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260C.193 Dispositions; general provisions.

Subdivision 1. Dismissal of petition. Whenever the court finds that the minor is not within the jurisdiction of the court or that the facts alleged in the petition have not been proved, it shall dismiss the petition.

Subd. 2. Consideration of reports. Before making a disposition in a case, terminating parental rights, or appointing a guardian for a child, the court may consider any report or recommendation made by the local social services agency, probation officer, licensed child-placing agency, foster parent, guardian ad litem, tribal representative, or other authorized advocate for the child or child's family, a school district concerning the effect on student transportation of placing a child in a school district in which the child is not a resident, or any other information deemed material by the court.

Subd. 3. Protection of the child's best interests. (a) The policy of the state is to ensure that the best interests of children are met by requiring individualized determinations of the needs of the child and of how the selected placement will serve the needs of the child in foster care placements.

(b) Among the factors to be considered in determining the needs of the child are:

(1) the child's current functioning and behaviors;

(2) the medical, educational, and developmental needs of the child;

(3) the child's history and past experience;

(4) the child's religious and cultural needs;

(5) the child's connection with a community, school, and church;

(6) the child's interests and talents;

(7) the child's relationship to current caretakers, parents, siblings, and relatives; and

(8) the reasonable preference of the child, if the court, or in the case of a voluntary placement the child-placing agency, deems the child to be of sufficient age to express preferences.

(c) The court, in transferring legal custody of any child or appointing a guardian for the child under the laws relating to juvenile courts, shall consider placement, consistent with the child's best interests and in the following order, in the legal custody or guardianship of an individual who (1) is related to the child by blood, marriage, or adoption, or (2) is an important friend with whom the child has resided or had significant contact. Placement of a child cannot be delayed or denied based on race, color, or national origin of the foster parent or the child. Whenever possible, siblings should be placed together unless it is determined not to be in the best interests of a sibling.

(d) If the child's birth parent or parents explicitly request that a relative or important friend not be considered, the court shall honor that request if it is consistent with the best interests of the child.

If the child's birth parent or parents express a preference for placing the child in a foster or adoptive home of the same or a similar religious background to that of the birth parent or parents, the court shall order placement of the child with an individual who meets the birth parent's religious preference.

(e) This subdivision does not affect the Indian Child Welfare Act, United States Code, title 25, sections 1901 to 1923, and the Minnesota Indian Family Preservation Act, sections 260.751 to 260.835.

Subd. 4. Reports; juveniles placed out of state. Whenever a child is placed in a residential program located outside of this state pursuant to a disposition order issued under section 260C.201, the juvenile court administrator shall report the following information to the state court administrator:

(1) the fact that the placement is out of state;

(2) the type of placement; and

(3) the reason for the placement.

Subd. 5. Intended outcomes. When the court orders an out-of-home placement disposition for a child, the court shall state in its disposition order the intended outcome of the placement.

Subd. 6. Termination of jurisdiction. The court may dismiss the petition or otherwise terminate its jurisdiction on its own motion or on the motion or petition of any interested party at any time. Unless terminated by the court, and except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, the jurisdiction of the court shall continue until the individual becomes 19 years of age if the court determines it is in the best interest of the individual to do so. Court jurisdiction under section 260C.007, subdivision 4, clause (14), may not continue past the child's 18th birthday.

HIST: 1999 c 139 art 3 s 22; art 4 s 2; 1999 c 164 s 1; 1999 c 216 art 6 s 10