2010 West Virginia Code
§49-6-1. Petition to court when child believed neglected or
CHAPTER 49. CHILD WELFARE
ARTICLE 6. PROCEDURE IN CASES OF CHILD NEGLECT OR ABUSE.
§49-6-1. Petition to court when child believed neglected or abused; notice.
(a) If the department or a reputable person believes that a child is neglected or abused, the department or the person may present a petition setting forth the facts to the circuit court in the county in which the child resides, or if the petition is being brought by the department, in the county in which the custodial respondent or other named party abuser resides, or in which the abuse or neglect occurred, or to the judge of the court in vacation. Under no circumstance may a party file a petition in more than one county based on the same set of facts. The petition shall be verified by the oath of some credible person having knowledge of the facts. The petition shall allege specific conduct including time and place, how such conduct comes within the statutory definition of neglect or abuse with references thereto, any supportive services provided by the department to remedy the alleged circumstances and the relief sought. Upon filing of the petition, the court shall set a time and place for a hearing and shall appoint counsel for the child. When there is an order for temporary custody pursuant to section three of this article, the hearing shall be held within thirty days of the order, unless a continuance for a reasonable time is granted to a date certain, for good cause shown.
(b) The petition and notice of the hearing shall be served upon both parents and any other custodian, giving to the parents or custodian at least ten days' notice. Notice shall also be given to the department, any foster or preadoptive parent, and any relative providing care for the child. In cases wherein personal service within West Virginia cannot be obtained after due diligence upon any parent or other custodian, a copy of the petition and notice of the hearing shall be mailed to the person by certified mail, addressee only, return receipt requested, to the last known address of such person. If the person signs the certificate, service shall be complete and the certificate shall be filed as proof of the service with the clerk of the circuit court. If service cannot be obtained by personal service or by certified mail, notice shall be by publication as a Class II legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code. A notice of hearing shall specify the time and place of the hearing, the right to counsel of the child and parents or other custodians at every stage of the proceedings and the fact that the proceedings can result in the permanent termination of the parental rights. Failure to object to defects in the petition and notice shall not be construed as a waiver.
(c) At the time of the institution of any proceeding under this article, the department shall provide supportive services in an effort to remedy circumstances detrimental to a child.
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