TITLE XII
PUBLIC SAFETY AND WELFARE

Chapter 169-D
CHILDREN IN NEED OF SERVICES

Section 169-D:1

    169-D:1 Applicability of Chapter; Purpose. –
This chapter shall apply to children in need of services as hereinafter defined and shall be construed and administered in accordance with the following purposes and policies:
I. To recognize that certain behaviors occurring within a family or school environment indicate that a child is experiencing serious difficulties and is in need of services and corrective action in order to protect the child from the irreversibility of certain choices, and to protect the integrity of the family and the authority it must maintain in order to fulfill its responsibilities to raise the next generation. To further provide the child with the treatment, care, guidance, counseling, discipline, supervision, and rehabilitation necessary to assist him in becoming a responsible and productive member of society;
II. To recognize that we must no longer bring the weight of family problems down on the child alone but that parents must be made aware of their contribution to the problem and must account for their role in the solution of the problem, and must accept the responsibility to participate in any program of care ordered by the court in order to assure that the outcome may have a good probability of success while, at the same time, supporting families in their mission to teach values to youth and to exercise reasonable control of their children;
III. To keep a child, whenever possible, in contact with his home community and in a family environment by preserving and strengthening the unity of the family and separating the child from his parents only when it is clearly necessary for his welfare or the interests of public safety, and when it can be clearly shown that a change in custody and control will benefit the child;
IV. To protect the integrity of the family by authorizing adjudication and the imposition of dispositional judgment requiring participation in a plan of services or by offering appropriate voluntary alternatives; and
V. To provide effective judicial procedures through which family service plans are executed and enforced, and which assure the parties fair hearings at which their constitutional and other rights as citizens are recognized and protected.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1990, 201:6. 1999, 266:1, 2. 2013, 249:1, eff. Sept. 1, 2013.

Section 169-D:2

    169-D:2 Definitions. –
In this chapter:
I. "Child" means a person who is under the age of 18 on the date the petition is filed pursuant to RSA 169-D:5.
II. "Child in need of services" means a child under the age of 18:
(a) Who is subject to compulsory school attendance, and who is habitually, willfully, and without good and sufficient cause truant from school;
(b) Who habitually runs away from home, or who repeatedly disregards the reasonable and lawful commands of his or her parents, guardian, or custodian and places himself or herself or others in unsafe circumstances;
(c) Who has exhibited willful repeated or habitual conduct constituting offenses which would be violations under the criminal code of this state if committed by an adult or, if committed by a person 16 years of age or older, would be violations under the motor vehicle code of this state; or
(d) With a diagnosis of severe emotional, cognitive, or other mental health issues who engages in aggressive, fire setting, or sexualized behaviors that pose a danger to the child or others and who is otherwise unable or ineligible to receive services under RSA 169-B or RSA 169-C; and
(e) Is expressly found to be in need of care, guidance, counseling, discipline, supervision, treatment, or rehabilitation.
III. "Conditional release" means a legal status created by a court order following an adjudication that a child is a child in need of services and shall be permitted to remain in the community, including his or her home, subject to:
(a) The conditions and limitations of his or her conduct prescribed by the court.
(b) Such counseling and treatment as are deemed necessary, pursuant to methods and counseling prescribed by the court, for the minor and his or her family.
(c) The supervision of juvenile probation and parole officers as authorized by RSA 170-G:16.
(d) Return to the court for violation of the conditions of the release and change of the disposition at any time during the term of the conditional release.
IV. "Court" means the district court, unless otherwise indicated.
V. "Custody" means a legal status created by court order wherein the department of health and human services has placement and care responsibility for the child.
VI. "Diversion" means a decision made by a person with authority which results in providing an individually designed program for delivery of services for the child by a specific provider, or a plan to assist the child in finding a remedy for his or her inappropriate behavior. The goal of diversion is to prevent further involvement of the child in the formal legal system. Diversion of a child may take place either at pre-filing as an alternative to the filing of a petition or at any time after the filing of the petition.
VII. "Home detention" means court-ordered confinement of a minor with his or her parents or other specified home for 24 hours a day unless otherwise prescribed by written court order, under which the minor is permitted out of the residence only at such hours and in the company of persons specified in the court order establishing the home detention.
VIII. "Restitution" means moneys, compensation, work, or service which is reimbursed by the offender to the victim who suffered personal injury or economic loss.
IX. "Services" means care, guidance, counseling, discipline, supervision, treatment and rehabilitation or any combination thereof.
X. "Concurrent plan" means an alternate permanency plan in the event that a minor cannot be safely reunified with his or her parents.
XI. "Out-of-home placement" means when a minor, as the result of a delinquent petition, is removed from a biological parent, adoptive parent, or legal guardian of the minor and placed in substitute care with someone other than a biological parent, adoptive parent, or legal guardian. Such substitute care may include placement with a custodian, guardian, relative, friend, group home, crisis home, shelter care, or a foster home.
XII. "Permanency hearing" means a court hearing for a minor in an out-of-home placement to review, modify, and/or implement the permanency plan or adopt the concurrent plan.
XIII. "Permanency plan" means a plan for a minor in an out-of-home placement that is adopted by the court and that provides for timely reunification, termination of parental rights or parental surrender when an adoption is contemplated, guardianship with a fit and willing relative or another appropriate party, or another planned permanent living arrangement.
XIII-a. "Psychotropic medication" means a drug prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner, to treat illnesses that affect psychological functioning, perception, behavior, or mood.
XIII-b. "Medication restraint" means the involuntary administration of any medication, including a psychotropic medication, for the purpose of immediate control of behavior.
XIV. "Shelter care facility" means a non-secure or staff-secure facility for the temporary care of children no less than 11 nor more than 17 years of age. Shelter care facilities may be utilized for children prior to or following adjudication or disposition. A shelter care facility may not be operated in the same building as a facility for architecturally secure confinement of children or adults.
XV. "Truant" means a child between the ages of 6 and 18 years who is either not attending school as required by law or who is not participating in an alternative learning plan under RSA 193:1. "Truancy" shall have the same meaning as in RSA 189:35-a.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1987, 402:10. 1989, 285:5, 6. 1990, 201:7, 8. 1995, 308:74. 1999, 266:3. 2000, 294:10. 2007, 236:18; 325:11. 2011, 224:279. 2013, 249:2, 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2013; 249:18, eff. Sept. 22, 2013. 2021, 182:5, eff. Jan. 1, 2022.

Section 169-D:3

    169-D:3 Jurisdiction. –
I. The court shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over all proceedings alleging a child is in need of services.
II. The court may, with the consent of the child, retain jurisdiction over any child who, prior to his eighteenth birthday, was found to be a child in need of services, and who is attending school for the purpose of obtaining a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma. The court shall make orders relative to the support and maintenance of the child during the period after the child's eighteenth birthday as justice may require.
III. The court shall close the case when the child reaches age 18, or if jurisdiction is retained, when the child ceases to be enrolled as a full-time student during sessions of the school, or graduates from such school, or upon reaching the age of 21, whichever shall first occur.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1992, 11:2, eff. July 1, 1992.

Section 169-D:4

    169-D:4 Venue. –
I. Proceedings under this chapter may be originated in any judicial district in which the child is found or resides.
II. By the court, upon its own motion, or that of any party, proceedings under this chapter may, upon notice and acceptance, be transferred to another court as the interests of justice or convenience of the parties require.
III. When a child who is on conditional release moves from one political subdivision to another, the court may transfer, upon notice and acceptance, to the court with jurisdiction over the political subdivision of the child's new residence, if such transfer is in the best interest of the child.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1987, 402:8, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

Section 169-D:4-a

    169-D:4-a Filing Reports, Evaluations, and Other Records. – All reports, evaluations and other records from the department of health and human services, counselors, and guardians ad litem in proceedings under this chapter shall be filed with the court and all other parties at least 5 days prior to any hearing. Once filed with the court and given to all other parties, the report, evaluation or other record need not be refiled during the proceeding. Failure to comply with the provisions of this section shall not be grounds for dismissal of the petition.

Source. 1991, 57:3. 1994, 212:2. 1995, 310:181, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 169-D:5

    169-D:5 Petition. –
I. (a) A petition alleging that a child is in need of services under RSA 169-D:2, II(a) may be filed by a truant officer or school official from the school district where the child is attending school with a judge or clerk of the court in the judicial district where the child is found or resides. In accordance with RSA 189:36, II, a truant officer or school official shall not file a petition alleging that a child is in need of services under RSA 169-D:2, II(a) until all steps in the school district's intervention process under RSA 189:34, II have been followed.
(b) A petition alleging that a child is in need of services under RSA 169-D:2, II(b) or RSA 169-D:2, II(c) may be filed by a parent, legal guardian or custodian, school official, or law enforcement officer with a judge or clerk of the court in the judicial district in which the child is found or resides.
(c) A petition alleging that a child is in need of services under RSA 169-D:2, II(d) may, with the consent of the department, be filed by a parent, legal guardian or custodian, school official, or law enforcement officer with a judge or clerk of the court in the judicial district in which the child is found or resides.
I-a. The petition shall be in writing and verified under oath. The following notice shall be printed on the front of the petition in bold in no smaller than 14 point font size: "See back for important information and financial obligations." The back of the petition shall include the following notice: "If you have private insurance coverage, you may be required to cooperate with your insurance carrier and assign benefits to the department of health and human services for covered services provided to your child or family in this proceeding.
II. To be legally sufficient, the petition must set forth with particularity, but not be limited to, the date, time, manner and place of the conduct alleged and should state the statutory provision alleged to have been violated.
II-a. Any petition filed shall include language demonstrating whether appropriate voluntary services have been attempted, the nature of voluntary services attempted, and the reason court compulsion is necessary. The petition also shall include information regarding the department's determination as to whether voluntary services are appropriate for the child or family under RSA 169-D:5-c. Refusal of the child to participate in the development of a voluntary family services plan may constitute sufficient information that voluntary service and support options have been unsuccessful.
III. If the parents of a child are filing the petition, they shall include information which shows that the child and family have sought to resolve the expressed problem through available community alternatives, that the problem still remains, and that court intervention is needed.
IV. [Repealed.]
V. Except as provided in paragraph VI, when a school official is filing the petition, information shall be included which shows that the legally liable school district has sought to resolve the expressed problem through available educational approaches, that the school district has sought to engage the parents or guardian in solving the problem but they have been unwilling or unable to do so; that the problem remains, and that court intervention is needed.
VI. When a school official is filing a petition involving a child with a disability pursuant to RSA 186-C, he or she shall include information which demonstrates that the legally liable school district:
(a) Has determined that the child has a disability; and
(b) Has reviewed for appropriateness the child's current individualized education program (IEP) and placement, and has made modifications where appropriate.
VII. Using local law enforcement personnel, the court shall serve both parents, and any other individual chargeable by law for the child's support, with a copy of any petition filed under this section. The court shall request the appropriate contact information from the party filing the petition.
VIII. The department shall develop a brochure that describes the department's responsibility for the cost of services provided under this chapter. The brochure shall include a statement that the department may require a parent or guardian to assign insurance benefits to the department for services provided under this chapter. The brochure shall also clarify that the legally liable school district is responsible for any special education costs. The brochure shall be available to the public and shall be distributed at the earliest available opportunity to parents and others responsible for the minor's support who are requesting or receiving voluntary or court ordered services. The department also shall provide its case workers with information and training on the requirements of this chapter.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1989, 285:7. 1990, 201:9. 1995, 308:75. 1999, 266:4. 2006, 291:1, 2. 2008, 274:11. 2009, 302:2. 2011, 224:280. 2012, 110:1, II. 2013, 249:4, 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2013. 2014, 57:1, 3, eff. Jan. 1, 2015. 2019, 196:1, 4, eff. Sept. 8, 2019. 2020, 26:22, 23, eff. July 1, 2020.

Section 169-D:5-a

    169-D:5-a Notice of Petition to Department of Health and Human Services. – Upon the filing of any petition under RSA 169-D:5, the court shall serve the department of health and human services with a copy of the petition and the department shall be a party to and shall receive notice of all proceedings under this chapter from the court and all other parties.

Source. 1995, 308:76; 310:175, 181. 2004, 31:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2005.

Section 169-D:5-b

    169-D:5-b Consent Order. –
I. At any time after the filing of the petition and prior to an order of adjudication pursuant to RSA 169-D:14, the court may suspend the proceedings upon its own motion or upon the motion of any party, and continue the case under terms and conditions established by the parties and approved by the court.
II. A consent order shall not be approved unless the department consents and the child and parents, guardian, or custodian are informed of the consequences of the order by the court and the court determines that the child and parents voluntarily and intelligently consent to the terms and conditions of the order.

Source. 1995, 308:76; 310:175, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 169-D:5-c

    169-D:5-c Voluntary Services. – The department shall assess whether to offer the child and family, on a voluntary basis, any services permitted under RSA 169-D:17 except out-of-home placement of the child. The department may decline to offer services to a child or family if it concludes that the child does not meet the definition of child in need of services in RSA 169-D:2, II, or if the department otherwise determines that voluntary services are not appropriate for the child or family. The department shall document the basis for its decision. Notwithstanding RSA 541-A, the department's decision shall not be subject to appeal, nor shall the fact that the department declined to offer voluntary services preclude a person from filing a petition under RSA 169-D:5, I. Voluntary services provided under this section shall not exceed 9 months, unless the department determines that an extension for an additional, specified period of time is appropriate.

Source. 2013, 249:6, eff. Sept. 1, 2013.

Section 169-D:6

    169-D:6 Issuance of Summons and Notice. –
I. (a) After a legally sufficient petition has been filed, unless the case is referred to the department pursuant to RSA 169-D:5 or a consent order is entered and approved, the court shall schedule an initial appearance and issue a summons, including a copy of the petition, to be served personally upon the person having custody or control of the child or with whom the child may be, requiring that person to appear with the child on the specified date and time.
(b) If personal service is not possible, service shall occur at the usual place of abode of the person having custody or control of the child or with whom the child may be, requiring that person to appear with the child at a specified place and time which time shall not be less than 24 hours after service. If the person so notified is not the parent or guardian of the child, then a parent or guardian shall be notified, provided they and their residence are known.
II. A copy of the petition shall be attached to each summons or incorporated therein.
III. The summons shall state as follows: "With limited exception, the department of health and human services shall be responsible for the cost of services provided under this chapter. RSA 186-C regarding children with disabilities grants children and their parents certain rights to services from school districts at public expense and to appeal school district decisions regarding services to be provided."

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1983, 458:9. 1990, 140:2, X. 1995, 308:77. 1999, 199:1; 266:5. 2006, 291:3. 2008, 274:31. 2013, 249:7, eff. Sept. 1, 2013. 2020, 26:24, eff. July 1, 2020.

Section 169-D:7

    169-D:7 Failure to Appear; Warrant. –
I. Any person summoned who, without reasonable cause, fails to appear with the child, may be proceeded against as in case of contempt of court.
II. If a summons cannot be served or the party served fails to obey the same, and in any case where it appears to the court that such summons will be ineffectual, a warrant may be issued for the child's appearance or for the appearance of anyone having custody or control of the child or for both.

Source. 1979, 361:2, eff. Aug. 22, 1979.

Section 169-D:8

    169-D:8 Temporary Custody. –
A child may be taken into temporary custody:
I. Pursuant to a court order; or
II. By a police officer or juvenile probation and parole officer when there are reasonable grounds to believe that a child has run away from his parents, guardian, or other custodian; or the circumstances are such as to endanger the child's health or welfare unless immediate action is taken.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1987, 402:12. 2000, 294:9, eff. July 1, 2000.

Section 169-D:9

    169-D:9 Pre-adjudicatory Procedure. –
I. Except in emergencies, the department, its agent, or any person or agency it designates shall determine whether voluntary service options are appropriate for the child and family. A referral for this determination may be made by any person permitted to bring a petition under RSA 169-D:5, I. To achieve this purpose, the department may designate a multi-disciplinary team to consider the facts and circumstances of the case, the needs of the child and family, and available diversion programs, services, and resources. This conference shall be attended by the child, if appropriate, his or her parents, legal guardians or custodians, and representatives of any public institution or agency having legal responsibility over the child, and may be attended by parties invited by the family and representatives of any public or private institutions or agencies having discretionary ability to coordinate and/or supply services to the child or family. If the child does not attend a multi-disciplinary conference, an appropriate individual shall be designated to solicit the child's input and help the child understand available service options and supports.
II. If available, a multi-disciplinary conference may be held at any time before or after a petition is filed but shall be held before the child's initial appearance pursuant to RSA 169-D:11.
III. At any time before or after a petition is filed, the child, his or her caretakers, and the department may effect an individualized voluntary family services plan, which shall include:
(a) Identification of the circumstances which contributed to the need for services.
(b) A description of the services that are needed for the child, the child's caretakers, or other family members, the availability of such services within the community, and a plan for ensuring that any such services that are available will be secured and provided.
(c) The name of the person within each affected public service agency who is directly responsible for assuring that specific services identified in the plan are provided.
(d) An estimate of the time anticipated to be necessary to accomplish the goals set out in the plan.
(e) Any other provisions deemed appropriate by the parties.
(f) Designation of a responsible person or agency for oversight of the plan.
IV. A voluntary family services plan shall set forth in writing the terms and conditions agreed to by the child, the child's caretaker, and all parties responsible for implementation of the voluntary family services plan. A written copy of the plan shall be submitted to each party or person responsible for implementation of the plan.
V. A voluntary family services plan may be amended by agreement of the parties at any time. If a petition has been filed, the amended plan shall be submitted to the court.
VI. If a petition has been filed and the department determines voluntary services are appropriate, a voluntary family services plan shall be submitted to the court. The voluntary family services plan shall stay the proceedings for a period not to exceed 90 days from the date of implementation, unless the parties agree, in writing, to an extension for additional periods not to exceed 90 days.
VII. When the petitioning person or agency, the court, the department, or a member of the multi-disciplinary team suspects that a child has a disability, an administrator at the responsible school district shall be notified. If appropriate, the school district shall refer the child for evaluation to determine if the child is in need of special education and related services.
VIII. A voluntary family services plan shall not be considered in an adjudicatory hearing pursuant to RSA 169-B or 169-D, or a criminal trial. Evidence of the existence of such agreement shall not be used against the child over objection in any juvenile adjudicatory hearing or criminal trial.
IX. Any incriminating statement made by the child during discussions or conferences incident to the voluntary family services plan shall not be used against the child, over objection, in adjudicatory hearing pursuant to RSA 169-B or 169-D, or a criminal trial. Any such statement may be reported as the basis for a referral to the department pursuant to RSA 169-C, if there is reasonable basis to believe that a child's physical or mental health or welfare is endangered by abuse or neglect.
X. A voluntary family services plan suspends the proceedings on the petition. If the child satisfies the terms of the voluntary family services plan, he or she shall be discharged from further services or supervision, and the pending complaint or petition shall be dismissed with prejudice.
XI. The cost for any services, placement, or programs provided pursuant to a voluntary family service plan under this section shall not be subject to parental reimbursement under RSA 169-D:29.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1999, 266:6. 2000, 294:9. 2008, 274:12. 2010, 175:5. 2011, 151:2. 2013, 249:8, eff. Sept. 1, 2013. 2014, 271:2, eff. July 28, 2014. 2019, 196:2, 5, eff. Sept. 8, 2019.

Section 169-D:9-a

    169-D:9-a Use of Alternative to Secure Detention. – An officer may, with court approval, release a child to an alternative to secure detention as defined in RSA 169-B:2, pending the arrival of the parent, guardian, or custodian. The alternative program may release the child to the parent, guardian, or custodian upon their arrival. Any court, police, or juvenile probation and parole officer, acting in good faith pursuant to this section, shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, which might otherwise be incurred or imposed as a result of release to an alternative to secure detention.

Source. 1988, 197:7. 2000, 294:9, eff. July 1, 2000.

Section 169-D:9-b

    169-D:9-b Prohibited Manner of Detention. – Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no child detained under this chapter shall be held for any period of time in a public or private facility, which includes construction fixtures designed to physically restrict the movements and activities of persons in custody, including but not limited to locked rooms and buildings, fences, or other physical structures. This section shall not be construed to prohibit detention in facilities where physical restriction of movement or activity is provided solely through facility staff.

Source. 1988, 197:7. 1992, 18:6, eff. Jan. 1, 1993.

Section 169-D:9-c

    169-D:9-c Detention in Certain Facilities; CHINS and Juvenile Delinquents. –
I. Facilities which are not physically restricted may receive for placement minors who have been adjudicated as children in need of services or minors who have been adjudicated as juvenile delinquents.
II. Physically restricted facilities shall receive for commitment and detention only those minors who have been adjudicated juvenile delinquents pursuant to RSA 169-B or who are awaiting the court's disposition regarding allegations of juvenile delinquency. Physically restricted facilities which are primarily used for psychiatric treatment or evaluation shall not be limited only to such minors.

Source. 1990, 201:10, eff. June 26, 1990.

Section 169-D:9-d

    169-D:9-d Placement in a Qualified Residential Treatment Program. –
For any child placed in a qualified residential treatment program, as defined in the federal Family First Prevention Services Act of 2017, the court shall:
I. Order an assessment to be completed within 30 days of placement by a qualified individual as defined by the federal Family First Prevention Services Act of 2017; and
II. Review the assessment and issue an order approving the placement or changing the placement within 60 days of placement.

Source. 2021, 122:71, eff. July 9, 2021.

Section 169-D:10

    169-D:10 Release Prior to Initial Appearance. –
I. An officer taking a child into custody pursuant to RSA 169-D:8 shall release the child to a parent, guardian or custodian pending initial appearance; however, if a parent, guardian or custodian is not available upon taking the child into custody, the court shall be notified, thereupon the child's release shall be determined by the court.
II. Pending the initial appearance, the court shall release the child to one of the following, which in the court's opinion is the least restrictive and most appropriate:
(a) A parent or guardian;
(b) A relative or suitable adult;
(c) Where there are reasonable grounds to believe that the child is a runaway under RSA 169-D:2, II(b) or that the child is a child in need of services under RSA 169-D:2, II(d), the custody of department of health and human services for placement in a foster home, as defined in RSA 169-C:3, XIII, a group home, a crisis home, or a shelter care facility with expenses chargeable as provided in RSA 169-D:29; or
(d) [Repealed.]
(e) An alcohol crisis center certified to accept juveniles.
III. Where there are reasonable grounds to believe that the child is a runaway under RSA 169-D:2, II(b) or that the child is a child in need of services under RSA 169-D:2, II(d) and there is no shelter care/detention bed available, nor an appropriate parent, guardian, or custodian as defined in paragraph II of this section available, the court or the officer taking the child into temporary custody shall notify the department. If the child cannot be referred to an alternative to secure detention, the court shall make an order authorizing the department to place the child. The department shall then promptly arrange for placement of the child.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1982, 39:15. 1988, 197:13. 1989, 285:8. 1995, 310:175. 2001, 117:6. 2007, 325:12, 15, III. 2013, 249:9, eff. Sept. 1, 2013.

Section 169-D:10-a

    169-D:10-a Removal of Child From Home. –
No child subject to a petition brought under this chapter shall be removed from his home unless:
I. Clear and convincing evidence is presented to the court to show it is against the child's best interest to remain in the home under the circumstances presented in such petition;
II. A case plan for return of the child to the home has been recommended by the department, which in its recommendation shall address parent and child responsibility, and ordered by the court; provided, however, that in cases brought by a parent, guardian or custodian, the parent, guardian or custodian shall consent to the order.

Source. 1990, 201:11. 1995, 310:175, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 169-D:10-b

    169-D:10-b Child's Welfare; Findings Regarding Removal. –
I. The court shall, in its first court ruling that sanctions, even temporarily, the removal of a minor from the home, determine whether continuation in the home is contrary to the minor's welfare.
II. The court shall, within 60 days of a minor's removal from the home, determine and issue written findings as to whether reasonable efforts were made or were not required to prevent the minor's removal. In determining whether reasonable efforts were made to prevent the minor's removal, the court shall consider whether services to the family have been accessible, available, and appropriate.

Source. 2007, 236:19, eff. Jan. 1, 2008.

Section 169-D:11

    169-D:11 Initial Appearance. –
I. An initial appearance shall be held not less than 24 hours nor more than 7 days from the filing of a legally sufficient petition.
II. At the initial appearance, the court shall:
(a) Advise the child in writing and orally of any formal charges;
(b) Appoint counsel pursuant to RSA 169-D:12;
(c) Establish any conditions for release;
(d) Set a hearing date; and
(e) Inquire of the child and a parent or guardian of the child if the child has been:
(1) Determined to have an intellectual disability;
(2) Determined to have a mental illness, emotional or behavioral disorder, or another disorder that may impede the child's decision-making abilities;
(3) Identified as eligible for special education services; or
(4) Previously referred to a care management entity as defined in RSA 135-F:4, III.
II-a. However, no plea shall be taken until the child has had the opportunity to consult with counsel or until a waiver is filed pursuant to RSA 169-D:12.
II-b. The court may, at the initial appearance or at any time thereafter, with the consent of the minor and the minor's family, refer the minor and family to a care management entity as defined in RSA 135-F:4, III for evaluation and/or behavioral health services to be coordinated and supervised by that entity.
III. After hearing, the court may, with the consent of the child, dispose of the petition by ordering the child to participate in a court approved diversion program or other intervention program.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 2010, 175:6. 2013, 249:10, eff. Sept. 1, 2013. 2014, 271:1, eff. July 28, 2014. 2019, 44:10, 11, eff. Aug. 2, 2019; 346:338, 339, eff. July 1, 2019.

Section 169-D:12

    169-D:12 Appointment of Counsel; Waiver of Counsel. –
I. Absent a valid waiver, the court shall appoint counsel for the child at the time of the initial appearance. If the court believes that the minor has a cognitive, emotional, learning, or sensory disability, the court shall require the minor to consult with counsel.
II. The court may accept a waiver of counsel from a child alleged to be in need of services only when:
(a) The parent, guardian, or custodian did not file the petition;
(b) Both the child and parent, guardian, or custodian agree to waive counsel;
(c) In the court's opinion, the waiver is made competently, voluntarily, and with full understanding of the consequences; and
(d) The petition does not allege that the child is in need of services pursuant to RSA 169-D:2, II(d).
III. Whenever the court places the child outside his or her home, the court shall ensure that the child is continuously represented by counsel until the case is closed pursuant to RSA 169-D:3, III. Appointment of counsel pursuant to this paragraph shall be made at a time sufficiently in advance of the decision to place the child outside the home to allow counsel to provide effective representation on the issue of placement.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1995, 308:78. 1996, 248:4. 2008, 274:13, eff. July 1, 2008. 2020, 26:33, eff. July 1, 2020; 26:34, eff. July 1, 2021.

Section 169-D:12-a

    169-D:12-a Repealed by 2020, 26:36, II, effective July 1, 2021. –

Section 169-D:13

    169-D:13 Release Pending Adjudicatory Hearing. –
I. Following the initial appearance, a child alleged to be in need of services may be ordered by the court subject to such conditions as the court may order, to be:
(a) Retained in the custody of a parent, guardian, or custodian; or
(b) Released in the supervision and care of a relative; or
(c) Where the petition alleges that the child is a habitual runaway under RSA 169-D:2, II(b) or that the child is a child in need of services under RSA 169-D:2, II(d), released to the custody of the department of health and human services for placement in a foster home, as defined in RSA 169-C:3, XIII, a group home, a crisis home, or a shelter care facility with expenses chargeable as provided in RSA 169-D:29.
(d) [Repealed.]
I-a. Where the petition alleges that the child is a habitual truant under RSA 169-D:2, II(a), that the child repeatedly disregards the reasonable and lawful commands of his or her parents, guardian, or custodian under RSA 169-D:2, II(b), or that the child repeatedly or habitually engages in conduct that constitutes violation level offenses under RSA 169-D:2, II(c), the court shall not order the out-of-home placement of the child.
II. The adjudicatory hearing shall be held within 21 days of the initial appearance.
III. All orders issued pursuant to this section shall set forth the findings as to the form of release or any conditions in writing and shall state any custody provisions under paragraph I.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1982, 39:16. 2001, 117:7. 2007, 325:13, 15, IV. 2013, 249:11, eff. Sept. 1, 2013.

Section 169-D:13-a

    169-D:13-a Notification of Right to Request Records. – The court shall notify parties of their right to request in advance of any hearing under this chapter that a record of such hearing shall be preserved and made available to the parties.

Source. 1996, 248:5, eff. Jan. 2, 1997.

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.

Section 169-D:15

    169-D:15 Burden of Proof. – The petitioner has the burden to prove the allegations in support of the petition beyond a reasonable doubt.

Source. 1979, 361:2, eff. Aug. 22, 1979.

Section 169-D:16

    169-D:16 Release Pending Final Disposition. – Following the adjudicatory hearing, custody pending the dispositional hearing shall be determined in accordance with RSA 169-D:13.

Source. 1979, 361:2, eff. Aug. 22, 1979.

Section 169-D:17

    169-D:17 Dispositional Hearing. –
I. If the court finds the child is in need of services, it shall order the least restrictive and most appropriate disposition considering the facts in the case, the investigation report, and the dispositional recommendations of the parties and counsel. The dispositional recommendation of the department of health and human services shall include the costs of the recommended services, placements, and programs. Such disposition may include:
(a) Permitting the child to remain with a parent, guardian, relative, or custodian, subject to such limitations and conditions as the court may prescribe, including:
(1) Ordering the child or parent, guardian, relative, or custodian, or both, to accept individual or family counseling;
(2) Placing the child on conditional release for a term of 2 years or less.
(b)(1) Releasing the child in the supervision and care of a relative or suitable adult; or
(2)(A) Where the petition alleges that the child is a habitual runaway under RSA 169-D:2, II(b) or that the child is a child in need of services under RSA 169-D:2, II(d), releasing the child to the custody of the department of health and human services for placement in a foster home, as defined in RSA 169-C:3, XIII, a group home, a crisis home, or a shelter care facility.
(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), where the petition alleges that the child is a habitual truant under RSA 169-D:2, II(a), that the child repeatedly disregards the reasonable and lawful commands of his or her parents, guardian, or custodian under RSA 169-D:2, II(b), or that the child repeatedly or habitually engages in conduct that constitutes violation level offenses under RSA 169-D:2, II(c), the court shall not order the out-of-home placement of the child.
(c) Imposing a fine or restitution, or both, on a child who has committed an offense which, if committed by an adult, would be a violation under the criminal code of this state; or has committed an offense which, if committed by a person 16 years of age or older, would be a violation under the motor vehicle code of this state; or has violated an ordinance or bylaw of a city or town. Such fine shall not exceed the fine which may be imposed against an adult for the same offense.
(d) Ordering the minor to perform up to 50 hours of uncompensated public service subject to the approval of the elected or appointed official authorized to give approval of the city or town in which the offense occurred. The court's order for uncompensated public service shall include the name of the official who will provide supervision to the minor. However, no person who performs such public service under this subparagraph shall receive any benefits that such employer gives to its other employees, including, but not limited to, workers' compensation and unemployment benefits and no such employer shall be liable for any damages sustained by a person while performing such public service or any damages caused by that person unless the employer is guilty of gross negligence.
(e) Requiring any child to attend structured after-school or evening programs which address some of the child's compliance issues, as well as supervise the child during the time of the day in which the child most values his or her freedom and the time which is most often used to perform unruly acts. The cost of said programs shall be paid by private insurance, if available, or otherwise by the department. Services shall be for those programs that have been certified pursuant to RSA 170-G:4, XVIII.
I-a. In the case of a child for whom behavioral health services are being coordinated by a care management entity as defined in RSA 135-F:4, the court shall solicit and consider treatment and service recommendations from the entity. If the court orders a disposition which is not consistent with the entity's recommendations, it shall make written findings regarding the basis for the disposition and the reasons for its determination not to follow the recommendations.
II. Any child placed under this section with someone other than a relative shall be placed in a residential care facility licensed pursuant to RSA 170-E. If a child is placed out of state, the provisions of RSA 170-A shall be followed.
II-a. When a minor is in an out-of-home placement, the court shall adopt a concurrent plan other than reunification for the minor. The other options for a permanency plan include termination of parental rights or parental surrender when an adoption is contemplated, guardianship with a fit and willing relative or another appropriate party, or another planned permanent living arrangement.
II-b. When a dispositional order places a minor in an out-of-home placement pursuant to RSA 169-B:19, I(e) or (f), prior to concluding the dispositional hearing the court shall set a date for a permanency hearing pursuant to RSA 169-D:21-a.
II-c. A dispositional order for inpatient treatment at an alcohol or drug treatment facility may only be issued following a finding that the child requires substance use disorder services pursuant to an evaluation by any licensed health care professional making the decision based on American Society of Addiction Medicine criteria.
III. The court may order the child or the family or both to undergo physical treatment or treatment by a mental health center or any other psychiatrist, psychologist, psychiatric social worker or family therapist as determined by the court.
III-a. In addition to any other disposition, the court may, with the consent of the minor and the minor's family, refer the minor and family to a care management entity as defined in RSA 135-F:4 III for behavioral health services to be coordinated and supervised by that entity. Such a referral may be accompanied by one or more other dispositions in this section, if otherwise authorized and appropriate.
IV. All dispositional orders issued pursuant to this section shall include written findings as to the basis for the disposition and such conditions as the court imposes, and a specific plan of the services to be provided, including but not limited to those listed in paragraphs I, II and III.
V. (a) The court may punish a child or his parent or parents for contempt of court for refusal to participate in the specific dispositional plan as ordered by the court pursuant to paragraph IV.
(b) Any child or his parent or parents prosecuted for contempt under this paragraph shall be afforded notice of the essential facts constituting the criminal contempt charged, a hearing, counsel, and shall be adjudged guilty of criminal contempt only upon proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
(c) A child found guilty of contempt may be immediately detained in home detention or placed in a shelter care facility.
VI. If the judge orders services, placements, or programs different from the recommendations of the department, the judge shall include a statement of the costs of the services, placements, and programs so ordered.
VII. Prior to any 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. At such hearing the court shall consider the recommendations of the school district and if such an out-of-district placement is ordered the court shall make written findings that describe the reasons for the placement.
VIII. The court may issue such orders as are necessary to ensure provision of services under this chapter, provided that any order issued involving the department of education or a legally liable school district shall comply with RSA 169-B:22.
IX. The department shall ensure that, when psychotropic medication is prescribed for children in foster care, appropriate medication monitoring is provided pursuant to current American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) Standards.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1981, 401:1. 1982, 39:17. 1983, 416:9. 1987, 402:11. 1989, 285:9. 1990, 201:12; 257:7. 1992, 284:4. 1994, 81:3; 212:2. 1995, 181:4; 308:79, 80; 310:175, 181. 1999, 266:9. 2001, 117:2; 286:19. 2007, 236:20; 295:6; 325:14, 17. 2008, 213:1; 274:14. 2011, 224:29. 2013, 249:12, eff. Sept. 1, 2013. 2017, 156:171, eff. July 1, 2017. 2019, 44:12, 13, eff. Aug. 2, 2019; 346:340, 341, eff. July 1, 2019. 2020, 26:25, 26, eff. July 1, 2020. 2021, 182:6, eff. Jan. 1, 2022.

Section 169-D:17-a

    169-D:17-a Out-of-District Placement. – In the case of an out-of-district placement, the appropriate court shall notify the department of education on the date that the court order is signed, stating the initial length of time for which such placement is made. This section shall apply to the original order and all subsequent modifications of that order.

Source. 1991, 324:3, eff. Aug. 27, 1991.

Section 169-D:17-b

    169-D:17-b Presumption in Favor of In-State Placements. – There shall be a presumption that an in-state placement is the least restrictive and most appropriate placement. The court may order an out-of-state placement only upon an express written finding that there is no appropriate in-state placement available.

Source. 1995, 308:81, eff. July 1, 1995.

Section 169-D:17-c

    169-D:17-c Court Order for Services, Placements, and Programs Required for Minors From Certain Providers Qualified for Third-Party Payment. – The court, wherever and to the extent possible, shall order services, placements, and programs by providers certified pursuant to RSA 170-G:4, XVIII who qualify for third-party payment under any insurance covering the minor.

Source. 1996, 286:12, eff. June 10, 1996.

Section 169-D:18

    169-D:18 Disposition of Child With a Disability. –
I. At any point during the proceedings, the court may, either on its own motion or that of any other person, and if the court contemplates a residential placement, the court shall immediately, join the legally liable school district for the limited purposes of directing the school district to determine whether the child is a child with a disability as defined in RSA 186-C or of directing the school district to review the services offered or provided under RSA 186-C if the child has already been determined to be a child with a disability. If the court orders the school district to determine whether the minor is a child with a disability, the school district shall make this determination by treating the order as the equivalent of a referral by the child's parent for special education, and shall conduct any team meetings or evaluations that are required under law when a school district receives a referral by a child's parent.
II. Once joined as a party, the legally liable school district shall have full access to all records maintained by the district court under this chapter. The school district shall also report to the court its determination of whether the minor is a child with a disability, and the basis for such determination. If the child is determined to be a child with a disability, the school district shall make a recommendation to the court as to where the child's educational needs can be met in accordance with state or federal education laws. In cases where the court does not follow the school district's recommendation, the court shall issue written findings explaining why the recommendation was not followed.
III. If the school district finds or has found that the child is a child with a disability, or if it is found that the child is a child with a disability on appeal from the school district's decision in accordance with the due process procedures of RSA 186-C, the school district shall offer an appropriate educational program and placement in accordance with RSA 186-C. Financial liability for such educational program shall be as determined in RSA 186-C:19-b.
IV. In an administrative due process hearing conducted by the department of education pursuant to RSA 186-C, a school district may provide a hearing officer with information from district court records which the school district has accessed pursuant to paragraph II of this section, provided that:
(a) At least 20 days prior to providing any records to the hearing officer, the school district files notice of its intention to do so with the court and all parties to the proceedings, and no party objects to the release of records.
(b) The notice filed by a school district under this provision shall include, on a separate sheet of paper, the following statement in bold typeface: "Persons subject to juvenile proceedings have important rights to the confidentiality of juvenile court proceedings. This notice requests the disclosure of some of that information. If you object to the disclosure of information, you must file a written objection with the court no later than 10 days after the filing of the school district's notice. If you fail to object in writing, the court may allow private information to be revealed to the New Hampshire Department of Education hearing officer."; and
(c) Any objection by a party shall be filed with the court no later than 10 days after the filing of the school district's notice with the court, unless such time is extended by the court for good cause.
V. The court may, on its own initiative and no later than 13 days after the filing of the school district's notice to the court, issue an order directing the school district to show cause why the information should be disclosed to the hearing officer. Upon receipt of an objection or issuance of a show cause order, the court shall schedule an expedited hearing on the matter to determine if the requested records may be released. The court may rule without a hearing if the school district and a parent or legal guardian or the juvenile, if he or she has reached the age of majority, agree in writing to waive a hearing. Upon the filing of an objection or show cause order, the school district may file a reply explaining why the school district believes that the information should be disclosed to the hearing officer. In determining whether to authorize the disclosure of the information requested by the school district, the court shall balance the importance of disclosure of the records to a fair and accurate determination of the merits against the privacy interests of the parties to the proceedings, and render a written decision setting forth its findings and rulings. No information released to a hearing officer pursuant to this paragraph shall be disclosed to any other person or entity without the written permission of the court, the child's parent or legal guardian, or the juvenile if he or she has reached the age of majority, except that a court conducting an appellate review of an administrative due process hearing shall have access to the same information released to a hearing officer pursuant to this paragraph.
VI. In this section, "child with a disability" shall be as defined in RSA 186-C.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1983, 458:3. 1986, 223:14. 1987, 402:23. 1990, 140:2, X. 2008, 274:15, eff. July 1, 2008.

Section 169-D:18-a

    169-D:18-a Determination of Competence. –
I. At any point during the proceedings, the court may, either on its own motion or that of any of the parties, order the child to submit to a mental health evaluation for the purpose of determining whether the child is competent to have committed the offenses or acts alleged in the petition. The evaluation shall be completed within 60 days of the date of such order and shall be conducted by an agency other than the Philbrook center which is approved by the commissioner of health and human services, or conducted by a psychologist licensed in New Hampshire or a qualified psychiatrist, or by the Philbrook center only upon receiving prior approval for admission of the child for such evaluation by the commissioner of the department of health and human services. The evaluation shall be submitted to the court in writing prior to the hearing on the merits.
II. The court shall inform the child of his right to object to the evaluation; if he does object, he shall do so in writing to the court within 5 days of the court's order for the evaluation. The court shall hold a hearing to consider the objection, and may, for good cause, excuse the child from the evaluation.
III. Whenever such an evaluation has been made previously for consideration at a prior proceeding, it shall be jointly reviewed by the court and the evaluating agency before the case is heard. The evaluator shall keep records of having conducted the evaluation, but no reports or records shall be made available, other than to the court and parties, except upon the written consent of the child or his legal representative, parent or guardian or pursuant to RSA 169-B:35.

Source. 1990, 201:13. 1994, 212:2. 1995, 310:182. 1998, 234:6, eff. Oct. 31, 1998. 2020, 26:27, eff. July 1, 2020.

Section 169-D:18-b

    169-D:18-b Notice to School District of Out-of-Home Placement; Development of Transition Plan. –
I. If the department of health and human services recommends or initiates an out-of-home placement or a change in placement, whether within or out of the district, the department shall notify the school district as soon as possible of the change in placement and shall work with the school district to determine how, consistent with the best interest of the child, to assure the child's educational stability.
II. When necessary to transition the child to a different school or school district, the department and school district shall develop a transition plan for the child. The objective of the plan shall be to minimize the number of placements for the child and to facilitate any change in placement or school assignment with the least disruption to the child's education. To the extent appropriate, the child may be involved in the formation of the plan.

Source. 2018, 51:3, eff. July 14, 2018.

Section 169-D:19

    169-D:19 Modification of Dispositional Orders. – Upon the motion of a child, parent, custodian, guardian, counsel, or the department alleging a change of circumstances requiring a different disposition, the court shall conduct a hearing and pursuant to RSA 169-D:17 may modify a dispositional order; provided that the court may dismiss the motion if the allegations are not substantiated in the hearing.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1995, 308:82; 310:175, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 169-D:20

    169-D:20 Appeals. – An appeal, under this chapter, may be taken to the superior court by the child, parent, guardian or custodian, within 30 days of the final dispositional order, but an appeal shall not suspend the order or decision of the court unless the court so orders. The superior court shall hear the matter de novo, and shall give an appeal under this chapter priority on the court calendar.

Source. 1979, 361:2, eff. Aug. 22, 1979.

Section 169-D:21

    169-D:21 Periodic Review of Disposition Required. –
I. The court shall conduct periodic review hearings to review the disposition of a child under RSA 169-D:17. The court may review a case at any time.
II. At this hearing, the court shall determine whether the department has made reasonable efforts to finalize the permanency plan that is in effect. Where reunification is the permanency plan that is in effect, the court shall consider whether services to the family have been accessible, available, and appropriate.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 2007, 236:21, eff. Jan. 1, 2008.

Section 169-D:21-a

    169-D:21-a Permanency Hearings. –
I. For a child who enters an out-of-home placement prior to an adjudicatory finding and who is in an out-of-home placement for 12 or more months, the court shall hold and complete an initial permanency hearing within 14 months of the child's entry into out-of-home placement or within 12 months of the court's adjudicatory finding, whichever is earlier. For a child who enters an out-of-home placement subsequent to an adjudicatory finding and who is in an out-of-home placement for 12 or more months, the court shall hold and complete an initial permanency hearing within 12 months of the child's entry into out-of-home placement. For a child who is in out-of-home placement following the initial permanency hearing, the court shall hold and complete a subsequent permanency hearing within 12 months of the initial permanency hearing and every 12 months thereafter as long as the child is in an out-of-home placement.
II. At a permanency hearing the court shall consider whether the parent or parents and child have met the responsibilities pursuant to the dispositional orders issued by the court. If compliance with the dispositional orders pursuant to RSA 169-D:17 is not met, the court may adopt a permanency plan other than reunification for the child. Other options for a permanency plan include:
(a) Termination of parental rights or parental surrender when an adoption is contemplated;
(b) Guardianship with a fit and willing relative or another appropriate party; or
(c) Another planned permanent living arrangement.
III. At a permanency hearing the court shall determine whether the department has made reasonable efforts to finalize the permanency plan that is in effect. Where reunification is the permanency plan that is in effect, the court shall consider whether services to the family have been accessible, available, and appropriate.

Source. 2007, 236:22. 2008, 213:2, eff. Aug. 15, 2008.

Section 169-D:22

    169-D:22 Limitations of Authority Conferred. – This chapter shall not be construed as applying to persons 16 years of age or over who are charged with the violation of a motor vehicle law, an aeronautics law, a law relating to navigation of boats, a fish and game law, a law relating to title XIII, or a law relating to fireworks under RSA 160-B or RSA 160-C, and shall not be construed as applying to any minor charged with the violation of any law relating to the possession, sale, or distribution of tobacco products to or by a person under 21 years of age.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1995, 308:83. 1999, 348:16, eff. Jan. 21, 2000. 2019, 346:106, eff. Jan. 1, 2020. 2020, 37:116, eff. July 29, 2020.

Section 169-D:23

    169-D:23 Religious Preference. – The court and officials in placing children shall, as far as practicable, place them in the care and custody of some individual holding the same religious belief as the child or parents of the said child, or with some association which is controlled by persons of like religious faith. No child under the supervision of any state institution shall be denied the free exercise of his religion or that of his parents, whether living or dead, nor the liberty of worshipping God according thereto.

Source. 1979, 361:2, eff. Aug. 22, 1979.

Section 169-D:24

    169-D:24 Court Sessions. – All hearings shall be held separate from the trial of criminal cases and such hearings shall be held wherever possible in rooms not used for such trials. Only such persons as the parties, their witnesses, counsel and representatives of the agencies present to perform their official duties shall be admitted.

Source. 1979, 361:2, eff. Aug. 22, 1979.

Section 169-D:25

    169-D:25 Case and Court Records. –
I. All case records, defined in RSA 170-G:8-a, relative to children in need of services, shall be confidential and access shall be provided pursuant to RSA 170-G:8-a.
II. The court records of proceedings under this chapter shall be kept in books and files separate from all other court records. Such records shall be withheld from public inspection but shall be open to inspection by juvenile probation and parole officers, a parent, a guardian, a custodian, the relevant county, the minor's attorney and others entrusted with the supervision of the child. Additional access to court records may be granted by court order or upon the written consent of the minor. Once a child in need of services reaches 18 years of age, all court and police records shall be destroyed.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1987, 402:14. 1993, 266:5; 355:6. 2000, 294:10, eff. July 1, 2000.

Section 169-D:26

    169-D:26 Penalty for Disclosure of Records. – It shall be unlawful for any person to disclose court records, or any part thereof, to persons other than those entitled to access under RSA 169-D:25, except by court order. Any person who knowingly violates this provision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1993, 355:7, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Section 169-D:27

    169-D:27 Publication Restricted. – It shall be unlawful for any newspaper to publish, or any radio or television station to broadcast or make public the name or address or any other particular information serving to identify any child taken into custody, without the express permission of the court; and it shall be unlawful for any newspaper to publish, or any radio or television station to make public, any of the proceedings of any court hearing.

Source. 1979, 361:2, eff. Aug. 22, 1979.

Section 169-D:28

    169-D:28 Penalty for Forbidden Publication. – The publisher of any newspaper or the manager, owner or person in control of a radio or television station or agent or employee of any of the above who may violate any provision of RSA 169-D:27 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Source. 1979, 361:2, eff. Aug. 22, 1979.

Section 169-D:29

    169-D:29 Liability for Expenses. –
I. (a) Whenever an order creating liability for expenses is issued by the court under this chapter, any expenses incurred for services, placements, and programs the providers of which are certified pursuant to RSA 170-G:4, XVIII, shall be payable by the department of health and human services.
(b) Subparagraph (a) shall not apply to expenses incurred for special education and related services, or to expenses incurred for evaluation, care, and treatment of the child at the Philbrook center or to expenses incurred for the cost of accompanied transportation.
(c) Liability for placement expenses for any court ordered placement of any minor mother under this chapter shall include liability for placement expenses for the child or children of such minor mother if the minor mother and child or children are placed at the same facility.
II. Services, programs, and placements payable by the department under this section shall include diversion services and services provided through a voluntary service plan.
III. Notwithstanding paragraphs I and II, the parents or other persons responsible by law for the minor's support and necessities shall promptly notify the department of any insurance benefits that may be available to pay for all or a portion of the services provided. If insurance coverage is available, the parents or other persons responsible by law for the minor's support and necessities shall cooperate with the insurance carrier and assign such insurance benefits to the department for services delivered by the department.
IV. The office of reimbursements acting on behalf of Laconia developmental services and the New Hampshire hospital is authorized to compromise or reduce any expense to be charged to the state.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1981, 555:3. 1982, 25:4. 1983, 458:6. 1985, 96:6; 380:39. 1987, 402:33, 34. 1988, 107:5; 153:3, 6. 1989, 75:3; 229:3; 286:3. 1990, 3:50; 203:3. 1991, 265:4. 1993, 266:6. 1994, 212:2. 1995, 220:4; 308:84, 85; 310:175, 181-183. 1996, 286:15, 18. 1997, 305:3. 2007, 263:22. 2008, 274:33. 2009, 144:35. 2010, 175:7, eff. Jan. 1, 2011. 2014, 57:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2015. 2017, 219:1, eff. July 10, 2017. 2018, 55:3, eff. July 14, 2018. 2019, 196:3, eff. Sept. 8, 2019. 2020, 26:28, eff. July 1, 2020.

Section 169-D:30

    169-D:30 Severability. – If any provision of this chapter or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held to be invalid, the remainder of the chapter and the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

Source. 1979, 361:2, eff. Aug. 22, 1979.

Section 169-D:31

    169-D:31 Data Collection; Reporting Requirement. –
I. The department shall establish a system to collect data related to:
(a) The person or entity who referred the child for services and/or filed the petition.
(b) The racial and ethnic identity of the child.
(c) The insurance status and coverage of child served.
(d) The length of time a child receives services under this chapter, including the time prior and subsequent to the filing of a petition.
(e) The identity of any public or private organization to whom the department has referred a child or family.
(f) Any other information, including outcome data, that may assist the department and the court in evaluating the availability and effectiveness of services for children who receive assistance under this chapter.
(g) The number of cases in which the department determined that voluntary services under RSA 169-D:5-c were not appropriate, and the basis for those decisions.
(h) The type of services offered and/or provided to a child on a voluntary basis and the type of services ordered by the court after adjudication and disposition.
II. The department shall, upon request, make available to members of the public, compilations of the data which do not contain identifying information.
III. Beginning on or before December 30, 2013, the department shall provide quarterly reports regarding cases handled pursuant to this chapter to the chair of the house children and family law committee, the chair of the senate health, education and human services committee, or to the chairs of their successor committees, as well as the chair of the joint fiscal committee. The reports shall include:
(a) The number of cases assessed pursuant to RSA 169-D:5-c.
(b) The number of cases declined for voluntary services and the bases for the declinations.
(c) The number of cases accepted for voluntary services and their ultimate disposition.
(d) The number of petitions filed pursuant to RSA 169-D:5, I, and their dispositions.
(e) The number of voluntary and court-based cases pending in each definition category of RSA 169-D:2, II at the beginning and end of the quarter.
(f) The type and cost of services provided in cases accepted for voluntary services and cases handled through the court, in each definition category of RSA 169-D:2, II.

Source. 2013, 249:13, eff. Sept. 1, 2013.