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Policy Manual

Superior Court For Juvenile Matters Service of Process

For Termination of Parental Rights Petition

Who Must Be Served?

Each parent and/or legal guardian named on the petition shall be served, including legal, acknowledged, adjudicated or putative fathers. 

Important:  Any federally recognized Indian tribe to which a parent or child may be affiliated shall be notified.  See policy 31-8-12, Native American Families. 

Unknown parents shall be served by publication in newspaper as John or Jane Doe.

Legal Reference:  Connecticut Practice Book, 33a-4.
What Is To Be Served? The following documents must be served by a Judicial Marshall:
Type of Service Documents

          Termination of Parental Rights petition and the Summary of Facts for each person to be served

        the Order for Hearing and Notice/Summons – Termination of Parental Rights (JD-JM 40) 

          an addressed envelope for each person to be served, and  

        instructions to the Judicial Marshal.
Certified Mail All of the above and certified mail slips addressed to each applicable party(ies) and made returnable to the Court Clerk, Superior Court for Juvenile Matters.

Important:  Publication in newspapers is processed by the person coordinating Service of Process (see 46-3-30.12, page 1 of 2).

Time Frame for Completion of the Service of Process

The Termination of Parental Rights petition must be served at least ten (10) days prior to the initial (plea) hearing. 

The Judicial Marshal’s return is required to be filed with the court immediately following the Service of Process being effectuated.
Type Of Service Required The type of Service of Process required is dependent upon the following conditions:
Parents’/Guardians’ Address Type of Service Required
is known within the state in-Hand/Abode
is known out-of-state or out of country certified Mail, restricted delivery, addressee only, return receipt requested
unknown publication in a newspaper with general circulation in the town/city where the parents’/guardians’ were last known to have resided.

Note: The newspaper can be identified by calling the Research Department of the local Public Library, or by searching in the Internet.

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