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Policy Manual

Superior Court For Juvenile Matters Service of Process

Publication in Newspaper


The Department shall file a Motion for Order of Notice and Affidavit of Diligent Search with the court when the address or identity of a parent to be served is unknown. 

The Order of Notice shall contain the 

  • name of the parent to be served (unknown parent shall be served as John or Jane Doe)

  • date of the hearing

  • name of the newspaper that will print the Notice. 

An original and copy of the Order of Notice, a copy of the Motion for Order of Notice, and possibly, an Affidavit Regarding Diligent Search for the parent is returned to the Department from the court.

The person coordinating Service of Process shall immediately publish the notice in a newspaper following these procedures: 

  • two copies of the Order of Notice (front and back) are sent to the newspaper with a cover letter containing the following information: 

-          the date

-          name of parent being sought

-          hearing date (from the Order of Notice)

-          Social Worker’s name (found at the bottom of the Motion). 

  • make two (2) copies of both the Order of Notice (front only) and the court letter. 

  • place the name of the child(ren) on the copies of the letter making sure that the child(ren)’s name(s) does not appear on the original sent to the newspaper. 

  • retain a copy of the Order of Notice and letter for Department records and forward the other copies of the Order of Notice and cover letter to the Court Clerk. 

Note: The Social Worker shall be responsible to confirm with the staff person coordinating service of process and the court, before the hearing date, that publication occurred as ordered, and to ensure that proof of publication is filed in court.
  • the newspaper completes and returns the original proof of publication affidavit to the Court Clerk or the Department, depending on the newspaper’s procedures.  If the original affidavit of proof of publication is sent to the Department, the person coordinating Service of Process must immediately forward the affidavit to the Court Clerk 

  • upon receipt of the affidavit and invoice from the newspaper, compare it for accuracy with the filed paperwork 

  • if accurate, forward the invoice to the Business Office for payment, and 

  • forward copies of all documents to the Social Worker for filing in the Uniform Case Record. 

Note:  It is crucial that proof of publication is received from the newspaper in a timely manner.  The person coordinating Service of Process shall keep a tickler system or log and follow up with newspapers that do not send the proof of publication immediately after the publication date.  

If an affidavit has not been received from the newspaper before the court date at which service is to be confirmed, the person who arranged for the newspaper publication can submit a substitute affidavit outlining the steps taken to comply with the Order of Publication. 

Legal Reference:  Conn. Gen. Stat. 52-50.

Connecticut Department of Children and Families Effective Date: November 1, 2005 (Revised)

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