It is simply a request for the court to make an order on a certain subject.
Most of the Juvenile Dependency petitions do not have the parents name on the petition except for where it lists your name and address.
In the caption it will usually read:
“In The Matter Of _________________ a child.”
“In Re _____________________
And then notice that they use the words “alleges” and “appears” to have been neglected or abused according to the law _____________.”
What they are saying is that they have a “theory, supposition, gut feeling, or lie” that will hopefully get you and your child on the conveyor belt for them to make money.
Then it will list a bunch of generic and ambiguous allegations that make no sense to you. If you do not know how to get it discharged or dismissed, your child will be put into temporary custody of the state while an investigation is being done for the next 30 to 60 days.
That automatically puts YOU in the states custody also.
The respondent is the party against whom a petition is filed. (That is you) They are hoping that you will respond so that they can start making some money on your situation.
A dependent child is one who:
(A) Has been abandoned, or
(B) has been abused or neglected, or
(C) has no capable parent or guardian, such that the child is in circumstances whicy constitute a danger of substantial damage to to the child’ psychological or physical development.
Ward Of the court:
A ward of the state is a child or an incapacitated person placed under the legal custody of the state through a court order.
A term that is often mentioned in this context is in loco parentis. This is from the Latin and is used in a legal sense to mean in place of parents. The state essentially stands in loco parentis when a child is in its care. With adoption or even foster parenting, the government may appoint others to act in the place of a parent, too.
FUN FACT: When you are assigned an attorney OR hire an attorney, you are called a client but you also become a “Ward Of The Court”! And they did not even need a court order to do it!
ALJ – Administrative Law Judge:
An administrative law judge, hearing officer, administrative officer, hearing examiner, impartial hearing officer, referee or any other person whom a state agency has designated and empowered to conduct administrative adjudicatory proceedings.
It is the CPS agency that create the rules that the ALJ goes by. Sounds like a biased court before you even get into it.
Court Of Record vs. Court Not Of Record:
A court of record is a trial court or appellate court in which a record of the proceedings is captured and preserved, for the possibility of appeal. … In contrast, in courts not of record, oral proceedings are not recorded, and the judge makes his or her decision based on notes and memory.
FUN FACT: MOST Juvenile Dependency courts are NOT a court of record. That is why you will need to pay for your own court reporter.
Discovery: The gathering of information (facts, documents, or testimony) before a case goes to trial. Discovery is done in many ways, such as through depositions, interrogatories, or requests for admissions. It also can be done through independent research or by talking with the other side’s lawyer.
Evidence: Any proof legally presented at trial through witnesses, records, and/or exhibits.
Exhibit: A document or an object shown and identified in court as evidence in a case. Normally, the court assigns an identifying letter or number in alphabetical or numerical order before exhibits are offered as evidence.
Hearsay: Statements by a witness who did not see or hear the incident in question but heard about it from someone else. Hearsay usually cannot be used as evidence in court. (However, there are some important exceptions in the Evidence Code.)
Material: Important (necessary). A material witness or exhibit is one that is useful in deciding an issue.
Motion: An oral or written request a party makes to the court for a ruling or order on a particular point.
Objection: A formal protest made to evidence that the other side tries to introduce.
Party: One of the litigants in a court case. At the trial level, parties are typically called the “plaintiff” or “petitioner” and the “defendant” or “respondent.”
Pleading: A written statement filed with the court that describes a party’s legal or factual claims about the case and what the party wants from the court.
Points and authorities: (Also called “P’s and A’s”) The written argument, based on law and the facts, given to support a motion. Can refer to past cases, statutes (codes) and other statements of law.
Proof: Evidence that tends to establish the existence or truth of a fact at issue in a case.
Witness: A person called by either side in a lawsuit to give testimony before the judge or jury.