CHILD PROTECTIVE ACT
16-1619. Adjudicatory hearing — Conduct of hearing — Consolidation. (1) When a petition has been filed, the court shall set an adjudicatory hearing to be held no later than thirty (30) days after the filing of the petition.
(2) A pretrial conference shall be held outside the presence of the court within three (3) to five (5) days before the adjudicatory hearing. Investigative reports required under section 16-1616, Idaho Code, shall be delivered to the court with copies to each of the parents and other legal custodians, guardian ad litem and attorney for the child prior to the pretrial conference.
(3) At the adjudicatory hearing, parents or guardians with disabilities shall have the right to introduce admissible evidence regarding how use of adaptive equipment or supportive services may enable the parent or guardian to carry out the responsibilities of parenting the child by addressing the reason for the removal of the child.
(4) If a preponderance of the evidence at the adjudicatory hearing shows that the child comes within the court’s jurisdiction under this chapter upon the grounds set forth in section 16-1603, Idaho Code, the court shall so decree and in its decree shall make a finding on the record of the facts and conclusions of law upon which it exercises jurisdiction over the child.
(5) Upon entering its decree, the court shall consider any information relevant to the disposition of the child but in any event shall:
(a) Place the child under the protective supervision of the department for an indeterminate period not to exceed the child’s eighteenth birthday; or
(b) Vest legal custody in the department or other authorized agency subject to residual parental rights and subject to full judicial review by the court and, when contested by any party, judicial approval of all matters relating to the custody of the child by the department or other authorized agency. If the department has placed the child in a qualified residential treatment program, the court shall approve or disapprove the placement within sixty (60) days of placement in accordance with section 16-1619A, Idaho Code.
(6) If the court vests legal custody in the department or other authorized agency, the court shall make detailed written findings based on facts in the record that, in addition to the findings required in subsection (4) of this section, continuation of residence in the home would be contrary to the welfare of the child and that vesting legal custody with the department or other authorized agency would be in the best interests of the child. In addition, the court shall make detailed written findings based on facts in the record as to whether the department made reasonable efforts to prevent the placement of the child in foster care, including findings, when appropriate, that:
(a) Reasonable efforts were made but were not successful in eliminating the need for foster care placement of the child;
(b) The department made reasonable efforts to prevent removal but was not able to safely provide preventive services;
(c) Reasonable efforts to temporarily place the child with related persons were made but were not successful; or
(d) Reasonable efforts to reunify the child with one (1) or both parents were not required because aggravated circumstances were present. If aggravated circumstances are found, a permanency hearing for the child shall be held within thirty (30) days of the determination of aggravated circumstances.
(7) (a) The court shall also inquire regarding:
(i) Whether there is reason to believe that the child is an Indian child;
(ii) The efforts that have been made since the last hearing to determine whether the child is an Indian child; and
(iii) The department’s efforts to work with all tribes of which the child may be a member to verify whether the child is a member or eligible for membership.
(b) In addition, if the court vests legal custody of the child in the department or other authorized agency, the court shall inquire as to:
(i) If the child is of school age, the department’s efforts to keep the child in the school at which the child is currently enrolled; and
(ii) If a sibling group was removed from the home, the department’s efforts to place the siblings together, or if the department has not placed or will not be placing the siblings together, about a plan to ensure frequent visitation or ongoing interaction among the siblings, unless visitation or ongoing interaction would be contrary to the safety or well-being of one (1) or more of the siblings.
(c) If the court vests legal custody of the child in the department or other authorized agency and the child is being treated with psychotropic medication, these additional requirements shall apply:
(i) The department shall report to the court the medications and dosages prescribed for the child and the medical professional who prescribed the medication; and
(ii) The court shall inquire about and may make any additional inquiry relevant to the use of psychotropic medications.
(8) A decree vesting legal custody in the department shall be binding upon the department and may continue until the child’s eighteenth birthday.
(9) A decree vesting legal custody in an authorized agency other than the department shall be for a period of time not to exceed the child’s eighteenth birthday and on such other terms as the court shall state in its decree to be in the best interests of the child and which the court finds to be acceptable to such authorized agency.
(10) In order to preserve the unity of the family system and to ensure the best interests of the child, whether issuing an order of protective supervision or an order of legal custody, the court may consider extending or initiating a protective order as part of the decree. The protective order shall be determined as in the best interests of the child and upon a showing of continuing danger to the child. The conditions and terms of the protective order shall be clearly stated in the decree.
(11) If the court does not find that the child comes within the jurisdiction of this chapter pursuant to subsection (4) of this section, it shall dismiss the petition.
(12) Where legal custody of a child is vested in the department, any party or counsel for a child may, at or after the disposition phase of an adjudicatory hearing, file and serve a written motion to contest matters relating to the placement of the child by the department. The hearing must be held no later than thirty (30) days from the date the motion was filed. If the court approves the placement, the court shall enter an order denying the motion. If the court does not approve the placement, the court shall enter an order directing the department to identify and implement an alternative placement in accordance with applicable law. The court shall consider everything necessary or proper in the best interests of the children. The court shall consider all relevant factors, which may include:
(a) The wishes of the child regarding the child’s custodian;
(b) The wishes of the child’s parent or parents regarding the child’s custody, if appropriate;
(c) The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his parent or parents or foster parent or foster parents, and the child’s siblings;
(d) The child’s adjustment to his home, school and community;
(e) The character and circumstances of all individuals involved;
(f) The need to promote continuity and stability in the life of the child; and
(g) A history of domestic violence as defined in section 39-6303, Idaho Code, whether or not in the presence of the child, or a conviction for lewd and lascivious conduct or felony injury to a child.
[(16-1619) 16-1608, added 1976, ch. 204, sec. 2, p. 738; am. 1982, ch. 186, sec. 8, p. 496; am. 1988, ch. 280, sec. 1, p. 911; am. 1989, ch. 377, sec. 1, p. 946; am. 2001, ch. 107, sec. 8, p. 358; am. 2003, ch. 279, sec. 4, p. 752; am. and redesig. 2005, ch. 391, sec. 21, p. 1281; am. 2007, ch. 223, sec. 3, p. 671; am. 2010, ch. 216, sec. 1, p. 483; am. 2013, ch. 287, sec. 3, p. 746; am. 2016, ch. 265, sec. 3, p. 705; am. 2016, ch. 347, sec. 2, p. 1001; am. 2018, ch. 287, sec. 3, p. 677; am. 2021, ch. 281, sec. 3, p. 841.]