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2014 California Rules of Court

Rule 5.710. Six-month review hearing

(a) Setting 6-month review; notice (§§ 364, 366, 366.21)

The case of any dependent child whom the court has removed from the custody of the parent or legal guardian under section 361 or 361.5 must be set for a review hearing within 6 months of the date of the dispositional hearing, but no later than 12 months from the date the child entered foster care, as defined by section 361.49, whichever occurs earlier. Notice must be provided as described in section 293 and rule 5.708.

(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 2010; previously amended effective January 1, 2001, July 1, 2002, and January 1, 2007.)

(b) Determinations and conduct of hearing (§§ 364, 366, 366.1, 366.21)

At the hearing, the court and all parties must comply with all relevant requirements and procedures in rule 5.708, General review hearing requirements. The court must make all appropriate findings and orders specified in rule 5.708 and proceed as follows:

(1)Order return of the child or find that return would be detrimental

The court must order the child returned to the custody of the parent or legal guardian unless the court finds that the petitioner has established by a preponderance of the evidence that return would create a substantial risk of detriment to the safety, protection, or physical or emotional well-being of the child. The requirements in rule 5.708(d) must be followed in establishing detriment. The requirements in rule 5.708(e) must be followed in entering a reasonable services finding. If the child is returned, the court may order the termination of dependency jurisdiction or order continued dependency services and set a review hearing within 6 months.

(2)Place with noncustodial parent

If the court has previously placed or at this hearing places the child with a noncustodial parent, the court must follow the procedures in rule 5.708(k) and section 361.2.

(3)Set a section 366.26 hearing

If the court does not return custody of the child, the court may set a hearing under section 366.26 within 120 days, as provided in (c).

(4)Continue the case for a 12-month permanency hearing

If the child is not returned and the court does not set a section 366.26 hearing, the court must order that any reunification services previously ordered will continue to be offered to the parent or legal guardian, if appropriate. The court may modify those services as appropriate or order additional services reasonably believed to facilitate the return of the child to the parent or legal guardian. The court must set a date for the next hearing no later than 12 months from the date the child entered foster care.

(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2010; repealed and adopted as subd (d); relettered as subd (e) effective January 1, 1992; previously amended effective January 1, 1999, July 1, 1999, January 1, 2001, July 1, 2002, January 1, 2004, January 1, 2005, and January 1, 2007.)

(c) Setting a section 366.26 hearing (§§ 366.21, 366.215)

(1)The court may set a hearing under section 366.26 within 120 days if:

(A)The child was removed under section 300(g) and the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the parent's whereabouts are still unknown, or the parent has failed to contact and visit the child, or the parent has been convicted of a felony indicating parental unfitness. The court must take into account any particular barriers to a parent's ability to maintain contact with his or her child due to the parent's incarceration or institutionalization;

(B)The court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the parent has been convicted of a felony indicating parental unfitness;

(C)The parent is deceased; or

(D)The child was under the age of three when initially removed, or a member of a sibling group described in section 361.5(a)(1)(C), and the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the parent has failed to participate regularly and make substantive progress in any court-ordered treatment plan. If, however, the court finds a substantial probability that the child may be returned within 6 months or within 12 months of the date the child entered foster care, whichever is sooner, or that reasonable services have not been offered or provided, the court must continue the case to the 12-month permanency hearing.

(i)In order to find a substantial probability that the child may be returned within the applicable time period, the court should consider the following factors along with any other relevant evidence:

a. Whether the parent or legal guardian has consistently and regularly contacted and visited the child;

b. Whether the parent or legal guardian has made significant progress in resolving the problems that led to the removal of the child; and

c. Whether the parent or legal guardian has demonstrated the capacity and ability to complete the objectives of the treatment plan and to provide for the child's safety, protection, physical and emotional health, and special needs.

(ii)The court, in determining whether court-ordered services may be extended to the 12-month point, must take into account any particular barriers to a parent's ability to maintain contact with his or her child due to the parent's incarceration, institutionalization, detention by the United States Department of Homeland Security, or deportation. The court may also consider, among other factors, whether the incarcerated, institutionalized, detained, or deported parent has made good faith efforts to maintain contact with the child and whether there are any other barriers to the parent's access to services.

(2)At the hearing, the court and all parties must comply with all relevant requirements and procedures related to section 366.26 hearings in rule 5.708, General review hearing requirements. The court must make all appropriate findings and orders specified in rule 5.708.

(Subd (c) amended effective January 1, 2014; repealed and adopted as subd (e); previously amended and relettered as subd (f) effective January 1, 1992; previously amended effective January 1, 1993, January 1, 1995, July 1, 1997, January 1, 1999, July 1, 1999, January 1, 2000, January 1, 2001, July 1, 2002, January 1, 2004, January 1, 2005, January 1, 2006, January 1, 2007, January 1, 2010, and January 1, 2011.)

(d) Sibling groups (§ 366.21)

In determining whether to set a hearing under section 366.26 for one or more members of a sibling group when one member of that group was under the age of three at the time of the initial removal, the court may terminate or continue services for any or all members of the group, based on the following considerations and for reasons specified on the record:

(1)Whether the siblings were removed as a group;

(2)The closeness and strength of the sibling bond;

(3)The ages of the siblings;

(4)The appropriateness of maintaining the sibling group together;

(5)The detriment to the child if sibling ties are not maintained;

(6)The likelihood of finding a permanent home for the group;

(7)Whether the group is placed together in a preadoptive home, if there is a concurrent plan for permanency for all siblings in the same home;

(8)The wishes of each child; and

(9)The best interest of each member of the sibling group.

(Subd (d) amended and relettered effective January 1, 2010; adopted as subd (g) effective July 1, 2002.)

Rule 5.710 amended effective January 1, 2014; adopted as rule 1460 effective January 1, 1990; previously amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective January 1, 1992, January 1, 1993, January 1, 1995, July 1, 1995, July 1, 1997, January 1, 1999, July 1, 1999, January 1, 2000, January 1, 2001, July 1, 2002, January 1, 2004, January 1, 2005, January 1, 2006, January 1, 2010, and January 1, 2011.

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