Article II. Prehearing Procedures


Rule 13: Intake in Dependent and Neglected and Abuse Cases.

(a) Referral to Department of Children's Services. When a complaint or petition is filed in the juvenile court alleging a child to be dependent and neglected and/or abused, the court shall promptly refer the case to the Department of Children's Services to investigate the social conditions of the child and to report the findings to the court to aid the court in its disposition of the child.

(b) Referral to Licensed Child-Placing Agency. If the child who is the subject of the complaint or petition is in the custody of a licensed child-placing agency, or if the complaint or petition is filed by a licensed child-placing agency, the referral may be made to such agency in addition to the Department of Children's Services.

(c) Informal Adjustment. The designated court officer may make informal adjustment in cases alleging dependency and neglect as is provided by T.C.A. § 37-1-110, upon court approval. Such informal adjustment shall be made under comparable conditions and procedures as are set forth in Rule 14.

[As amended by order filed January 13, 2012, effective July 1, 2012.]

Advisory Commission Comments.

Because of the intimate involvement in, and primary responsibility for, the types of cases covered by this rule on the part of the Department of Children's Services, the committee deemed it inappropriate to draft a more specific rule on this subject. Regarding the informal adjustment of these cases, it should be noted that no such action should be undertaken without consultation with the Department of Children's Services. See, in this regard, subsection (a)(4) of Rule 14, which suggests that the attitude of any affected agencies be taken into account in deciding whether to informally adjust any case.

Advisory Commission Comments [2012].

The 2012 amendment substitutes the term “Department of Children’s Services” for the term “Department of Human Services” in both the text of the rule and in the original Advisory Commission Comment, consistent with statutory changes enacted by the General Assembly.

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