Sec. 262.201: Full Adversary Hearing; Findings of the Court

(a) Unless the child has already been returned to the parent, managing conservator, possessory conservator, guardian, caretaker, or custodian entitled to possession and the temporary order, if any, has been dissolved, a full adversary hearing shall be held not later than the 14th day after the date the child was taken into possession by the governmental entity, unless the court grants an extension under Subsection (a-3).

(a-1) Before commencement of the full adversary hearing, the court must inform each parent not represented by an attorney of:

(1) the right to be represented by an attorney; and

(2) if a parent is indigent and appears in opposition to the suit, the right to a court-appointed attorney.

(a-2) If a parent claims indigence and requests the appointment of an attorney before the full adversary hearing, the court shall require the parent to complete and file with the court an affidavit of indigence. The court may hear evidence to determine whether the parent is indigent. If the court determines the parent is indigent, the court shall appoint an attorney to represent the parent.

(a-3) The court may, for good cause shown, postpone the full adversary hearing for not more than seven days from the date of the attorney’s appointment to provide the attorney time to respond to the petition and prepare for the hearing. The court may shorten or lengthen the extension granted under this subsection if the parent and the appointed attorney agree in writing. If the court postpones the full adversary hearing, the court shall extend a temporary restraining order issued by the court for the protection of the child until the date of the rescheduled full adversary hearing.

(b) At the conclusion of the full adversary hearing, the court shall order the return of the child to the parent, managing conservator, possessory conservator, guardian, caretaker, or custodian entitled to possession unless the court finds sufficient evidence to satisfy a person of ordinary prudence and caution that:

(1) there was a danger to the physical health or safety of the child which was caused by an act or failure to act of the person entitled to possession and for the child to remain in the home is contrary to the welfare of the child;

(2) the urgent need for protection required the immediate removal of the child and reasonable efforts, consistent with the circumstances and providing for the safety of the child, were made to eliminate or prevent the child’s removal; and

(3) reasonable efforts have been made to enable the child to return home, but there is a substantial risk of a continuing danger if the child is returned home.

(c) If the court finds sufficient evidence to satisfy a person of ordinary prudence and caution that there is a continuing danger to the physical health or safety of the child and for the child to remain in the home is contrary to the welfare of the child, the court shall issue an appropriate temporary order under Chapter 105. The court shall require each parent, alleged father, or relative of the child before the court to complete the proposed child placement resources form provided under Section 261.307 and file the form with the court, if the form has not been previously filed with the court, and provide the Department of Family and Protective Services with information necessary to locate any other absent parent, alleged father, or relative of the child. The court shall inform each parent, alleged father, or relative of the child before the court that the person’s failure to submit the proposed child placement resources form will not delay any court proceedings relating to the child. The court shall inform each parent in open court that parental and custodial rights and duties may be subject to restriction or to termination unless the parent or parents are willing and able to provide the child with a safe environment. If the court finds that the child requires protection from family violence by a member of the child’s family or household, the court shall render a protective order under Title 4 for the child. In this subsection, “family violence” has the meaning assigned by Section 71.004.

(d) In determining whether there is a continuing danger to the physical health or safety of the child, the court may consider whether the household to which the child would be returned includes a person who:

(1) has abused or neglected another child in a manner that caused serious injury to or the death of the other child; or

(2) has sexually abused another child.

(e) The court shall place a child removed from the child’s custodial parent with the child’s noncustodial parent or with a relative of the child if placement with the noncustodial parent is inappropriate, unless placement with the noncustodial parent or a relative is not in the best interest of the child.

(f) When citation by publication is needed for a parent or alleged or probable father in an action brought under this chapter because the location of the parent, alleged father, or probable father is unknown, the court may render a temporary order without delay at any time after the filing of the action without regard to whether notice of the citation by publication has been published.

(g) For the purpose of determining under Subsection (a) the 14th day after the date the child is taken into possession, a child is considered to have been taken into possession by the department on the expiration of the five-day period permitted under Section 262.007(c) or 262.110(b), as appropriate.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 107, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 575, Sec. 21, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 600, Sec. 5, eff. Jan, 1, 1998; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 603, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch; 752, Sec. 3, eff. June 17, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1022, Sec. 77, eff; Jan. 1, 1998; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1022, Sec. 78, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 6.31, eff; Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1150, Sec. 20, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch; 1390, Sec. 39, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 306, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 849, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 268, Sec. 1.34(a), eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 856, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., eff. September 1, 2013.