Protective Custody Warrants
0300-503.55 | Revision Date: 8/11/2020

Overview

This policy guide provides information and procedures on how to request, recall, and renew a protective custody warrant and instruction on how to complete the DCFS 729, DCFS 729A, and DCFS 729B.

Table of Contents

Version Summary

This policy guide was updated from the 07/01/14 version, in order to reflect changes to the filing of the DCFS 729 form and to include the procedure to follow in cases where Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA) refuse to take a Missing Persons Report.

POLICY

Protective Custody Warrants

For all children who run away or who are abducted, a DCS 729 Protective Custody Warrant Request, for children age seventeen (17) and under (herein referred to as "child"), or a DCFS 729B, Report of Runaway Event/Return of Youth Age 18 or Older (herein referred to as "nonminor dependent") will be completed and filed. A Dependency Investigator (DI) will submit the report pre-disposition, and a case-carrying CSW will complete the report post-disposition. By law, a court may issue a protective custody warrant to secure the recovery of an unlawfully detained or concealed child, upon request of a district attorney. Protective custody warrant matters are walked-on and are calendared as non-appearance hearings.

A protective custody warrant cannot be used on nonminor dependents (NMDs) due to their adult status. A Missing Persons report, however, may be filed, as needed, after consultation with the assigned County Counsel.

For procedures on how to respond to runaway children/nonminor dependents, refer to Runaways and Returning Runaway Youth from other Jurisdictions. If a runaway child/nonminor dependent returns and he/she must be replaced, a Notice of Replacement Report must be filed with the court.

Recall

Protective custody warrants are recalled when a dependent child reaches the age of eighteen (18) to prevent him/her from being detained and held in an adult facility. The CSW will note a child's eighteenth (18th) birthday and request a progress report hearing before that birthday. If the eighteenth (18th) birthday has passed, the ward's case will be submitted to the Court as a Walk-On report as soon as possible.

Renewal

If a child's whereabouts remain unknown or if a child is residing in an unauthorized placement, a Protective Custody Warrant must be renewed every six (6) months or at the next six (6) month hearing.

PROCEDURE

Requesting a Protective Custody Warrant / Informing the Court About A Nonminor Dependent Running Away

Case-Carrying CSW or DI Responsibilities

  1. To secure a Protective Custody Warrant when a child has been abducted or has run away, or to notify the court when a nonminor dependent has run away, immediately take the following actions within the timeframes listed below.

    Children ages seventeen (17) and under

    Situation

    Timeframe

    Actions to be Taken

    Notification that a child has run away or been abducted

    Immediately

    • Notify law enforcement.
    • Contact the parent/legal guardian and request that he/she:
    • File a Missing Person Report with law enforcement (CSW will ensure that a Missing Person’s Report is filed within twenty-four (24) hours of notification)
    • Provide law enforcement with a current photo of the child.
    • Request a protective custody warrant DCS 729 One DCFS 729 form can be filed for multiple children
    • If applicable, request that an arrest warrant be issued for the abducting adult
    • Contact the Abduction and Runaway Kids System (ARKS) Liaison to have the child included on ARKS
    • Notify the child's attorney that their client has run away or has been abducted

    DI is assigned to the child's case

    Immediately

    • Notify the DI that the child has been abducted or has run away.

    A child in an out-of-home placement has run away

    Immediately

    • Notify the child's parent/legal guardian that he/she has run away.
    • Notify the child's attorney that their client has run away

    Immediately but no later than one (1) business day after being notified that the child has been abducted or has run away

    • Create a Hearing Notebook.
    • In the minor Hearing Notebook, select "Special/Interim" for the hearing.
    • In the Hearing type/Sub type, enter, "warrant request".
    • In the Hearing Information field, select "date not set".
    • The hearing date will default to 12/31/2099. Upon receipt of the minute order, enter the actual hearing date by selecting "Hearing Date Set" in the Hearing Information field.
    • Complete DCFS 729 Protective Custody Warrant Request

    Nonminor Dependents

    Situation

    Timeframe

    Actions to be Taken

    Notification that a nonminor dependent with competency issues has run away or been abducted

    Immediately

    • Notify law enforcement
    • If applicable, contact the SILP and request that they:
    • File a Missing Person Report with law enforcement (CSW will ensure that a Missing Person’s Report is filed within twenty-four (24) hours of notification)
    • Provide law enforcement with a current photo of the nonminor dependent
    • File a DCFS 729B
    • If applicable, request that an arrest warrant be issued for the abducting adult
    • Contact the Abduction and Runaway Kids System (ARKS) Liaison to have the nonminor dependent included on ARKS
    • Notify the nonminor dependent's attorney that their client has run away or has been abducted

    DI is assigned to the nonminor dependent's case

    Immediately

    • Notify the DI that the nonminor dependent has been abducted or has run away.

    A nonminor dependent in a Supervised Independent Living Plan has run away

    Immediately

    • Notify the nonminor dependent's attorney that their client has run away

    Immediately but no later than one (1) business day after being notified that the child has been abducted or has run away

    • Create a Hearing Notebook
    • In the minor Hearing Notebook, select "Special/Interim" for the hearing
    • In the Hearing type/Sub type, enter, "youth ran away"
    • In the Hearing Information field, select "date not set"
    • The hearing date will default to 12/31/2099. Upon receipt of the minute order, enter the actual hearing date by selecting "Hearing Date Set" in the Hearing Information field.
    • Complete a DCFS 729B, Report of Runaway Event/Return of Youth Age 18 or older
  2. Adhere to all notifying procedures in Child Abduction and Recovery Policy.
  3. Acquire information regarding the child/nonminor dependent's possible whereabouts from relatives and other persons involved in the child/nonminor dependent's life.
    1. Request that they notify the CSW if they obtain information about the child/nonminor dependent's whereabouts.
    2. Document all efforts to locate the child/nonminor dependent in the Contact Notebook.
  4. When a runaway child/nonminor dependent returns but must be replaced, complete a Notice of Replacement Report, and submit it to the court within the required timeframes.

Abducted and Runaway Kids System (ARKS) Office Liaison Responsibilities

  1. Within one (1) business day after the receipt of the DCFS 729 or DCFS 729B, enter the information into ARKS.
  2. Review Justice Partner Portal (JPP) on a regular basis to verify that the court has issued, and reissued, a protective custody warrant.
    • Enter the date the warrant was issued.
  3. Contact the case-carrying CSW on a monthly basis to obtain information regarding efforts to locate the child/youth in the past month.
    • Record all efforts to locate the child/nonminor dependent on the ARKS.

Recalling a Protective Custody Warrant for a child / Informing the Court about a Returned Youth Eighteen (18) Years Old or Older

Case-Carrying CSW Responsibilities

  1. Immediately notify the following individuals that a youth has been located and placed or returned to his/her parent's home:
    • Child's/Nonminor Dependent's attorney, immediately and no later than seventy-two (72) hours after the child/nonminor dependent has been located
    • Child's parent(s)/legal guardian(s)
    • Previous caregiver(s)
    • Any relatives who were contacted regarding the child's/nonminor dependent's whereabouts
  2. If appropriate, provide the child's/nonminor dependent's placement information to the parent(s), legal guardian(s), or relative caregiver(s), including the telephone number where the child/nonminor dependent can be reached.
  3. If it is an urgent situation or a high profile case, notify the IDC SCSW, your SCSW, and the ARA.
  4. Immediately and no later than twenty-four (24) hours after the child/nonminor dependent has returned:
    1. Contact the law enforcement agency where the Missing Person's Report was filed and request that the Report be withdrawn.
    2. Create a Hearing Notebook.
      1. Select "Special/Interim" in the Minor's Hearing Notebook.
      2. For Children, enter "warrant recall" in the Hearing type/Subtype. For youth eighteen (18) and older, enter "youth returned".
    3. Complete the DCFS 729A, Protective Custody Warrant Recall Request, requesting that the warrant be recalled, or the DCFS 729B, Report of Runaway Event/Return of Youth Age 18 or Older, notifying the court that the youth has been located.
      1. Refer to Completing the DCFS 729, 729A, and 729B for instructions on how to complete the form.
      2. Forward the form to the SCSW for approval.
    4. When a runaway child returns and must be replaced, complete a Notice of Replacement Report and submit it to the court within the required timeframes.
  5. Contact the Juvenile Court Services (JCS) Liaison to set the matter on as an appearance hearing.
    • The JCS will provide notice of the date of the hearing to recall the protective custody warrant.
  6. Once the hearing to recall the warrant is on the calendar, arrange for the child/nonminor dependent to be transported to the court.
    • Ensure that the child/nonminor dependent is transported to court each time he/she is recovered and each time DCFS is requesting that a warrant be recalled.
  7. When  DCFS 729, DCFS 729A, or DCFS 729B report is approved, as soon as possible but no later than twenty-four (24) hours of approval:
    1. Submit a copy of the report packet (DCFS 729A & “warrant recall" report for children or DCFS 729B and "youth returned” report for nonminor dependents) to the JCS Liaison.
    2. Give a copy of the DCFS 729A or DCFS 729B to the Regional Office ARKS Liaison
  8. Notify the DCFS Abduction Specialist of the abduction recovery, if applicable.

SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Review the DCFS 729 or DCFS 729B and all supporting documents.
  2. If approved on CWS/CMS:
    1. Sign and date the printed copy of the DCFS 729 or DCFS 729B.
    2. Return the packet to the CSW
  3. If not approved, return the DCFS 729 or DCFS 729B to the CSW for corrective action.

ARKS Office Liaison Responsibilities

  1. As soon as possible, but no later than one (1) business day after receiving the DCFS 729A, enter the information onto ARKS.
  2. Review Justice Partner Portal (JPP) on a regular basis to verify that the court recalled the protective custody warrant.
    • Enter the date the warrant was recalled into ARKS.

Renewing a Protective Custody Warrant

Case-Carrying CSW or DI Responsibilities

  1. Address the following in the next six (6) month court report:
    • All actions taken to attempt to locate the child/youth, including the dates and names of individuals/agencies contacted and the results of those efforts.
    • The reason why it is necessary for the warrant to be renewed. Include the following recommendation:
      • "The Protective Custody Warrant issued on [date] should remain in full force and effect".

Completing the DCFS 729, 729A, and 729B

CWS/CMS will populate the DCFS 729 Protective Custody Warrant Request, DCFS 729A Protective Custody Warrant Recall Request, and the DCFS 729B Report of Runaway Event/Return of Youth Age 18 or Older.

Case-Carrying CSW and DI Responsibilities

  1. Prior to the creating the DCFS 729, DCFS 729A, or DCFS 729B, review the CWS/CMS case record to ensure that all identifying information (e.g., names, addresses, etc.) is recorded and accurate.
  2. File a Missing Persons Report with law enforcement (if the parent/legal guardian/caregiver is unwilling/unable to file a Missing Persons Report within twenty four (24) hours, it is the responsibility of the CSW to file the report).
  3. If law enforcement refuses to file a Missing Persons Report and/or a Child Abduction Report:
    1. Document the following information in the Contact Notebook:
      • Date
      • Officer’s name, badge number, and phone number
      • Reason why law enforcement refused to file a report
    2. Immediately notify and consult with the SCSW about law enforcement’s refusal to accept the report.
      • For Child abduction cases:
        • Immediately contact the DCFS Child Abduction Liaison to provide the documented information and request assistance with contacting law enforcement for the filing of the reports.
        • Notify the CPH immediately, if during business hours, of law enforcement’s refusal to take the report(s)
        • Follow up with the Liaison on the following business day.
      • If after attempting to make a Missing Persons Report law enforcement still refuses to take a report, notify the SCSW and ask for his or her help. If law enforcement still refuses to take the report, the SCSW will notify the ARA/RA.
  4. Within two (2) business days of being notified that the child/nonminor dependent has run away, complete all appropriate fields on the DCFS 729, or DCFS 729B, according to the DCFS 729, 729A, and 729B Report Template.
    1. On the Missing Persons Report section of the DCFS 729 Form:
      • Ensure that the name of the Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) issuing the Missing Persons Report is selected from the drop down menu.
      • The Originating Agency Identifier (ORI) Number will auto-populate once a LEA is selected.
      • For At-large Detention where a child is not yet in protective custody and LE declines to take a Missing Persons Report; document attempts to file a the report on the “Missing Persons Report Number” section of the DCFS 729.
  5. Request approval on CWS/CMS for the DCFS 729, DCFS 729A, or DCFS 729B and, if applicable, any supporting documents (e.g., therapists' reports, results of drug tests, etc.)
    1. Sign and date the hard copy.
    2. Submit the hard copy of the form and supporting documents to the SCSW for approval.
  6. When approved, make two (2) copies of the approved DCFS 729, DCFS 729A, or DCFS 729B and of all supporting documents.
    1. Send one (1) copy to the Abduction and Runaway Kids System (ARKS) Liaison with a color photo of the child/nonminor dependent. A black and white photograph will be accepted if a color photograph is not available.
      1. If the protective custody warrant packet is being sent directly to the assigned courtroom for a scheduled hearing, provide a copy of the protective custody warrant packet to the ARKS Liaison.
      2. Address the original copy to the assigned court room.
      3. Note the court date on the packet's front cover.
      4. Ensure that it reaches the courtroom no later than noon, one (1) judicial day prior to the hearing.
    2. Send one (1) copy to support staff for final preparation to be delivered to the court Liaison or uploaded to the Last Minute Information (LMI) system.
  7. If applicable and available, send another copy of the DCFS 729 and the warrant minute order to the Child Abduction Unit located at Intake and Detention Control (IDC) within five (5) days of being notified of the child's abduction.
  1.  

SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Review the DCFS 729, DCFS 729A, or DCFS 729B and all supporting documents.
  2. If corrective action is needed prior to approval, return the Protective Custody Warrant packet to the CSW or DI.
  3. When approved in CWS/CMS, sign and date the printed copy of the DCFS 729, DCFS 729A, or DCFS 729B, and return the packet to the CSW/DI.
APPROVALS

SCSW Approval

  • DCFS 729
  • DCFS 729A
  • DCFS 729B
  • Termination of placement
HELPFUL LINKS

Attachments

DCFS 729, 729A, and 729B Report Template

Forms

CWS/CMS

DCFS 729, Protective Custody Warrant Request

DCFS 729A, Protective Custody Warrant Recall Request

DCFS 729B, Report of Runaway Event/Return of Youth Age 18 or Older

LA Kids

DCFS 729, Protective Custody Warrant Request

DCFS 729A, Protective Custody Warrant Recall Request

DCFS 729B, Report of Runaway Event/Return of Youth Age 18 or Older

DCFS 5402, Notice of Child's Attorney RE: Child's Case Status

REFERENCED POLICY GUIDES

0050-502.10, Child Protection Hotline (CPH)

0100-570.11, Runaways and Returning Runaway Youth from other Jurisdictions

0300-306.80, Transportation Requests to Bring Children/Youth to Court

0300-503.94, Set-On/Walk-On Procedures

0300-503.97, Notice of Replacement Report

0300-506.05, Communication with Attorneys, County Counsel, and Non-DCFS Staff

1200-501.20, Child Abduction and Recovery

1200-500.50, Photographic Identification of Children

STATUTES AND OTHER MANDATES

Family Code (FAM) Section 3134.5 – States, in pertinent part, that a court may issue a protective custody warrant to secure the recovery of an unlawfully detained or concealed child, upon request of a district attorney.

Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) Section 339 – States, in pertinent part, that a warrant of arrest may be issued by the court either against a parent, legal guardian, person having custody of the child, or person with whom the child is living in cases where a citation cannot be serviced, where a person fails to obey it, or where it appears the citation will be ineffective.

WIC Section 340 – States, in part, that a protective custody warrant may be issued immediately for a child who is, or who allegedly, falls within WIC Section 300, appears to the court that circumstances of the child's home environment may endanger the health, person, or welfare of the child, and/or whenever a dependent child has run away from his/her court ordered placement.