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This entry was published on 2016-06-24
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SECTION 1027
Hearing and preliminary orders after filing of petition
Family Court Act (FCT) CHAPTER 686, ARTICLE 10, PART 2
§ 1027. Hearing and preliminary orders after filing of petition. (a)
(i) In any case where the child has been removed without court order or
where there has been a hearing pursuant to section one thousand
twenty-two of this part at which the respondent was not present, or was
not represented by counsel and did not waive his or her right to
counsel, the family court shall hold a hearing. Such hearing shall be
held no later than the next court day after the filing of a petition to
determine whether the child's interests require protection, including
whether the child should be returned to the parent or other person
legally responsible, pending a final order of disposition and shall
continue on successive court days, if necessary, until a decision is
made by the court.

(ii) In any such case where the child has been removed, any person
originating a proceeding under this article shall, or the attorney for
the child may apply for, or the court on its own motion may order, a
hearing at any time after the petition is filed to determine whether the
child's interests require protection pending a final order of
disposition. Such hearing must be scheduled for no later than the next
court day after the application for such hearing has been made.

(iii) In any case under this article in which a child has not been
removed from his or her parent or other person legally responsible for
his or her care, any person originating a proceeding under this article
or the attorney for the child may apply for, or the court on its own
motion may order, a hearing at any time after the petition is filed to
determine whether the child's interests require protection, including
whether the child should be removed from his or her parent or other
person legally responsible, pending a final order of disposition. Such
hearing must be scheduled for no later than the next court day after the
application for such hearing has been made.

(iv) Notice of a hearing shall be provided pursuant to section one
thousand twenty-three of this part.

(b) (i) Upon such hearing, if the court finds that removal is
necessary to avoid imminent risk to the child's life or health, it shall
remove or continue the removal of the child. If the court makes such a
determination that removal is necessary, the court shall immediately
inquire as to the status of any efforts made by the local social
services district to locate relatives of the child, including any
non-respondent parent and all of the child's grandparents, as required
pursuant to section one thousand seventeen of this article. The court
shall also inquire as to whether the child, if over the age of five, has
identified any relatives who play or have played a significant positive
role in his or her life and whether any respondent parent or any
non-respondent parent has identified any suitable relatives. Such
inquiry shall include whether any relative who has been located has
expressed an interest in becoming a foster parent for the child or in
seeking custody or care of the child. Upon completion of such inquiry,
the court shall remand or place the child:

(A) with the local commissioner of social services and the court may
direct such commissioner to have the child reside with a relative or
other suitable person who has indicated a desire to become a foster
parent for the child and further direct such commissioner, pursuant to
regulations of the office of children and family services, to commence
an investigation of the home of such relative or other suitable person
within twenty-four hours and thereafter expedite approval or
certification of such relative or other suitable person, if qualified,
as a foster parent. If such home is found to be unqualified for approval
or certification, the local commissioner shall report such fact to the
court forthwith so that the court may make a placement determination
that is in the best interests of the child;

(B) to a place approved for such purpose by the social services
district; or

(C) with a relative or suitable person other than the respondent.

(ii) Such order shall state the court's findings which support 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, and, where a pre-petition removal has occurred, whether such
removal took place pursuant to section one thousand twenty-one, one
thousand twenty-two or one thousand twenty-four of this part. If the
parent or other person legally responsible for the child's care is
physically present at the time the child is removed, and has not
previously been served with the summons and petition, the summons and
petition shall be served upon such parent or person coincident with such
removal. If such parent or person is not physically present at the time
the child is removed, service of the summons and petition shall be
governed by section one thousand thirty-six of this article. In
determining whether removal or continuing the removal of a 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 the hearing held under subdivision (a) of this section to
prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child from the home
and, if the child was removed from his or her home prior to the date of
the hearing held under subdivision (a) of this section, where
appropriate, that reasonable efforts were made to make it possible for
the child to safely return home.

(iii) 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 or as
enumerated in subdivision (c) of section one thousand twenty-two of this
article, notwithstanding the fact that a petition has been filed.

(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.

(c) Upon such hearing, the court may, for good cause shown, issue a
preliminary order of protection which may contain any of the provisions
authorized on the making of an order of protection under section one
thousand fifty-six of this act.

(d) Upon such hearing, the court may, for good cause shown, release
the child to his or her parent or other person legally responsible for
his or her care, pending a final order of disposition, in accord with
subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (a) of subdivision two of section one
thousand seventeen of this article.

(e) Upon such hearing, the court may authorize a physician or hospital
to provide medical or surgical procedures if such procedures are
necessary to safeguard the child's life or health.

(f) If the court grants or denies a preliminary order requested
pursuant to this section, it shall state the grounds for such decision.

(g) In all cases involving abuse the court shall order, and in all
cases involving neglect the court may order, an examination of the child
pursuant to section two hundred fifty-one of this act or by a physician
appointed or designated for the purpose by the court. As part of such
examination, the physician shall arrange to have colored photographs
taken as soon as practical of the areas of trauma visible on such child
and may, if indicated, arrange to have a radiological examination
performed on the child. The physician, on the completion of such
examination, shall forward the results thereof together with the color
photographs to the court ordering such examination. The court may
dispense with such examination in those cases which were commenced on
the basis of a physical examination by a physician. Unless colored
photographs have already been taken or unless there are no areas of
visible trauma, the court shall arrange to have colored photographs
taken even if the examination is dispensed with.

(h) 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 a 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. A copy of such order shall be provided to the parent
or other person legally responsible for the child's care.