Bill No.: SF0103 Drafter: JHR


LSO No.: 09LSO-0357 Effective Date: 7/1/2009


Enrolled Act No.: SEA0085


Chapter No.: 196


Prime Sponsor: Senator Ross


Catch Title: Child abuse and neglect amendments.


Subject: Authorizes the transfer of jurisdiction from district court to juvenile court in specified actions.


Summary/Major Elements:


         Under current law, there are limited circumstances wherein jurisdiction is transferred between district and juvenile courts.

         This bill:

o        Authorizes a transfer of specified actions from district court relating to custody, adoption or appointment of a guardian to juvenile court when both courts have jurisdictions over the same parties for different matters;

o        Authorizes a party to a proceeding to file a petition for adoption or appointment of a guardian in an underlying juvenile court action, rather than file a petition with a district court

o        Amends the definition of "neglect" for purposes of child protection statutes to include a failure to comply with or refusal to participate in a case plan developed by the Department of Family Services (DFS);

o        Provides for service of process in a child protective proceeding to a noncustodial parent or putative father who has not had custody of a child removed by a court and who is not alleged to have abused or neglected the child;

o        Requires the noncustodial parent or putative father who has been served to respond and appear before the court, to cooperate with DFS, provide information required by the court and pay all child support that may be ordered by the court;

o        A parent or putative father who fails to respond to the court as required may not thereafter assert parental rights as specified;

o        Authorizes constructive service or service by publication if a person is a nonresident in a child abuse or neglect case;

o        Provides that if a parent chooses not to comply with or participate in a case plan, the parent is prohibited from later objecting about services that were provided to the child and family;

o        Provides that, if a court determines that reasonable efforts to preserve and reunify the family are not required, a permanency hearing may be held within 30 days.