2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 48. Children's code.
48.255 Petition; form and content.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 48.255 (2017)

48.255 Petition; form and content.

(1) A petition initiating proceedings under this chapter, other than a petition under s. 48.133, shall be entitled, “In the interest of (child's name), a person under the age of 18'' and shall set forth with specificity:

(a) The name, birth date, and address of the child and whether the child has been adopted.

(b) The names and addresses of the child's parent, guardian, legal custodian or spouse, if any; or if no such person can be identified, the name and address of the nearest relative.

(c) Whether the child is in custody, and, if so, the place where the child is being held and the time he or she was taken into custody unless there is reasonable cause to believe that such disclosure would result in imminent danger to the child or physical custodian.

(cg) The information required under s. 822.29 (1).

(cm) Whether the child may be subject to the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, 25 USC 1901 to 1963, and, if the child may be subject to that act, the names and addresses of the child's Indian custodian, if any, and Indian tribe, if known.

(e) If the child is alleged to come within the provisions of s. 48.13 or 48.14, reliable and credible information which forms the basis of the allegations necessary to invoke the jurisdiction of the court and to provide reasonable notice of the conduct or circumstances to be considered by the court together with a statement that the child is in need of supervision, services, care or rehabilitation.

(f) If the child is being held in custody outside of his or her home, reliable and credible information showing that continued placement of the child in his or her home would be contrary to the welfare of the child and, unless any of the circumstances specified in s. 48.355 (2d) (b) 1. to 5. applies, reliable and credible information showing that the person who took the child into custody and the intake worker have made reasonable efforts to prevent the removal of the child from the home, while assuring that the child's health and safety are the paramount concerns, and to make it possible for the child to return safely home.

(g) If the petitioner knows or has reason to know that the child is an Indian child, and if the child has been removed from the home of his or her parent or Indian custodian, reliable and credible information showing that continued custody of the child by the child's parent or Indian custodian is likely to result in serious emotional or physical damage to the child under s. 48.028 (4) (d) 1. and reliable and credible information showing that active efforts under s. 48.028 (4) (d) 2. have been made to prevent the breakup of the Indian child's family and that those efforts have proved unsuccessful. The petition shall set forth with specificity both the information required under this paragraph and the information required under par. (f).

(1m) A petition initiating proceedings under s. 48.133 shall be entitled “In the interest of (J. Doe), an unborn child, and (expectant mother's name), the unborn child's expectant mother" and shall set forth with specificity:

(a) The estimated gestational age of the unborn child.

(b) The name, birth date and address of the expectant mother.

(bm) The names and addresses of the parent, guardian, legal custodian or spouse, if any, of the expectant mother, if the expectant mother is a child, the name and address of the spouse, if any, of the expectant mother, if the expectant mother is an adult, or, if no such person can be identified, the name and address of the nearest relative of the expectant mother.

(c) Whether the expectant mother is in custody and, if so, the place where the expectant mother is being held and the time when the expectant mother was taken into custody unless there is reasonable cause to believe that disclosure of that information would result in imminent danger to the unborn child, expectant mother or physical custodian.

(d) Whether the unborn child, when born, may be subject to the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, 25 USC 1901 to 1963, and, if the unborn child may be subject to that act, the name and address of the Indian tribe in which the unborn child may be eligible for affiliation when born, if known.

(e) Reliable and credible information which forms the basis of the allegations necessary to invoke the jurisdiction of the court under s. 48.133 and to provide reasonable notice of the conduct or circumstances to be considered by the court, together with a statement that the unborn child is in need of protection or care and that the expectant mother is in need of supervision, services, care or rehabilitation.

(f) If the expectant mother is a child and the child expectant mother is being held in custody outside of her home, reliable and credible information showing that continued placement of the child expectant mother in her home would be contrary to the welfare of the child expectant mother and, unless any of the circumstances specified in s. 48.355 (2d) (b) 1. to 5. applies, reliable and credible information showing that the person who took the child expectant mother into custody and the intake worker have made reasonable efforts to prevent the removal of the child expectant mother from the home, while assuring that the child expectant mother's health and safety are the paramount concerns, and to make it possible for the child expectant mother to return safely home.

(g) If the petitioner knows or has reason to know that the expectant mother is an Indian child, and if the child expectant mother has been removed from the home of her parent or Indian custodian, reliable and credible information showing that continued custody of the child expectant mother by her parent or Indian custodian is likely to result in serious emotional or physical damage to the child expectant mother under s. 48.028 (4) (d) 1. and reliable and credible information showing that active efforts under s. 48.028 (4) (d) 2. have been made to prevent the breakup of the Indian child's family and that those efforts have proved unsuccessful. The petition shall set forth with specificity both the information required under this paragraph and the information required under par. (f).

(2) If any of the facts required under sub. (1) (a) to (cm), (f), and (g) or (1m) (a) to (d), (f), and (g) are not known or cannot be ascertained by the petitioner, the petition shall so state.

(3) If the information required under sub. (1) (e) or (1m) (e) is not stated, the petition shall be dismissed or amended under s. 48.263 (2).

(4) A copy of a petition under sub. (1) shall be given to the child if the child is 12 years of age or over and to a parent, guardian, legal custodian, and physical custodian. A copy of a petition under sub. (1m) shall be given to the child expectant mother, if 12 years of age or over, her parent, guardian, legal custodian, and physical custodian, and the unborn child's guardian ad litem or to the adult expectant mother, the unborn child's guardian ad litem, and the physical custodian of the expectant mother, if any. If the child is an Indian child who has been removed from the home of his or her parent or Indian custodian or the unborn child will be an Indian child when born, a copy of a petition under sub. (1) or (1m) shall also be given to the Indian child's Indian custodian and tribe or the Indian tribe with which the unborn child may be eligible for affiliation when born.

(5)Subsections (1) to (4) do not apply to petitions to initiate a proceeding under s. 48.375 (7).

History: 1977 c. 354; 1991 a. 263; 1995 a. 27, 77, 352; 1997 a. 292; 2001 a. 109; 2009 a. 94; 2013 a. 170; 2015 a. 373, 381.

A CHIPS petition that alleged that a child was the victim of sexual abuse, but contained no information giving rise to an inference that there was something the court could do for the child that was not already being provided, was insufficient. Interest of Courtney E. 184 Wis. 2d 592, 516 N.W.2d 422 (1994).

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