Thursday, November 15, 2007

dependency - counsel for child - access to child

In the Interest of A.S. - Superior Court - November 15, 2007

Trial court improperly dismissed child welfare agency's dependency petition due to the agency's failure to have the child in court to testify. The appellate court held that the dismissel was error where the child's court-appointed counsel never had a chance to meet with the child because of the mother's refusal to give counsel access to the child, despite an order directing the mother to do so.

The trial court did not receive evidence from both sides. The mother violated the child's rights by denying access by counsel and preventing the child "from being heard in any fashion at a hearing regarding her own welfare."