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Court Related Issues > Notices > Notice Requirements for Alleged Fathers

Notice Requirements for Alleged Fathers

0300-306.20 | Revision Date: 07/01/14

Overview

This policy guide provides instructions on how to provide notice to any man who is alleged to be the father of a child under the jurisdiction of the Dependency Court.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Policy

Notice Requirements

Alleged Fathers

Procedure

Determining Standing for an Alleged Father using the JV-505 Form

Case-Carrying CSW/DI Responsibilities

Alleged Father is Identified Prior to the Jurisdictional/Dispositional Hearing

Case-Carrying CSW/DI Responsibilities

Alleged Father is Identified after Court Disposition Order and Prior to the Status Review Hearing

Case-Carrying CSW/DI Responsibilities

Alleged Father is Identified While Preparing for the Hearing to Select a Permanent Plan

Case-Carrying CSW/DI Responsibilities

Alleged Father is Identified after the Court has Ordered a Permanent Plan

Case-Carrying CSW/DI Responsibilities

Approvals

Helpful Links

Forms

Referenced Policy Guides

Statutes

Version Summary

This policy guide was updated from the 06/01/12 version, as part of the Policy Redesign, in accordance with the DCFS Strategic Plan. The title has been changed from Alleged Fathers: Notice & Waiver.

 

POLICY

Notice Requirements

A notice serves to make a parent aware of a court hearing and the parent’s right to attend. Lack of proper notice is one of the most common reasons for continuances in Dependency Court cases, and is a frequent basis for successful appeals of Dependency Court decisions. Any man who is alleged to be a father is required to be noticed.

Alleged Fathers

Any information regarding any man claiming to be the child’s father must be brought to the court’s attention immediately to avoid unnecessary delay in achieving permanency for the child.

 

The Dependency Court is responsible for making a determination as to whether an individual is a presumed or alleged father. This finding usually occurs at or following the detention hearing once the individual’s name is brought to the attention of the court.

 

The JV 505, Statement Regarding Parentage – Juvenile, provides the alleged father with the opportunity to acknowledge or deny paternity. If the alleged father denies paternity by signing the waiver of rights:

 

All alleged fathers must be sent notices by certified mail for the jurisdictional/dispositional hearing, or as soon as their identity is learned following the hearing. Notice must also be provided prior to the hearing to select a permanent plan for the child.

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PROCEDURE

Determining Standing for an Alleged Father using the JV-505 Form

Case-Carrying CSW/DI Responsibilities

  1. Follow the procedural sections in this policy guide for timelines and instructions for sending notices based on when the alleged father is identified.
  1. If the alleged father’s whereabouts are unknown, initiate a due diligence search request.
  1. Send notices to the alleged father at all possible addresses identified in the Due Diligence document.

 

  1. Interview the alleged father once he does one of the following:

 

  1. The interview should include the following questions.  Note responses and include them in the court report.
  1. Did he sign a CS 909, Declaration of Paternity, at the hospital when the child was born?
  1. Were he and the mother legally married when the child was conceived and/or born?
  1. Was he ordered to pay child support by the family court?
  1. Did he reside with the child and/or hold himself out to be the father at the time of the child’s birth?

 

  1. Attach a copy of the signed or unsigned JV 505, along with a copy of the notice and the Proof of Service, to the court report.

 

  1. Retain a copy of the JV 505 in the Court Documents file.

Back to Procedure

Alleged Father is Identified Prior to the Jurisdictional/ Dispositional Hearing

Case-Carrying CSW/DI Responsibilities

  1. Prepare and mail the following to the alleged father:

 

  1. Use the table below to determine when to send notice:

 

Child’s Circumstance

Send Notice Prior to the Date of the Hearing:

Child is detained

  • Hearing is scheduled more than five (5) days away
  • At least five (5) calendar days prior

Child is detained

  • Hearing is scheduled within five (5) days
  • At least 24 hours prior

Child is not detained

  • At least ten (10) days prior

Indian child is involved

  • Notice the Bureau of Indian Affairs that they have fifteen (15) days after receipt to provide notice to the parent or Indian custodian and the tribe

 

  1. When it is available, read the minute order from the hearing where the court made a finding as to paternity to determine if the alleged father has been declared to be the presumed father by the court.  If so, document this relationship in the Client Notebook.

Back to Procedure

Alleged Father is Identified after Court Makes a Disposition Order and Prior to the Status Review Hearing

Case Carrying CSW/DI Responsibilities

  1. Prepare the following for the alleged father:

 

  1. Send notice at least seventeen (17) calendar days, but no more than thirty (30) calendar days, prior to the status review hearing.

 

  1. If the alleged father indicates on the JV 505 that he is or may be the father, file an Ex Parte Application and Order with the court, asking that the court make a finding as to paternity.
  1. Attach all documentation provided by the father and a copy of the JV 505 to the application.
  1. Notice all parties for the hearing.

Back to Procedure

Alleged Father is Identified While Preparing for the Hearing to Select a Permanent Plan

Case Carrying CSW/DI Responsibilities

  1. Provide a Notice of Hearing on Petition, JV 505, and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the alleged father depending on the recommendation as follows:

 

Recommendation

Steps

Termination of parental rights and adoption, and the alleged father’s whereabouts are known

  • Provide notice by personal service at least fifty-five (55) days in advance of the court date.

Termination of parental rights and adoption and the alleged father’s whereabouts are unknown

  • File an affidavit with the court at least ninety (90) days before the hearing date, stating the name of the alleged father and describing the efforts made to locate and serve the alleged father.
  • Provide notice to the alleged father’s attorney of record, if any, by certified mail, with return receipt requested.

Legal guardianship or planned permanent living arrangement

  • If alleged father’s whereabouts are known, provide notice by first class, certified mail at least fifty-five (55) calendar days prior to the hearing, or, if not possible, personally serve forty-five (45) days prior to the hearing.
  • If alleged father’s whereabouts are unknown, provide notice to all addresses identified in the Declaration of Due Diligence by first class mail at least fifty-five (55) days in advance of the court date.

 

  1. If the alleged father is located prior to the hearing:
  1. Follow the steps for Sending Notice and Completion of the JV 505, Statement Regarding Paternity (Juvenile Dependency)
  1. File an Ex Parte Application and Order with the court, asking that the court make a finding as to paternity.
  1. Attach all documentation provided by the father and a copy of the JV 505 to the application.
  1. Notice all parties for the hearing.

 

  1. If the alleged father is incarcerated, call the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation at (916) 324-2203 to obtain the father’s location and identification number to facilitate timely and effective notice of hearing.  After the inmate has been located, follow the notification procedures.

Back to Procedure

Alleged Father is Identified after the Court has Ordered a Permanent Plan

Case Carrying CSW/DI Responsibilities

  1. If a possible father for whom the court has not previously made a paternity finding contacts DCFS after the court has ordered a permanent plan for the child complete the following steps:
  1. If the court-ordered permanent plan is legal guardianship or long-term foster care:
  1. Notice the father for subsequent hearings unless or until the possible father executes the JV 505 denying paternity and/or the court orders that no further notice is required. Document all contact with the alleged father in subsequent court reports.
  1. If jurisdiction has been terminated, tell the alleged father to consult with an attorney.
  1. If the court has terminated parental rights and ordered a permanent plan of adoption, tell the alleged father to consult with an attorney.

 

  1. Ask the alleged father, mother, or any other appropriate person, the following questions:

Back to Procedure

APPROVALS

None

HELPFUL LINKS

Forms

CWS/CMS

Declaration of Due Diligence

Ex Parte Application and Order

Notice of Hearing on Petition

JV-300, Notice of Hearing on Selection of a Permanent Plan – Juvenile

JV-505, Statement Regarding Parentage – Juvenile (also available in Spanish)

JV-510, Proof of Service – Juvenile (also available in Spanish)

Hard Copy

CS 909, Declaration of Paternity

Referenced Policy Guides

0300-306.05, Noticing Process for Juvenile Court Proceedings

0300-306.30, Notice of Publication for a WIC 366.26 Hearing

0300-306.75, Due Diligence

1200-500.90, Model Case Format

Statutes

Family Code (FAM) Section 7540 – States that the child of a wife living with her husband who is not impotent or sterile is conclusively presumed to be the child of the marriage.

 

FAM Section 7576 – States that the child of a woman and a man executing a declaration of paternity is presumed to be the man’s child and holds the same force and effect as Family Code Section 7540.

 

FAM Section 7611 – States additional considerations under which a man is presumed to be the biological father of a child.  An alleged father is an identified or unidentified man who does not meet the definitions of a presumed father.

 

State Regulations Title 22, Section 35361 – States that the Indian Child Welfare Act specifically excludes alleged father as among those recognized to be parents, and does not required that alleged fathers be sent notices of hearings.  If the court finds the alleged father to be a presumed father or orders notice to the alleged father, this exception will no longer apply. 

 

Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) Sections 290.1, 290.2, and 291-297 – Lists all parties that must be served notice, including alleged fathers.

 

WIC Section 316.2(a) and (b) – States that at the detention hearing or soon after, the court must inquire into the identity and address of all presumed or alleged fathers and includes requirements for the inquiry, as well as the requirements for providing notice to any alleged fathers identified by the court’s inquiry, including method of delivery and contents of the notice.

 

WIC Section 361.5(e)(2) – States that the county welfare department should use the prisoner locator system to facilitate timely and effective notice of hearings for incarcerated parents.

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