CHILD PROTECTIVE ACT
16-1613. Hearings under the child protective act. (1) Proceedings under this chapter shall be dealt with by the court at hearings separate from those for adults and without a jury. The hearings shall be conducted in an informal manner and may be adjourned from time to time. The general public shall be excluded, and only such persons shall be admitted as are found by the court to have a direct interest in the case. The child may be excluded from hearings at any time at the discretion of the court. If the parent or guardian is without counsel, the court shall inform them of their right to be represented by counsel and to appeal from any disposition or order of the court.
(2) When a child is summoned as a witness in any hearing under this act, notwithstanding any other statutory provision, parents, a counselor, a friend, or other person having a supportive relationship with the child shall, if available, be permitted to remain in the courtroom at the witness stand with the child during the child's testimony unless, in written findings made and entered, the court finds that the constitutional right of the child's parent(s), guardian(s) or other custodian(s) to a fair hearing will be unduly prejudiced.
(3) At any stage of a proceeding under this chapter, if the court determines that it is in the best interests of the child or society, the court may cause the proceeding to be expanded or altered to include full or partial consideration of the cause under the juvenile corrections act without terminating the original proceeding under this chapter.
[(16-1613) 16-1607A, added 2001, ch. 107, sec. 7, p. 358; am. and redesig. 2005, ch. 391, sec. 15, p. 1278.]
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