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CWS Toolkit IconAdjudicatory Hearing (MCR 3.972)

The adjudicatory hearing, or “trial”, is the proceeding where the court determines whether factual grounds exist to take legal authority (wardship) of a child. A judge or attorney referee may conduct an adjudicatory hearing.  The allegations the child protective petition may be established by the plea of admission or no contest by a respondent, or by the finding of a judge or jury at a trial. For the court to make appropriate decisions at this critical juncture, a thorough set of facts must be presented accurately and objectively. Therefore, all parties involved should be prepared to provide the court with all relevant information necessary to make an appropriate decision. Preparation is the key for all parties. The respondent(s) and their attorneys must decide whether to admit, contest, or seek modification of the allegations of the child protective petition. The petitioner and their legal counsel must ensure that proof is available at trial to establish the allegations in the petition. The child’s L-GAL may make a recommendation to the fact finder regarding whether one or more grounds for jurisdiction have been established.  If the court concludes that the child is within the jurisdiction of the court, the court may order one or more of the dispositions contained in MCL 712A.18(1). The court may conduct the dispositional hearing immediately following adjudication.

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 Toolkit Information

 
  
Notice of Hearing (procedural issue)
Time Requirements (procedural issue)
Evidence and Standard of Proof (procedural issue)
Jury Instructions (procedural issue)
Appeal of Jurisdiction (procedural issue)
Review of Referee Recommendations (procedural issue)
Roles and Responsibilities
Statutes, Court Rules, DHS Policies
MJI Child Protective Proceedings Benchbook -- Trials
Benchcard -- judicial
 

 Publications & Administrative Memos

 
  
Parents Attorney Protocol
Absent Parent Protocol
Livingston County Parent Handbook
Entire Library
 

 Court Forms

 
  
Summons: Order to Appear (JC21)
Waiver of Summons/Notice of Hearing (JC23)
Order of Adjudication (JC49)
Request and Order for Review of Referee Recommendation (JC42)
 

 Training Information

 
  
Discovery in Child Welfare Proceedings (video)
Challenging Experts (video)
Avoiding Preservation Pitfalls: How trial attorneys can preserve issues for appellate review (video)
Archived Materials and Upcoming Programs