232.96  Adjudicatory hearing.

1.  The court shall hear and adjudicate cases involving a petition alleging a child to be a child in need of assistance.

2.  The state shall have the burden of proving the allegations by clear and convincing evidence.

3.  Only evidence which is admissible under the rules of evidence applicable to the trial of civil cases shall be admitted, except as otherwise provided by this section.

4.  A report made to the department of human services pursuant to chapter 235A shall be admissible in evidence, but such a report shall not alone be sufficient to support a finding that the child is a child in need of assistance unless the attorneys for the child and the parents consent to such a finding.

5.  Neither the privilege attaching to confidential communications between a health practitioner or mental health professional and patient nor the prohibition upon admissibility of communications between husband and wife shall be ground for excluding evidence at an adjudicatory hearing.

6.  A report, study, record, or other writing or an audiotape or videotape recording made by the department of human services, a juvenile court officer, a peace officer or a hospital relating to a child in a proceeding under this division is admissible notwithstanding any objection to hearsay statements contained in it provided it is relevant and material and provided its probative value substantially outweighs the danger of unfair prejudice to the child's parent, guardian, or custodian. The circumstances of the making of the report, study, record or other writing or an audiotape or videotape recording, including the maker's lack of personal knowledge, may be proved to affect its weight.

7.  After the hearing is concluded, the court shall make and file written findings as to the truth of allegations of the petition and as to whether the child is a child in need of assistance.

8.  If the court concludes facts sufficient to sustain a petition have not been established by clear and convincing evidence or if the court concludes that its aid is not required in the circumstances, the court shall dismiss the petition.

9.  If the court concludes that facts sufficient to sustain the petition have been established by clear and convincing evidence and that its aid is required, the court may enter an order adjudicating the child to be a child in need of assistance.

10.  If the court enters an order adjudicating the child to be a child in need of assistance, the court, if it has not previously done so, may issue an order authorizing temporary removal of the child from the child's home as set forth in section 232.95, subsection 2, paragraph "a", pending a final order of disposition. The order shall include both of the following:

a.  A statement that the temporary removal is the result of a determination that the child remaining in the child's home would be contrary to the welfare of the child, and that reasonable efforts have been made to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child from the child's home.

b.  A statement informing the child's parent that the consequences of a permanent removal may include termination of the parent's rights with respect to the child.

Section History: Early form

  [C66, 71, 73, 75, 77, § 232.31; C79, 81, § 232.96]

Section History: Recent form

  83 Acts, ch 96, § 157, 159; 83 Acts, ch 186, § 10055, 10201; 84 Acts, ch 1207, § 4; 87 Acts, ch 153, § 7; 98 Acts, ch 1190, §9; 2000 Acts, ch 1067, §9

Internal References

  Referred to in § 232.99, 232.104, 232.116, 600A.7

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