Abuse, neglect, or dependency court proceedings have several different stages, one of which is the dispositional stage. The dispositional stage, which occurs only after a child has been adjudicated abused, neglected, or dependent, has several different types of hearings: initial, review, and permanency planning. During the various dispositional hearings, a court may address reunification efforts, which involve the diligent use of preventive or reunification services by a DSS when a child’s remaining in or returning to the home of a parent is consistent with achieving a safe permanent home for the child within a reasonable period of time. See G.S. 7B-101(18). How a trial court may address reunification efforts, including whether to relieve DSS from making those efforts, differs depending on the type of dispositional hearing. That is what the reunification efforts shuffle is all about. Continue Reading
Episode 3, “The Trial: Adjudicating Neglect,” for our Beyond the Bench Season 2 podcast is available now! This episode picks up where episode 2 ended, with the adjudicatory hearing for alleged child neglect in our two different cases. Spoiler Alert! There are different outcomes.
Listed in order of appearance, featured guest interviewees include:
- Honorable J. Corpening II, Chief District Court Judge, Judicial District 5 (New Hanover and Pender Counties)
- Honorable Cheri Siler-Mack, Judicial District 12 (Cumberland County)
- Jamie Hamlett, Staff Attorney, Alamance County Department of Social Services
- Dorothy Hairston Mitchell, Assistant Clinical Professor at NC Central School of Law Juvenile Law Clinic, and Parent Attorney, and
- Honorable Denise Hartsfield, Judicial District 21 (Forsyth County).
You can listen to this episode, along with episodes 1 and 2 if you missed them, on our podcast website or through Itunes and Stitcher. I hope you like it. Please share your feedback and don’t forget to leave a review if you listen through Itunes or Stitcher.Continue Reading
Suppose you are a North Carolina district court judge presiding over a probation revocation hearing in the case of a juvenile who was adjudicated delinquent for a serious or violent offense. Present at the hearing are the juvenile’s counsel, the juvenile’s parent(s), the prosecutor, and the juvenile court counselor. In other words, everyone is present, except for the juvenile, who received notice but failed to appear. To complicate things, the juvenile’s maximum 2-year probation term expires today. Can you proceed? And, if so, can you revoke the juvenile’s probation and commit the juvenile to a youth development center (YDC)? Surprisingly, there doesn’t appear to be a clear answer. Here’s why.