenty-nine of this part,
directing the removal of a person or persons from the child's residence.

(vi) Any order directing the temporary removal of a child pursuant to
this section shall state the court's findings with respect to the
necessity of such removal, whether the respondent was present at the
hearing and, if not, what notice the respondent was given of the
hearing, whether the respondent was represented by counsel, and, if not,
whether the respondent waived his or her right to counsel.

(vii) At the conclusion of a hearing where it has been determined that
a child should be removed from his or her parent or other person legally
responsible, the court shall set the date certain for an initial
permanency hearing pursuant to paragraph two of subdivision (a) of
section one thousand eighty-nine of this act. The date certain shall be
included in the written order issued pursuant to subdivision (b) of this
section and shall set forth the date certain scheduled for the
permanency hearing.

(b) Any written order pursuant to this section shall be issued
immediately, but in no event later than the next court day following the
removal of the child. The order shall specify the facility to which the
child is to be brought. Except for good cause shown or unless the child
is sooner returned to the place where he or she was residing, a petition
shall be filed under this article within three court days of the
issuance of the order. The court shall hold a hearing pursuant to
section one thousand twenty-seven of this part no later than the next
court day following the filing of the petition if the respondent was not
present, or was present and unrepresented by counsel, and has not waived
his or her right to counsel, for the hearing pursuant to this section.

(c) The family court, before the filing of a petition under this
article, may enter an order authorizing the provision of services or
assistance, including authorizing a physician or hospital to provide
emergency medical or surgical procedures, if (i) such procedures are
necessary to safeguard the life or health of the child; and

(ii) there is not enough time to file a petition and hold a
preliminary hearing under section one thousand twenty-seven. Where the
court orders a social services official to provide or contract for
services or assistance pursuant to this section, such order shall be
limited to services or assistance authorized or required to be made
available pursuant to the comprehensive annual services program plan
then in effect.

(d) The person removing the child shall, coincident with removal, give
written notice to the parent or other person legally responsible for the
child's care of the right to apply to the family court for the return of
the child pursuant to section one thousand twenty-eight of this act, the
name, title, organization, address and telephone number of the person
removing the child, the name and telephone number of the child care
agency to which the child will be taken, if available, the telephone
number of the person to be contacted for visits with the child, and the
information required by section one thousand twenty-three of this act.
Such notice shall be personally served upon the parent or other person
at the residence of the child provided, that if such person is not
present at the child's residence at the time of removal, a copy of the
notice shall be affixed to the door of such residence and a copy shall
be mailed to such person at his or her last known place of residence
within twenty-four hours after the removal of the child. If the place of
removal is not the child's residence, a copy of the notice shall be
personally served upon the parent or person legally responsible for the
child's care forthwith, or affixed to the door of the child's residence
and mailed to the parent or other person legally responsible for the
child's care at his or her last known place of residence within
twenty-four hours after the removal. The form of the notice shall be
prescribed by the chief administrator of the courts.

(e) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to require that the court
order the temporary removal of a child as a condition of ordering
services or assistance, including emergency medical or surgical
procedures pursuant to subdivision (c) of this section.

(f) The court may issue a temporary order of protection pursuant to
section ten hundred twenty-nine of this article as an alternative to or
in conjunction with any other order or disposition authorized under this
section.