Section 12-15-308

Filing of petition and conduct of 72-hour hearing as to necessity for continuation of shelter care of a child.

(a) When a child alleged to be dependent has been removed from the custody of the parent, legal guardian, or legal custodian and has not been returned to same, a hearing shall be held within 72 hours from the time of removal, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays included, to determine whether continued shelter care is required.

(b) Notice of the 72-hour hearing requirement, either verbal or written, stating the date, time, place, and purpose of the hearing and the right to counsel shall be given to the parent, legal guardian, or legal custodian if he or she can be found.

(c) At the commencement of the 72-hour hearing requirement, the juvenile court shall advise the parent, legal guardian, or legal custodian of the right to counsel and shall appoint counsel if the juvenile court determines he or she is indigent. If the juvenile court already has not done so, it shall appoint a guardian ad litem for a child who is a party to the proceeding. It is the responsibility of the guardian ad litem to present evidence supporting the best interests of the child. The parent, legal guardian, or legal custodian shall also be informed of the contents of the petition and, except as provided herein, shall be given an opportunity to admit or deny the allegations of the petition.

(d) All relevant and material evidence helpful in determining the need for shelter care may be admitted by the juvenile court, even though not admissible in subsequent hearings.

(e) If the child is not released and no parent, legal guardian, or other legal custodian has been notified and none appeared or waived appearance at the hearing, upon the filing of an affidavit by the parent, legal guardian, or legal custodian stating these facts and requesting a hearing, the juvenile court shall hear the matter within 24 hours.

(f) If the child is not released, the juvenile court, at the earliest opportunity in the case, including the 72-hour hearing requirement or the adjudicatory hearing, may order the parent, legal guardian, or legal custodian to provide a list of names and, if possible, addresses and telephone numbers, of known paternal and maternal relatives to the juvenile court.

(Act 2008-277, p. 441, §18.)