neglect petition (JD-JM-98) is filed in juvenile court when the
petitioner, usually the Department, represents that the child/youth is:
in that the child/youth:
denied proper care and attention, physically, educationally, emotionally
permitted to live under conditions, circumstances or associations
injurious to the childs well-being, or
abused and has:
physical injury or injuries inflicted by other than accidental
injuries which are at variance with the history given about them or
a condition which is the result of maltreatment such as, but not
limited to, malnutrition, sexual molestation, deprivation of necessities,
emotional maltreatment or cruel punishment
child/youth is homeless, or
childs/youths home cannot provide the specialized care which the
physical, emotional or mental condition of the child/youth requires
childs/youths home is suitable but for the financial inability of
the parent or guardian or other person maintaining such home to provide
the specialized care the condition of the child/youth requires. (This category is rarely used).
||Connecticut General Statutes § 46b-120.
All of the definitions listed above are relatively specific except for
the definition of neglect regarding the conditions injurious to well
being. Predictive neglect describes
injurious conditions to which a child is exposed, and can be used in those
situations in which the conditions may cause the child harm at a future
date. This is known as predictive neglect.
For example, the child:
witnessed repeated episodes of domestic violence
a home where drug trafficking takes place
repeatedly exposed to alcohol or substance abuse
exposed to inappropriate sexual conduct by adult caretakers
with inappropriate caretakers
siblings who have been neglected or abused and the conditions leading to
that neglect or abuse have not abated
newborn whose parents are unable to provide adequate care.
neglect petition is filed when the Department
of Temporary Custody
commitment of a child/youth
adjudication of neglect followed by a termination of parental rights
of Protective Supervision, or
transfer of the custody and guardianship of the child to some other
suitable and worthy person or persons.
parents of all children in the case shall be named in a neglect petition.
All legal and putative fathers shall also be named.
Unknown parents shall be referred to as John or Jane Doe.
the court has adjudicated a father as such, but his name does not appear
on the birth certificate, he shall be named nonetheless. In that case,
even if another man is named on the birth certificate, he does not need to
be named on the Departments petition.
Reference shall be made in the Summary of Facts to the legal status
of the named father.
child is born while his or her mother is married, the mothers husband
is presumed to be the father and shall be named in the petition. If
another man has been adjudicated by the court to be the father or the
court has made a finding that the husband is not the father, then the
husband need not be named on the petition.
a legal guardian has been appointed for the child by a court, he or she
shall be named on the petition.
or custodial relatives shall not be named on the petition.
Stepparents who have not adopted and are not legal guardians of the
child shall not be named.
parents of a minor parent (i.e., the childs grandparents) are not named
in a neglect petition.
a respondent asks that his or her address remain confidential for safety
reasons, the petitions and all other documents filed in court should state
a petition is filed with the court with a confidential address for a
parent, an affidavit for Request for Non-Disclosure of Location
Information should also be submitted in a sealed envelope addressed to the
affidavit will include the confidential address so that the court can send
any required notices.
child's address shall be listed on the petition.
If sharing the child's address with the parents is a concern, then
the petition shall state DCF licensed foster home, or other similar
the situations involving newborns, or hospitalized children, the address
section shall state currently hospitalized at (name) Hospital.
grounds for neglect that are supported by facts and can be proven in court
shall be checked on the petition (Form JD-JM 98.) Multiple grounds, such as neglect and uncared for, can be
alleged in the same petition.
grounds shall reflect the condition of each child. Different grounds can be alleged for different children in
||The portion of a petition where the petitioner
sets forth facts that indicate that the case is appropriately within the
jurisdiction of the juvenile court is also called the to wit
section. This is a very
brief statement of jurisdiction.
portion of a petition which sets forth with a reasonable degree of
particularity the specific instances, acts or conditions which the
petitioner contends have resulted in the child's current situation, and
which have led the petitioner to file with the court is known as the
Summary of Facts. It is considered an amplification of the statutory
allegations checked on the petition itself (JD-JM-98) and summarized in
the jurisdictional facts. It is incorporated by reference into the
Summary of Facts shall include a brief history of the familys previous
involvement with DCF, if applicable and relevant to current allegations of
child abuse/neglect. It shall
also include a summary of any previous juvenile court involvement.
Summary of Facts shall include dates and places of alleged incidents of
neglect or abuse.
Summary of Facts shall not include allegations known to be false,
allegations made by anonymous persons that cannot be independently
verified by the Social Worker or other available witness, or arrests that
have not resulted in a conviction (although pending criminal charges and
investigations of abuse and/or neglect may be included).
The purpose of the Summary of Facts is to provide
the respondent parties with notice of what facts the Department intends to
prove to establish the allegations of neglect.
It is not necessary to include supporting evidence in the Summary
duly authorized agent of the Commissioner shall sign the Neglect Petition.
One (1) original (front and back) and the number of copies indicated in
the checklist shall be sent to court.
One (1) copy is kept in the case record until the court returns a
signed, dated copy. (The
number of copies and distribution of copies may vary from court to court.)
copies sent to court shall be distributed by the court as follows:
each parents attorney
Assistant Attorney General (AAG)
Department of Children and Families (DCF)
Court Services Officer (CSO)
Children in Placement Coordinator (CIP).
of Proof in Neglect Cases
standard of proof in neglect cases is a fair preponderance of the
evidence, which is the same as in other civil (non-criminal) cases.
A fair preponderance of evidence is evidence
that is of greater weight or more convincing than evidence that is offered
in opposition, or evidence that it is more likely than not that the facts
alleged are true. (Blacks Law
Dictionary - Sixth Edition)
Reference: In Re Juvenile Appeal
192 Conn. 254 (1984).