Return to CT.Gov Home
Department of Children and Families
DCF Logo

Policy Manual
HH01532A.gif (1581 bytes)

COURTS
Probate Court

46-4-2
Immediate Temporary Custody

Granted Ex Parte

The court may grant immediate temporary custody "ex parte", without a hearing.

In situations where the court grants immediate temporary custody, a hearing must be granted to the parents or legal guardians within five business days of the date of the order of immediate temporary custody.

Postponing the Five-Day Hearing The five day hearing may be postponed

upon the request of the respondent

if the court has been unable to effect notice as required by statute.

DCF may not request a continuance of the five day hearing.

Grounds - Child in Custody of Person Other than Parent or Guardian

If the child is in the physical custody of someone other than the parent or guardian, the court is required to find

the child was not taken or kept from the parent, parents or guardian

and

there is a substantial likelihood that the child will be removed from the jurisdiction prior to a hearing under Conn. Gen. Stat. 45a-607(c)

or

to return the child to the parent, parents or guardian would place the child in circumstances which would result in serious physical illness or injury, or the threat thereof, or imminent physical danger, prior to the hearing.

Grounds - Child in Custody of Parent or Guardian

If the child is in the physical custody of the parent or other guardian, the court is required to find

the child must be hospitalized as a result of serious physical illness or serious physical injury, is in need of immediate medical or surgical treatment

and

the parent, parents or guardians refuse(s) (or is unable) to consent to such treatment

and

to delay treatment would be life-threatening.

Note: This is the only time when the probate court may grant immediate temporary custody when the child is in the physical custody of the parent and the parent is unwilling to give physical custody to the petitioner. In all other cases requiring immediate action, DCF may take emergency action pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 17a-101g.

Department Involvement

"Upon issuance of an ex parte order of temporary custody, the court shall promptly notify the Commissioner of Children and Families who shall cause an investigation to be made forthwith, in accordance with Conn. Gen. Stat.
17-101g, and who shall present his report at the hearing on the application for temporary custody."
Conn. Gen. Stat. 45a-607(b)(3)

The granting of "ex parte", immediate temporary custody requires a hearing which must be held within five (5) business days of the granting of immediate temporary custody. DCF must provide a report at this hearing.

Note: If the Commissioner is granted Immediate Temporary Custody, the department shall immediately request that the case be transferred to Superior Court for Juvenile Matters. Assistance from the Regional Assistant Attorney General shall be requested as necessary.

The courts recognize that the type of information which can be developed in this short period of time is limited. At the same time, there is a strong need for reliable information on which the judge can act in these important and sensitive matters.

DCF Investigation and Report

The preliminary, five-day investigation by the probate worker shall focus on the facts which have been alleged in the custodian’s affidavit and attempt to provide substantiation or negation of those facts. Local and state police and CPS checks of the proposed/petitioning custodian shall be conducted immediately.

The investigation and report shall also address whether

the child was not taken or kept from the parent, parents or guardian

and

there is a substantial likelihood that the child will be removed from the jurisdiction prior to a hearing under Conn. Gen. Stat. 45a-607(c)

or

to return the child to the parent, parents or guardian would place the child in circumstances which would result in serious physical illness or injury, or the threat thereof, or imminent physical danger, prior to the hearing.

The investigation and report for immediate temporary custody may be in writing or, if that is not possible, presented verbally at the hearing at the discretion of the judge.

The report (oral or written) shall be documented in LINK narrative.

The courts have been asked to notify the DCF regional offices by telephone or fax when an immediate temporary custody application is received in order to allow the department the maximum amount of time in which to conduct the investigation.

Since additional important information may be presented at the court hearing, it is important for the assigned case worker to be present if at all possible. If that case worker is unavailable, another representative of the Department familiar with the case should be present.

Follow-Up Report - Second Hearing

In most cases, the court will request a written report from the department in order to continue temporary custody pending the report on removal of guardian or termination of parental rights. In all cases, a written report on the DCF investigation is expected to be submitted prior to the hearing on temporary custody, removal or termination. The DCF case shall remain open until final disposition of the application for removal or termination.

Note: The court is unable to set or hold the hearing until the investigative report is received from DCF.

The court will automatically set a date and time for the hearing on removal or termination, and send notice to all parties. If there is good reason why the DCF worker cannot complete and submit his/her report to the court in time for the scheduled hearing, the DCF supervisor shall notify the clerk of the court. The statute mandates that termination reports be completed within ninety (90) days from the date for receipt of the request by the department. Conn. Gen. Stat. 45a-717.

DCF Assessment

In preparing the report, the DCF worker shall conduct a thorough assessment of the situation and provide as much information, including a recommendation based on the child’s best interest, to the probate court.

The DCF worker shall

conduct

- home visits (to be completed within seven days of case assignment) with the

  • parents or current guardian (if available)
  • prospective custodian(s)
  • child(ren)

Note: Children must be interviewed alone during the assessment process.

- social, medical, educational and employment histories for each case participant

  • obtaining releases of information for collateral checks within thirty (30) days of case assignment

  • conducting collateral checks, i.e., school, doctors, therapists, etc. for everyone residing in the home (Initial letters and phone calls to be completed within forty-five days of case assignment, with follow-up contacts as needed, every other week)

  • - criminal records and protective service checks on all parties, age eighteen (18) and older, involved in the case (within fifteen days of case assignment)

    Note: Existence of a criminal or CPS record does not preclude recommendation as a custodian.

    complete the Assessment of Child and Family for Removal of Guardian and Temporary Custody, DCF-2169 (within thirty days of case assignment)

    provide the probate court, if possible, with a recommendation regarding the placement of the child with the proposed guardian/petitioner.

    Protective Service Issues

    If current protective service issues are identified concerning the proposed guardian during the course of the probate study, the DCF worker shall

    make a referral to the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline regarding the protective service issue for investigation

    inform the probate court that the probate study has been suspended pending the outcome of the protective services investigation.

    Connecticut Department of Children and Families  Effective Date:  July 1, 1999 (New)