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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

260C.141 Petition.

Subdivision 1. Who may file; required form. (a) Any reputable person, including but not limited to any agent of the commissioner of human services, having knowledge of a child in this state or of a child who is a resident of this state, who appears to be in need of protection or services or neglected and in foster care, may petition the juvenile court in the manner provided in this section.

(b) A petition for a child in need of protection filed by an individual who is not a county attorney or an agent of the commissioner of human services shall be filed on a form developed by the state court administrator and provided to court administrators. Copies of the form may be obtained from the court administrator in each county. The court administrator shall review the petition before it is filed to determine that it is completed. The court administrator may reject the petition if it does not indicate that the petitioner has contacted the responsible social services agency.

An individual may file a petition under this subdivision without seeking internal review of the responsible social services agency's decision. The court shall determine whether there is probable cause to believe that a need for protection or services exists before the matter is set for hearing. If the matter is set for hearing, the court administrator shall notify the responsible social services agency by sending notice to the county attorney.

The petition must contain:

(1) a statement of facts that would establish, if proven, that there is a need for protection or services for the child named in the petition;

(2) a statement that petitioner has reported the circumstances underlying the petition to the responsible social services agency, and protection or services were not provided to the child;

(3) a statement whether there are existing juvenile or family court custody orders or pending proceedings in juvenile or family court concerning the child; and

(4) a statement of the relationship of the petitioner to the child and any other parties.

The court may not allow a petition to proceed under this paragraph if it appears that the sole purpose of the petition is to modify custody between the parents.

Subd. 2. Review of foster care status. The social services agency responsible for the placement of a child in a residential facility, as defined in section 260C.212, subdivision 1, pursuant to a voluntary release by the child's parent or parents must proceed in juvenile court to review the foster care status of the child in the manner provided in this section.

(a) Except for a child in placement due solely to the child's developmental disability or emotional disturbance, when a child continues in voluntary placement according to section 260C.212, subdivision 8, a petition shall be filed alleging the child to be in need of protection or services or seeking termination of parental rights or other permanent placement of the child away from the parent within 90 days of the date of the voluntary placement agreement. The petition shall state the reasons why the child is in placement, the progress on the out-of-home placement plan required under section 260C.212, subdivision 1, and the statutory basis for the petition under section 260C.007, subdivision 6, 260C.201, subdivision 11, or 260C.301.

(1) In the case of a petition alleging the child to be in need of protection or services filed under this paragraph, if all parties agree and the court finds it is in the best interests of the child, the court may find the petition states a prima facie case that:

(i) the child's needs are being met;

(ii) the placement of the child in foster care is in the best interests of the child;

(iii) reasonable efforts to reunify the child and the parent or guardian are being made; and

(iv) the child will be returned home in the next three months.

(2) If the court makes findings under paragraph (1), the court shall approve the voluntary arrangement and continue the matter for up to three more months to ensure the child returns to the parents' home. The responsible social services agency shall:

(i) report to the court when the child returns home and the progress made by the parent on the out-of-home placement plan required under section 260C.212, in which case the court shall dismiss jurisdiction;

(ii) report to the court that the child has not returned home, in which case the matter shall be returned to the court for further proceedings under section 260C.163; or

(iii) if any party does not agree to continue the matter under paragraph (1) and this paragraph, the matter shall proceed under section 260C.163.

(b) In the case of a child in voluntary placement due solely to the child's developmental disability or emotional disturbance according to section 260C.212, subdivision 9, the following procedures apply:

(1) Report to court. (i) Unless the county attorney determines that a petition under subdivision 1 is appropriate, without filing a petition, a written report shall be forwarded to the court within 165 days of the date of the voluntary placement agreement. The written report shall contain necessary identifying information for the court to proceed, a copy of the out-of-home placement plan required under section 260C.212, subdivision 1, a written summary of the proceedings of any administrative review required under section 260C.212, subdivision 7, and any other information the responsible social services agency, parent or guardian, the child or the foster parent or other residential facility wants the court to consider.

(ii) The responsible social services agency, where appropriate, must advise the child, parent or guardian, the foster parent, or representative of the residential facility of the requirements of this section and of their right to submit information to the court. If the child, parent or guardian, foster parent, or representative of the residential facility wants to send information to the court, the responsible social services agency shall advise those persons of the reporting date and the identifying information necessary for the court administrator to accept the information and submit it to a judge with the agency's report. The responsible social services agency must also notify those persons that they have the right to be heard in person by the court and how to exercise that right. The responsible social services agency must also provide notice that an in-court hearing will not be held unless requested by a parent or guardian, foster parent, or the child.

(iii) After receiving the required report, the court has jurisdiction to make the following determinations and must do so within ten days of receiving the forwarded report: (A) whether or not the placement of the child is in the child's best interests; and (B) whether the parent and agency are appropriately planning for the child. Unless requested by a parent or guardian, foster parent, or child, no in-court hearing need be held in order for the court to make findings and issue an order under this paragraph.

(iv) If the court finds the placement is in the child's best interests and that the agency and parent are appropriately planning for the child, the court shall issue an order containing explicit, individualized findings to support its determination. The court shall send a copy of the order to the county attorney, the responsible social services agency, the parent or guardian, the child, and the foster parents. The court shall also send the parent or guardian, the child, and the foster parent notice of the required review under clause (2).

(v) If the court finds continuing the placement not to be in the child's best interests or that the agency or the parent or guardian is not appropriately planning for the child, the court shall notify the county attorney, the responsible social services agency, the parent or guardian, the foster parent, the child, and the county attorney of the court's determinations and the basis for the court's determinations.

(2) Permanency review by petition. If a child with a developmental disability or an emotional disturbance continues in out-of-home placement for 13 months from the date of a voluntary placement, a petition alleging the child to be in need of protection or services, for termination of parental rights, or for permanent placement of the child away from the parent under section 260C.201 shall be filed. The court shall conduct a permanency hearing on the petition no later than 14 months after the date of the voluntary placement. At the permanency hearing, the court shall determine the need for an order permanently placing the child away from the parent or determine whether there are compelling reasons that continued voluntary placement is in the child's best interests. A petition alleging the child to be in need of protection or services shall state the date of the voluntary placement agreement, the nature of the child's developmental disability or emotional disturbance, the plan for the ongoing care of the child, the parents' participation in the plan, the responsible social services agency's efforts to finalize a plan for the permanent placement of the child, and the statutory basis for the petition.

(i) If a petition alleging the child to be in need of protection or services is filed under this paragraph, the court may find, based on the contents of the sworn petition, and the agreement of all parties, including the child, where appropriate, that there are compelling reasons that the voluntary arrangement is in the best interests of the child and that the responsible social services agency has made reasonable efforts to finalize a plan for the permanent placement of the child, approve the continued voluntary placement, and continue the matter under the court's jurisdiction for the purpose of reviewing the child's placement as a continued voluntary arrangement every 12 months as long as the child continues in out-of-home placement. The matter must be returned to the court for further review every 12 months as long as the child remains in placement. The court shall give notice to the parent or guardian of the continued review requirements under this section. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to mean the court must order permanent placement for the child under section 260C.201, subdivision 11, as long as the court finds compelling reasons at the first review required under this section.

(ii) If a petition for termination of parental rights, for transfer of permanent legal and physical custody to a relative, for long-term foster care, or for foster care for a specified period of time is filed, the court must proceed under section 260C.201, subdivision 11.

(3) If any party, including the child, disagrees with the voluntary arrangement, the court shall proceed under section 260C.163.

Subd. 3. Child in need of protection or services; habitual truant. If there is a school attendance review board or county attorney mediation program operating in the child's school district, a petition alleging that a child is in need of protection or services as a habitual truant under section 260C.007, subdivision 6, clause (14), may not be filed until the applicable procedures under section 260A.06 or 260A.07 have been followed.

Subd. 4. Verification of petition. The petition shall be verified by the person having knowledge of the facts and may be on information and belief. Unless otherwise provided by this section or by rule or order of the court, the county attorney shall draft the petition upon the showing of reasonable grounds to support the petition.

Subd. 5. Form of petition. The petition and all subsequent court documents shall be entitled substantially as follows:

"Juvenile Court, County of .................

In the matter of the welfare of ..........."

The petition shall set forth plainly:

(a) The facts which bring the child within the jurisdiction of the court;

(b) The name, date of birth, residence, and post office address of the child;

(c) The names, residences, and post office addresses of the child's parents;

(d) The name, residence, and post office address of the child's guardian if there is one, of the person having custody or control of the child, and of the nearest known relative if no parent or guardian can be found;

(e) The spouse of the child, if there is one. If any of the facts required by the petition are not known or cannot be ascertained by the petitioner, the petition shall so state.

Subd. 6. Concurrent jurisdiction. When a petition is filed alleging that a child has engaged in prostitution as defined in section 609.321, subdivision 9, the county attorney shall determine whether concurrent jurisdiction is necessary to provide appropriate intervention and, if so, proceed to file a petition alleging the child to be both delinquent and in need of protection or services.

HIST: 1999 c 139 art 3 s 6; art 4 s 2; 1999 c 245 art 8 s 46; 2001 c 178 art 1 s 11,44; 2002 c 220 art 6 s 11; 2002 c 314 s 3; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 4 s 19