Code of the District of Columbia

§ 16–2312. Detention or shelter care hearing; intermediate disposition.

(a)(1) When a child is not released as provided in section 16-2311 and the child is alleged to be abused or neglected:

(A) A guardian ad litem shall be appointed to represent the child’s best interest within 24 hours (excluding Sundays) of the child having been taken into custody;

(B) A shelter care hearing shall be commenced not later than 72 hours (excluding Sundays) after the child has been taken into custody; and

(C) A petition shall be filed at or prior to the shelter care hearing.

(2) When a child is not released as provided in section 16-2311 and the child is alleged to be delinquent:

(A) A detention hearing shall be commenced not later than the next day (excluding Sundays) after the child has been taken into custody or transferred from another court as provided by section 16-2302; and

(B) A petition shall be filed at or prior to the detention hearing.

(3) When a child is not released as provided in [§ 16-2311] and the child is alleged to be a child in need of supervision:

(A) A shelter care hearing shall be commenced not later than 72 hours (excluding Sundays) after the child has been taken into custody; and

(B) A petition shall be filed at or before the shelter care hearing.

(a-1)(1) During the 72-hour period authorized in subsection (a)(1) of this section, the Agency may convene a family team meeting to solicit the input of family members, relatives, and others concerned with the welfare of the child to develop a safety plan approved by the Agency. At a minimum, the Agency shall invite parents, relatives, caregivers, community representatives, service providers, and the guardian ad litem appointed to represent the child’s best interest to attend a family team meeting.

(2) The Agency shall summarize the discussion from a family team meeting and record the safety plan approved by the Agency in the appropriate electronic database, and distribute a copy of the plan to all participants of the family team meeting. The safety plan shall clearly outline the roles and responsibilities of each participant and the target dates for each action set forth in the plan.

(b) Prompt notice of the detention or shelter care hearing shall be given, if delinquency or need of supervision is alleged, to the child, and to his spouse (if any), parent, guardian, or custodian, if he can be found, or, if neglect is alleged, to the child, and to the parent, guardian, or custodian named in the petition if he can be found. Counsel for the child, and in neglect cases counsel for the parent, guardian, or custodian, shall be entitled to a copy of the petition prior to the hearing.

(c) At the commencement of the hearing the judge shall advise the parties of the right to counsel, as provided in section 16-2304, and shall appoint counsel if required. He shall also inform them of the contents of the petition and shall afford the child, or in a neglect case, the parent, guardian, or custodian, an opportunity to admit or deny the allegations in the petition. He shall then hear from the Corporation Counsel to determine whether the child should be placed or continued in detention or shelter care under the criteria in section 16-2310. The child and his parent, guardian, or custodian shall have a right to be heard in their own behalf.

(d)(1) At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge shall —

(A) order detention or shelter care, setting forth in writing his reasons therefor, if he finds that the child’s detention or shelter care is required under the criteria in section 16-2310; or

(B) order the child released if he finds that the child’s detention or shelter care is not required under such criteria.

(2) If a child is ordered released under paragraph (1)(B) of this subsection, the judge may impose one or more of the following conditions:

(A) Placement of the child in the custody of a parent, guardian, or custodian or under supervision of a person or organization agreeing to supervise him.

(B) Placement of restrictions on the child’s travel, activities, or place of abode during the period of release.

(C) Any other condition reasonably necessary to assure the appearance of the child at a factfinding hearing or his protection from harm, including a requirement that the child return to the physical custody of the parent, guardian, or custodian after specified hours.

(3) If neglect is alleged, an order of shelter care under this subsection shall include a determination of whether:

(A) Reasonable efforts were made to prevent or eliminate the need for removal, or, in the alternative, a determination that the child’s removal from the home is necessary regardless of any services that could be provided to the child or the child’s family; and

(B) Continuation of the child in the child’s home would be contrary to the welfare of the child.

(e) When a judge finds that a child’s detention or shelter care is required under the criteria of section 16-2310, he shall then hear evidence presented by the Corporation Counsel to determine whether there is probable cause to believe the allegations in the petition are true. The child, his parent, guardian or custodian may present evidence on the issues and be heard in their own behalf.

(f) When a judge finds there is probable cause to believe the allegations in the petition are true, he shall order the child to be placed or continued in detention or shelter care and set forth is reasons. When a judge finds that there is not probable cause to believe the allegations in the petition are true, he shall order the child to be released.

(g) The Division at a detention or shelter care hearing may not postpone the determination of whether detention or shelter care is required. For good cause shown, however, the Division may grant a continuance of any other part of the hearing (including the filing of a petition) for a period not to exceed five days.

(h) On motion by or on behalf of the child, a child in custody shall be released from custody if his detention or shelter care hearing is not commenced within the time set herein.

(i) If a child is not released after his detention or shelter care hearing and the parent, guardian or custodian did not receive notice thereof, the Division may, in the interest of justice, conduct a new hearing in accordance with rules prescribed by the Superior Court.

(j) Upon objection of the child or his parent, guardian or custodian, a judge who conducted a detention or shelter care hearing shall not conduct a factfinding hearing on the petition.

(k) A presumption shall exist that a child will attend the same school that he or she would have attended but for the child’s entry into shelter care, unless it is determined that it is not in the child’s best interest to do so.


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 590, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 530, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 121(a); June 27, 2000, D.C. Law 13-136, § 301(c), 47 DCR 2850; Apr. 12, 2005, D.C. Law 15-341, § 5(a), 52 DCR 2315; Mar. 12, 2011, D.C. Law 18-312, § 3, 57 DCR 12398; Apr. 4, 2017, D.C. Law 21-238, § 102(d), 63 DCR 15312.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-2312.

1973 Ed., § 160-2312.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1515.01, § 7-2101, § 16-2305, § 16-2308, § 16-2310, § 16-2312a, and § 16-2328.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-136 added par. (3) of subsec. (d).

D.C. Law 15-341 rewrote subsec. (a) and added subsec. (a-1).

D.C. Law 18-312 adds subsec. (k).

Applicability

Section 7026 of D.C. Law 22-33 amended § 701(a) of D.C. Law 21-238, removing the applicability restriction impacting this section. Therefore the changes made to this section by D.C. Law 21-238 have been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-238: § 701 of D.C. Law 21-238 provided that the change made to this section by § 102(d) of D.C. Law 21-238 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of § 701|(a) of D.C. Law 21-238, see § 7026 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of § 701|(a) of D.C. Law 21-238, see § 7026 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 301(c) of the Adoption and Safe Families Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-117, July 28, 1999, 46 DCR 6558).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 301(c) of the Adoption and Safe Families Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-178, November 2, 1999, 46 DCR 9714).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 301(c) of the Adoption and Safe Families Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-240, January 11, 2000, 47 DCR 556).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(a) of Child in Need of Protection Emergency Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-724, January 19, 2005, 52 DCR 1945).

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 2(b) of Child in Need of Protection Emergency Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-724, January 19, 2005, 52 DCR 1945).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Juvenile Arraignments on Inauguration Day Emergency Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-643, January 5, 2009, 56 DCR 680).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 301(c) of Adoption and Safe Families Temporary Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Law 13-56, March 7, 2000, law notification 47 DCR 1978).