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2024 California Rules of Court

Rule 5.484. Emergency proceedings involving an Indian child

(a) Standards for removal

Whenever it is known or there is reason to know the case involves an Indian child, the court may not order an emergency removal or placement of the child without a finding that the removal or placement is necessary to prevent imminent physical damage or harm to the child. The petition requesting emergency removal or continued emergency placement of the child or its accompanying documents must contain the following:

(1)  A statement of the risk of imminent physical damage or harm to the child and any evidence that the emergency removal or placement continues to be necessary to prevent such imminent physical damage or harm to the child;

(2) The name, age, and last known address of the Indian child;

(3)  The name and address of the child's parents and Indian custodian, if any;

(4)  The steps taken to provide notice to the child's parents, Indian custodian, and tribe about the emergency proceeding;

(5)  If the child's parents and Indian custodian are unknown, a detailed explanation of what efforts have been made to locate and contact them;

(6)  The residence and the domicile of the Indian child;

(7)  If either the residence or the domicile of the Indian child is believed to be on a reservation or in an Alaska Native village, the name of the tribe affiliated with that reservation or village;

(8)  The tribal affiliation of the child and of the parents or Indian custodian;

(9)  A specific and detailed account of the circumstances that led to the emergency removal of the child;

(10)  If the child is believed to reside or be domiciled on a reservation where the tribe exercises exclusive jurisdiction over child custody matters, a statement of efforts that have been made and are being made to contact the tribe and transfer the child to the tribe's jurisdiction; and

(11)  A statement of the efforts that have been taken to assist the parents or Indian custodian so the Indian child may safely be returned to their custody.

(b) Return of Indian child when emergency situation has ended

(1)  Whenever it is known or there is reason to know the child is an Indian child and there has been an emergency removal of the child from parental custody, any party who asserts that there is new information indicating that the emergency situation has ended may request an ex parte hearing by filing a request on Request for Ex Parte Hearing to Return Physical Custody of an Indian Child (form ICWA-070) to determine whether the emergency situation has ended.

(2)  If the request provides evidence of new information establishing that the emergency placement is no longer necessary, the court must promptly schedule a hearing. At the hearing the court must consider whether the child's removal and placement is still necessary to prevent imminent physical damage or harm to the child. If the court determines that the child's emergency removal or placement is no longer necessary to prevent imminent physical damage or harm to the child, the court must order the child returned to the physical custody of the parents or Indian custodian.

(3)  In accordance with rules 3.10 and 3.20, this procedure is governed by the provisions of division 6, chapter 3 and division 11, chapter 4 of title 3 of the California Rules of Court.

(c) Time limitation on emergency proceedings

An emergency removal must not continue for more than 30 days unless the court makes the following determinations:

(1)  Restoring the child to the parent or Indian custodian would subject the child to imminent physical damage or harm;

(2)  The court has been unable to transfer the proceeding to the jurisdiction of the appropriate Indian tribe; and

(3)  It has not been possible to have a hearing that complies with the substantive requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act for a foster care placement proceeding.

Rule 5.484 adopted effective January 1, 2020.

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