TITLE XII
PUBLIC SAFETY AND WELFARE

CHAPTER 169-D
CHILDREN IN NEED OF SERVICES

Section 169-D:14

    169-D:14 Adjudicatory Hearing. –
I. An adjudicatory hearing under this chapter shall be conducted by the court, separate from the trial of criminal cases.
I-a. A record of the adjudicatory hearing shall be preserved unless expressly waived in writing by the parties, and parties shall be notified in writing of their right to appeal.
II. Following the initial appearance the court shall proceed to hear the case in accordance with the due process rights afforded a child alleged to be in need of services. The prosecution shall present witnesses to testify in support of the petition and any other evidence necessary to support the petition. The child shall have the right to present evidence and witnesses on his behalf and to cross-examine adverse witnesses. The provisions of RSA 613:3, I, relative to the summoning of out-of-state witnesses, shall apply to the proceedings.
III. If the court finds the child is in need of services, it shall, unless a report done on the same child less than 3 months previously is on file, order the department of health and human services or other appropriate agency to make an investigation and written report consisting of, but not limited to, the home conditions, school record and the mental, physical and social history of the child including sibling relationships and residences for the purpose of preserving relationships between siblings who are separated as a result of court ordered placement. Evaluations performed at the Philbrook center may occur only upon receiving prior approval for such evaluation from the commissioner of the department of health and human services or designee. When ordered by the court, such investigation shall include a physical and mental examination of the child, parents, guardian, or person having custody. The court may order a substance abuse evaluation of the child, parents, guardian, or person having custody. Any substance abuse evaluation of the parent, guardian, or person having custody of the child shall be conducted by a provider contracted with the bureau of substance abuse services, or a provider paid by the parent, guardian, or person having custody of the child. The cost of said evaluation shall be paid by private insurance, if available, or otherwise by the person undergoing the evaluation, to whom the evaluation shall be provided free or at a reduced cost if the person is of limited means. The court shall inform the parents, guardian, or person having custody and child of their right to object to the physical examination, mental health evaluation, or substance abuse evaluation. Objections shall be submitted in writing to the court having jurisdiction within 5 business days after notification of the time and place of the examination or evaluation. The court may excuse the child, parents, guardian, or person having custody upon good cause shown. No disposition order shall be made by the court without first reviewing the investigation report, if ordered.
IV. The court shall share the report with the parties. The report will be used only after a finding that the child is in need of services and will be used only as a guide for the court in determining an appropriate disposition for the child.
V. The court shall hold a final dispositional hearing within 30 days of the adjudicatory hearing unless continued for good cause. No dispositional hearing for a child placed outside the child's home may be continued more than once for good cause or for a period longer than 14 days, except by agreement of all the parties.
VI. Whenever a court contemplates a placement which will require educational services outside the child's home school district, the court shall notify the school district and give the district the opportunity to send a representative to the hearing at which such placement is contemplated. In cases where immediate court action is required to protect the health or safety of the child or of the community, the court may act without providing for an appearance by the school district, but shall make reasonable efforts to solicit and consider input from the school district before making a placement decision.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1985, 195:6. 1987, 402:13. 1990, 3:49. 1994, 212:2. 1995, 310:181, 182. 1996, 248:6. 1998, 203:4. 1999, 266:7, 8. 2004, 41:3. 2007, 295:5, eff. Sept. 11, 2007.