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Abuse, 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.

Shelter Care Hearing
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.

Adjudicatory Hearing
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 admissible evidence.

Disposition Hearing
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.

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