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Massachusetts Uniform Rules for Permanency Hearings Rule 3: Notice - Submission of Plan

[Disclaimer]

A. No less than one hundred twenty (120) days prior to the required hearing date in accordance with G.L. c. 119, § 29B, the clerk's office of the court wherein the hearing is to be convened shall send a list of cases to be scheduled for permanency hearings to the attorney for the Department.

B. The Department shall, within thirty (30) days of receipt of the list, advise the court in writing of the name of any child on the list who is no longer in the care or custody of the Department and the case will not be scheduled for hearing. In addition, the Department shall advise the court in writing whether the parents' rights to consent or receive notice of any petition for adoption. custody, guardianship or other disposition have been dispensed with pursuant to G.L. c. 119, § 26 or G.L. c. 210, § 3 or whether the parents have signed voluntary surrenders under G.L. c. 119, § 23(B) or G.L. c. 210, § 2.

C. No less than sixty (60) days prior to hearing date, the clerks office shall send notice of the hearing to the Department, to the petitioner, if different from the Department, to the child's attorney, and unless the parents' rights to consent or receive notice of any petition for adoption, custody, guardianship or other disposition of the child have been dispensed with, or the parents have signed voluntary surrenders, to the parents, by mailing to their last known addresses, or if the parents are represented by counsel, to their attorney(s) of record. Such notice shall inform the parties of the date, time, and location of the hearing, of their right to counsel pursuant to G.L. c. 119, § 29, and of the right to file objections pursuant to rule 3E. If a case is scheduled for permanency hearing and the child is no longer in the care or custody of the Department, the Department shall notify the court and all parties, or if the parties are represented by counsel, the attorneys of record, and the court will take the case off the hearing list. The time for notice provided in this paragraph shall not apply if the court has determined that reasonable efforts to reunify the family are not required pursuant to G.L. c. 119, § 29C.

D. If the child is in the care or custody of the Department, no less than thirty (30) days prior to the scheduled hearing date, the Department shall file the plan with the clerk's office, and, if so directed, with the probation office, and shall send copies to all parties or if the parties are represented by counsel, to the attorneys of record. However, if the court determines that reasonable efforts to reunify the family are not required pursuant to G.L. c. 119, § 29C, the Department shall file the plan and send copies as provided above within ten (10) days of entry of the reasonable efforts order.

E. No less than ten (10) days prior to the scheduled hearing date, any party objecting to the Department's plan must file with the clerk's office and mail to all parties or if the parties are represented by counsel, to the attorneys of record, a statement specifying the provisions to which he/she is objecting and the reasons therefor. Failure to file an objection will not, preclude a party from objecting to the plan at the hearing if the failure is due to excusable neglect or circumstances beyond his/her control.

F. The Department shall provide notice of the scheduled hearing date to the foster parent, pre-adoptive parent or relative providing care for the child who is the subject of the petition pursuant to G.L. c. 119, § 29D. Failure of the Department to comply with this section shall not preclude the court from proceeding with the hearing.

As amended, effective September 5, 2000.