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Service of Process Issues and Practice in Juvenile Court Chuck Frye Staff Attorney, Davidson County DSS March 8, 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Service of Process Issues and Practice in Juvenile Court Chuck Frye Staff Attorney, Davidson County DSS March 8, 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Service of Process Issues and Practice in Juvenile Court Chuck Frye Staff Attorney, Davidson County DSS March 8, 2006

2 A common problem in abuse and neglect cases is the difficulty of locating parents who have a right to notice, particularly absent fathers. Thus, the right to notice may require unusually thorough attempts to notify the parents. Judges may become involved to a greater extent than in most litigation in ensuring that sufficient attempts have been made to locate the parents. Child Abuse and Neglect Litigation, a Manual for Judges, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (1981).

3 G.S. § 7B-407 Service of Summons Service per Rule 4(j) Service per Rule 4(j) Served on parent, guardian, custodian or caretaker Served on parent, guardian, custodian or caretaker Served not less than 5 days before hearing Served not less than 5 days before hearing

4 Rule 4(j) Service of Process Personal delivery Personal delivery Delivery to person at respondents usual abode Delivery to person at respondents usual abode Registered or certified mail Registered or certified mail Designated delivery service Designated delivery service

5 1. Service by Personal Delivery In North Carolina- by Sheriff of County In North Carolina- by Sheriff of County Outside North Carolina- by authorized summons server or by anyone over 21 not a party Outside North Carolina- by authorized summons server or by anyone over 21 not a party

6 2. Service by Delivery to Person Residing at Respondents Usual Abode Leave summons and petition with person other than respondent Leave summons and petition with person other than respondent Person must be of suitable age and discretion Person must be of suitable age and discretion Person must live with respondent Person must live with respondent

7 3. Service by Registered or Certified Mail Mail copy of summons and petition certified or registered mail Mail copy of summons and petition certified or registered mail Return receipt requested Return receipt requested To party to be served To party to be served

8 4. Service by Designated Delivery Service Fed Ex, UPS, or DHL only Fed Ex, UPS, or DHL only Requirements similar to service by mail Requirements similar to service by mail

9 Service by Publication Due diligence required for other service options Due diligence required for other service options Publish once a week for 3 successive weeks Publish once a week for 3 successive weeks Publish in newspaper where party located or where action is pending Publish in newspaper where party located or where action is pending

10 G.S. § 7B Service in Termination of Parental Rights Matters If name or address of parent is unknown efforts to determine identity or whereabouts of respondent must be alleged. If name or address of parent is unknown efforts to determine identity or whereabouts of respondent must be alleged. Court has not formulated a restrictive mandatory checklist to satisfy due diligence. Court has not formulated a restrictive mandatory checklist to satisfy due diligence.

11 G.S. § 7B-1105 Hearing to Identify Unknown Parent If name or identity unknown, hearing must be conducted within ten days of filing of petition. If name or identity unknown, hearing must be conducted within ten days of filing of petition. If court is unable to ascertain identity or name of unknown parent, court will order publication of notice of TPR proceeding. If court is unable to ascertain identity or name of unknown parent, court will order publication of notice of TPR proceeding.

12 Diligent Efforts to Locate Absent Parent

13 Contact Information: Chuck Frye Davidson County DSS (fax)


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