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Juvenile Court Rules

Rules for the Care and Protection of Children

Juvenile Court Rules Rules for the Care and Protection of Children: Rule 16. Notice to foster parent, pre-adoptive parent, or relative providing care for a child

Effective Date: 11/05/2018
Updates: Amended July 27, 2018, effective November 5, 2018

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Rule 16

The Department shall file a certification with the court that the Department has provided notice and informed the foster parent, pre-adoptive parent or relative providing care for a child, who is the subject of a care and protection petition, of his/her right to attend and be heard at a hearing held pursuant to G. L. c. 119, §§ 26 and 29B. The certification shall be on a form approved by the Chief Justice of the Juvenile Court. In the event the foster parent, pre-adoptive parent or relative chooses to exercise his/her right to be heard, he/she shall testify in court under oath. Failure by the Department to provide timely notice does not preclude the judge from proceeding with the hearing.

Note

General Laws c. 119, § 29D requires the Department to provide notice and inform the foster parent, pre-adoptive parent or relative providing care of a child who is the subject of a care and protection petition of the right to attend and be heard at hearings pursuant to G. L. c. 119, §§ 26 and 29B. This includes hearings on the merits, (including the termination or so called "best interests" hearing) review and redetermination hearings,. and permanency hearings. The statute expressly provides that the foster parent, pre-adoptive parent or relative does not become a party to the case by exercising his/her right to attend and be heard. Although the rule provides that the hearing may proceed in the absence of timely notice by the Department, the court may provide an opportunity for the foster parent, pre-adoptive parent or relative to be heard on another date. The rule does not require the foster parent, pre-adoptive parent or relative to inform the court in advance of the hearing of his/her intention to attend and be heard but he/she may do so. See Adoption of Sherry, 435 Mass. 331 (2001) (usual rules of evidence apply; testimony of foster parent must be under oath and subject to cross examination; unsworn written statement is inadmissible.)

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