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The hearing is closed to the public. Generally, only the parties to the case are able to be in the hearing and other witnesses have to wait outside of the courtroom. For all parties, you have the opportunity to go over the caseworker’s Affidavit or report and hear the reasons why your child was removed […]

What “ICWA” is, is something called the “Indian Child Welfare Act”. It must be proven at a higher standard than a non-ICWA case. The Petitioner who is generally, DCF, has the responsibility to determine whether the child is a member or is eligible for a membership in an Indian tribe. It is the responsibility of […]

The court will appoint an attorney to represent your minor child and the attorney will not be the same attorney who represents you. The attorney will meet his client and advocate for him or her at all court hearings. If the child is able to speak and convey his wishes, the attorney will follow the […]

In MASS, there have been a great deal of changes in recent years to having your record sealed. Now, most non-convictions, not guilty verdicts and dismissals are able to be sealed immediately. A CWOF( continuance without a finding) is eligible once you have successfully completed the probation and your case has been dismissed. Certain drug […]

A very difficult decision is in a DCF case that is going before a judge whether a parent should testify or not, or if there is criminal case investigation. Parents do have a 5th Amendment right to prevent testifying if they could potentially incriminate themselves. Criminal defense attorney would strongly recommend that the parents do […]

There are Standing Orders, including Standing Order 2-11, that the court can be allowed to use information from DCF. What can happen is, in many times if custody or visitation is before a Probate and Family Court Judge, there is awareness that either you want to bring up; or the other parent or another party […]

You can file something called a “contempt” action saying that the other side has violated the court order. You need to show what the court order is and how it was violated. There are technical requirements but the order should be clear and the violation should be straightforward. The court has a lot of remedies […]

Client information records is something that DCF keeps; particularly when it is related to a child that is in a care and custody matter of DCF. There is also information in something that is called the “Central Registry”. This is where it is confirmed the alleged victims of child abuse or neglect. Examples of some […]

In DCF cases with a 51A and 51B investigation there are some time periods that are needing to be looked at. For the 51A’s, if they are “Screened Out” it means that there is no further investigation and some of the time DCF decides that it is not warranted of DCF involvement if the allegations […]

A CRA can be dismissed if the goals of the CRA have been met; 390 days from the date of when the case resolves. When a child turns a certain age (if truant or school offender CRA) it will be 16 years old and it will be 18 years old for the other CRA’s; or […]