TERMINATION OF PARENT AND CHILD RELATIONSHIP
16-2009. Hearing. Cases under this act shall be heard by the court without a jury. The hearing may be conducted in an informal manner and may be adjourned from time to time. Stenographic notes or mechanical recording of the hearing shall be required. The general public shall be excluded and only such persons admitted whose presence is requested by any person entitled to notice under the provisions of section 16-2007, Idaho Code, or as the judge shall find to have a direct interest in the case or in the work of the court; provided that persons so admitted shall not disclose any information secured at the hearing which would identify an individual child or parent. The court may require the presence of witnesses deemed necessary to the disposition of the petition, except that a parent who has executed a waiver pursuant to section 16-2007, Idaho Code, shall not be required to appear at the hearing.
The parent or guardian ad litem shall be notified as soon as practicable after the filing of a petition and prior to the start of a hearing of his right to have counsel, and if counsel is requested and the parent or guardian is financially unable to employ counsel, counsel shall be provided. The prosecuting attorneys of the several counties shall represent the department at all stages of the hearing.
The court’s finding with respect to grounds for termination shall be based upon clear and convincing evidence under rules applicable to the trial of civil causes, provided that relevant and material information of any nature, including that contained in reports, studies or examinations, may be admitted and relied upon to the extent of its probative value. When information contained in a report, study or examination is admitted in evidence, the person making such report, study or examination shall be subject to both direct and cross-examination.
[16-2009, added 1963, ch. 145, sec. 9, p. 420; am. 1983, ch. 128, sec. 1, p. 324; am. 1987, ch. 207, sec. 4, p. 439; am. 1993, ch. 88, sec. 1, p. 217.]