2016 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 10A. Children and Juvenile Code
§10A-1-4-503. Conduct of hearings.

10A OK Stat § 10A-1-4-503 (2016) What's This?

A. All cases initiated by the filing of a petition alleging that a child is deprived shall be heard separately from the trial of other cases against adults. The adjudicative hearings and hearings for termination of parental rights shall be conducted according to the rules of evidence. All other hearings and proceedings conducted pursuant to the Oklahoma Children’s Code shall be informal and the rules of evidence shall not apply.

1. a.Except as otherwise provided by this paragraph, all deprived proceedings shall be private unless specifically ordered by the judge to be conducted in public, but persons having a direct interest in the case shall be admitted, except as otherwise determined by the court.

b.To the extent that deprived proceedings involve discussion of confidential information from any child abuse or neglect report and record, or any information obtained from the Department of Human Services concerning a child or family who is receiving Title IV-B child welfare services, foster care or adoption assistance pursuant to Title IV-E of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 678 et seq.), the confidentiality requirements of those programs apply. Accordingly, such information shall not be discussed in open court. To the extent that confidential information is relevant to the proceedings, it must be discussed in the court’s chambers or some other restricted setting, and the pertinent sections of the transcript shall be kept confidential.

2. Stenographic notes or other transcript of the hearings shall be kept as in other cases, but they shall not be open to inspection except by order of the court or as otherwise provided by law.

3. Uniform orders shall be used by the court in all deprived proceedings. The forms shall be prescribed and published by the Administrative Office of the Courts. The Supreme Court Juvenile Justice Oversight and Advisory Committee, the District Attorneys Council, and the Department shall assist in the development of the orders. In addition to the findings and determinations required to be made by the court pursuant to the Oklahoma Children’s Code, the forms shall include a section which will require the court to memorialize the recommendations of the parties and participants made at the hearing as it relates to custody or placement of the child or children.

4. If authorized by the court, any proceeding held pursuant to the Oklahoma Children’s Code may be conducted via teleconference communication; provided, that when a parent or child appears for a proceeding via teleconference communication, the attorney representing that parent or child shall personally appear at the hearing. For purposes of this paragraph, “teleconference communication” means participation in the hearing by interactive telecommunication, including telephonic communication by the absent party, those parties present in court, the attorneys and others deemed to be necessary participants to the proceeding including, but not limited to, foster parents and facility staff where a child may be receiving care or treatment. This paragraph shall also apply to proceedings brought pursuant to the Inpatient Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment of Minors Act when the subject child is alleged or has been adjudicated to be a deprived child.

B. A child shall not refuse to be a witness in a hearing to determine whether or not the child is deprived. The testimony of the child may be given as provided by this part or as otherwise authorized by law for the protection of child witnesses.

C. A decision determining a child to be deprived must be based on sworn testimony and the child must have the opportunity for cross-examination unless the facts are stipulated.

Added by Laws 1968, c. 282, § 111, eff. Jan. 13, 1969. Amended by Laws 1975, c. 252, § 1, emerg. eff. June 2, 1975; Laws 1991, c. 296, § 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Laws 1992, c. 298, § 24, eff. July 1, 1993; Laws 1993, c. 302, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Laws 1994, c. 290, § 38, eff. July 1, 1994; Laws 1995, c. 352, § 23, eff. July 1, 1995. Renumbered from § 1111 of Title 10 by Laws 1995, c. 352, § 199, eff. July 1, 1995. Amended by Laws 2000, c. 374, § 14, eff. July 1, 2000; Laws 2006, c. 205, § 4, eff. Nov. 1, 2006; Laws 2009, c. 233, § 27, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009. Renumbered from § 7003-4.1 of Title 10 by Laws 2009, c. 233, § 237, emerg. eff. May 21, 2009. Amended by Laws 2010, c. 278, § 6, eff. Nov. 1, 2010.

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