Senate File 366 - Enrolled




                                             SENATE FILE 366

                             AN ACT
 RELATING TO THE EMANCIPATION OF A MINOR AND FAMILY IN NEED OF
    ASSISTANCE PROCEEDINGS.

 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:

    Section 1.  Section 232.125, subsection 2, Code 2009, is
 amended to read as follows:
    2.  Such a petition may be filed by the child's parent,
 guardian or custodian, or by the child, or on the court's own
 motion as provided in section 232C.2.  The judge, county
 attorney, or juvenile court officer may authorize such parent,
 guardian, custodian, or child to file a petition with the
 clerk of the court without the payment of a filing fee.
    Sec. 2.  Section 232.127, Code 2009, is amended by adding
 the following new subsection:
    NEW SUBSECTION.  11.  If after hearing pursuant to this
 section, the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence,
 that no remedy is available that would result in strengthening
 or maintaining the familial relationship, the court may order
 the minor emancipated pursuant to section 232C.3, subsection
 4.
    Sec. 3.  NEW SECTION.  232C.1  EMANCIPATION PETITION ==
 HEARING.
    1.  A minor who desires to become emancipated may file a
 petition for an order of emancipation in juvenile court if all
 of the following apply:
    a.  The minor is sixteen years of age or older.
    b.  The minor is a resident of this state.
    c.  The minor is not in the care, custody, or control of
 the state.
    2.  A petition filed pursuant to this section shall contain
 the following:
    a.  The petitioner's name, mailing address, and date of
 birth.
    b.  The name, mailing address of the petitioner's parents
 or legal guardian.
    c.  Specific facts to support the petition including but
 not limited to the following:
    (1)  The minor has demonstrated financial self=sufficiency,
 including proof of employment or other means of support, which
 does not include assistance or subsidies from a federal,
 state, or local governmental agency.
    (2)  The minor has demonstrated an ability to manage the
 personal affairs of the minor.
    (3)  The minor has demonstrated an ability and commitment
 to obtain and maintain education, vocational training, or
 employment.
    (4)  Any other information considered necessary to support
 the petition.
    d.  Any one of the following:
    (1)  Documentation that the minor has been living on the
 minor's own for at least three consecutive months.
    (2)  A statement explaining the reasons the minor believes
 the home of the minor's parents or legal guardian is not a
 healthy or safe environment.
    (3)  A notarized statement that contains written consent to
 emancipation by the minor's parents or legal guardian.
    3.  The court shall hold a hearing on the petition within
 ninety days of the filing of the petition.  Notice of the
 hearing, with a copy of the petition attached, shall be served
 by personal service on the minor's parent or legal guardian at
 least thirty days prior to the hearing date.  Any other
 parties shall be notified as provided by the rules of civil
 procedure for service of an original notice.
    4.  The minor may participate in the court proceedings on
 the minor's own behalf, or may be represented by the minor's
 own counsel, or the court may appoint a guardian ad litem on
 behalf of the minor.
    Sec. 4.  NEW SECTION.  232C.2  STAY == MEDIATION ==
 REFERRAL TO FAMILY IN NEED OF ASSISTANCE.
    1.   Prior to an emancipation hearing held pursuant to
 section 232C.1, the court, on its own motion, may stay the
 proceedings, and refer the parties to mediation, or request
 that the department of human services investigate any
 allegations of child abuse or neglect contained in the
 petition, and order that a written report be prepared and
 filed by the department.
    2.  If a minor's parent or guardian objects to the petition
 filed pursuant to section 232C.1, the juvenile court shall
 stay the proceedings and refer the parties to mediation unless
 the juvenile court finds that mediation would not be in the
 best interests of the minor.
    3.  If an agreement is reached through mediation, the
 parties shall file the signed agreement with the juvenile
 court.
    4.  Notwithstanding subsections 1 through 3, the juvenile
 court, on its own motion, may discontinue emancipation
 proceedings pursuant to this chapter and interpret the
 petition as a petition to initiate family in need of
 assistance proceedings and consider the petition under
 sections 232.122 through 232.127.
    Sec. 5.  NEW SECTION.  232C.3  DETERMINATION OF
 EMANCIPATION == BEST INTERESTS OF THE MINOR.
    1.  The juvenile court shall determine emancipation based
 on the best interests of the minor and shall consider all
 relevant factors including the following:
    a.  The potential risks and consequences of emancipation
 and whether the minor understands the risks and consequences
 of emancipation.
    b.  The ability of the minor to be financially
 self=sufficient.
    c.  The education level of the minor and success achieved
 in school.
    d.  The criminal record of the minor.
    e.  The desires of the minor.
    f.  The recommendations of the parents or guardian of the
 minor.
    2.  The minor has the burden of proving by clear and
 convincing evidence that the requirements for ordering
 emancipation under this section have been met.
    3.  The juvenile court shall carefully consider the best
 interests of the minor and after hearing and consideration of
 the factors enumerated in this section, the juvenile court may
 order the minor emancipated or deny the petition for
 emancipation.
    4.  If after referral of a petition for the initiation of
 family in need of assistance proceedings pursuant to section
 232C.2, the juvenile court finds, by clear and convincing
 evidence, that no remedy is available that would result in
 strengthening or maintaining the familial relationship under
 the family in need of assistance proceedings pursuant to
 sections 232.122 through 232.127, the juvenile court may order
 the minor emancipated as provided in this section.
    Sec. 6.  NEW SECTION.  232C.4  EFFECT OF EMANCIPATION
 ORDER.
    1.  An emancipation order shall have the same effect as a
 child reaching the age of majority with respect to but not
 limited to the following:
    a.  The ability to sue or be sued in the child's own name.
    b.  The right to enter into a binding contract.
    c.  The right to establish a legal residence.
    d.  The right to incur debts.
    e.  The right to consent to medical, dental, or psychiatric
 care.
    2.  An emancipation order shall have the same effect as the
 child reaching the age of majority and the parents are exempt
 from the following:
    a.  Future child support obligations for the emancipated
 child.
    b.  An obligation to provide medical support for the
 emancipated child, unless deemed necessary by the court.
    c.  A right to the income or property of the emancipated
 child.
    d.  A responsibility for the debts of the emancipated
 child.
    3.  An emancipated minor shall remain subject to voting
 restrictions under chapter 48A, gambling restrictions under
 chapter 99B, 99D, 99F, 99G, or 725, alcohol restrictions under
 chapter 123, compulsory attendance requirements under chapter
 299, and cigarette tobacco restrictions under chapter 453A.
    4.  An emancipated child shall not be considered an adult
 for prosecution except as provided in section 232.8.
    5.  Notwithstanding sections 232.147 through 232.151, the
 emancipation order shall be released by the juvenile court
 subject to rules prescribed by the supreme court.
    6.  A parent who is absolved of child support obligations
 pursuant to an emancipation order shall notify the child
 support recovery unit of the department of human services of
 the emancipation.


                                                             
                               JOHN P. KIBBIE
                               President of the Senate


                                                             
                               PATRICK J. MURPHY
                               Speaker of the House

    I hereby certify that this bill originated in the Senate and
 is known as Senate File 366, Eighty=third General Assembly.


                                                             
                               MICHAEL E. MARSHALL
                               Secretary of the Senate
 Approved                , 2009


                                
 CHESTER J. CULVER
 Governor

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