Call : 508-828-6540


The Judge is supposed to ask whether you are a member of any recognized Native American Tribe. DCF is also to determine whether the child is either eligible for membership or in a Native American Tribe. It is the responsibility of all parties if anybody is aware to bring it up to the court if […]

Any case in Juvenile Court is a closed session, meaning only the parties in the case and sometimes the foster care provider or the grandparents if they have placement can be present and sometimes other attorneys will be present, but it is not an open to the public courtroom, like District Court or criminal cases. […]

A care and protection case is when a Petitioner (usually DCF) claims that a child is at risk of abuse or neglect while in the parents care. The case would be heard by a Juvenile Court Judge. This is something that is very serious and it can result potentially in termination of your parental rights. […]

If DCF supports a 51A and you are considering an appeal, be aware that there are requirements and timetables. You’ll need to send a written request within 30 calendar days of the supported decision or of receipt of the decision (if notice of the decision is required). If you are unsure whether or not to […]

There is a process in which DCF files a care & protection case with an Affidavit based on an “emergency” and typically only DCF will be at court. There is supposed to be within 3 days the beginning of a 72-hour hearing to review the custody, which is without prejudice. Sometimes it takes a lot […]

The court’s standard is what is in the best interest of the child, which is sometimes is hard to define. It varies from child to child, but it means that it focuses on the child’s needs and not the parent’s needs. The law requires the court to make the decision on who they think can […]

One type is called “legal custody.” If there is sole legal custody it means that one parent has the right and responsibility to make major decisions regarding the child’s wellbeing. This includes education, medical care, and religious decisions. In many divorce cases, there is something called “shared legal custody.” This is where both parents make […]

Generally, it is Probate and Family Court that handle custody, visitation and parenting decisions. Examples, can be involved in divorce cases; or where the parties are not married, which can include determining paternity and other issues. District Courts can handle restraining orders or 209A orders and can make custody orders short term. At times (particularly […]

It is a Continued Without a Finding; which is a type of a criminal disposition that generally needs to occur before trial. It is called an Admission to Sufficient Facts. There can be conditions and a probation term. What happens in Admission to Sufficient Facts is that if the person admitted to the facts that […]

At the 289 Rock Street in Fall River, is one of the locations of the Bristol Probate and Family Court along with the Bristol Juvenile Court. There is meter parking on the street immediately surrounding the court house along with off-street parking. There is also handicap parking in the court but beyond that, there is […]