Neglect & Dependency Cases
In most instances, the Ottawa County Department of Job and Family
Services files cases with the Court alleging abuse, neglect and
dependency of children. Pursuant to law, any person having knowledge
of a child who appears to be abused, neglected or dependent may
file a Complaint with the Court.
The Court may grant emergency custody of a child to the agency or
another person pending a shelter care hearing held within 24 –
72 hours of the initial filing. A Court-Appointed Special Advocate
(CASA) will be appointed for the child.
Within thirty (30) days of the initial filing, the Court will hold
an adjudicatory hearing (trial), at which time it will be determined
whether the allegations in the complaint are supported by legally
If there is clear and convincing evidence that a child is abused,
neglected or dependent, a disposition hearing will be held with
60 – 90 days of the initial filing of the complaint. It is
at this time that the Court determines the most appropriate placement
for the child.