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Appendix 5400: Conservatorship Timeline

CPS December 2013

This timeline describes the sequence and deadlines for hearings under Chapter 263 of the Texas Family Code. The corresponding policies are in the items under 5500 Hearings Required by Chapter 263 and Final Orders for Children Under 18.

Day

Activities Required

Discussion and Comments

0

Ex parte order before Removal

The 365-day clock starts when DFPS gets temporary managing conservatorship (TMC), which may be ex parte (Texas Family Code §§262.101, 262.102)

0

Emergency ex parte order after removal

If the emergency possession is without a court order, an ex parte hearing must be held on the first working day after removal (maximum 3 days) (Texas Family Code §262.106).

14

Nonemergency order

If removal is ordered after a noticed hearing, the temporary order remains in effect until further order of the court and the next hearing is the status hearing.

14

Full adversary hearing, temporary orders, or return to the parent or relative are required

Court must inform each parent in open court that parental rights may be restricted or terminated unless the parent is willing and able to provide a safe environment for the child (Texas Family Code §262.201(c)).

15

Request to identify the court of continuing jurisdiction; motion to transfer (TFC §155.201 et seq)

If the court has rendered temporary orders, DFPS must request the identity of the court of continuing jurisdiction (Texas Family Code §262.202).

Transfer is mandatory, but does not affect the time limits for permanency. A motion to transfer may be filed outside the time limits in Chapter 155 (Texas Family Code §262. 203(b)).

45

File service plan

DFPS must file its service plan not later than 45 days from the date DFPS is appointed TMC (Texas Family Code §263.101).

60

Status hearing

Court must hold a hearing to review the child’s status and the permanency plan within 60 days after TMC is awarded (Texas Family Code §263.201).

Court must inform each parent in open court that parental rights may be restricted or terminated unless the parent is willing and able to provide a safe environment for the child (Texas Family Code §263.006).

170

Permanency progress report

DFPS must file a permanency progress report and serve it on all parties at least 10 days before each permanency hearing (Texas Family Code §263.303).

180

Initial permanency hearing

Ten days before the hearing, notice of the hearing and a copy of the permanency plan is provided to the parties, foster parents, and ad litems, including volunteer advocates (Texas Family Code §263.301(b); §263.3025(a)).

The court reviews the caseworker’s efforts to locate and serve the parties (Texas Family Code §263.301(c); also in 263.306(2)).

The child must attend the hearing, unless specifically waived by the court (Texas Family Code §263.302).

The court informs each parent in open court that parental rights may be restricted or terminated unless the parent is willing and able to provide a safe environment for the child (Texas Family Code §263.006).

The specific duties of the court are explained in Appendix 5531: Requirements for the Court in a Permanency Hearing.

290

Permanency progress report

File a permanency progress report and serve it on all parties at least 10 days before each permanency hearing (Texas Family Code §263.303).

300

Permanency hearing

Court may shorten, but may not extend the 120-day deadline for subsequent permanency hearings (Texas Family Code §263.305).

All requirements for initial permanency hearing apply.

364

Extension order

The court may extend the time by an additional 180 days from the original deadline if the court finds that there are extraordinary circumstances (Texas Family Code §263.401(b)).

The court may not grant additional extensions (Texas Family Code §263.401(c)); however, the court may place the child with a parent for up to 180 days of monitoring (Texas Family Code §263.403).

365

Commencement of trial on the merits or dismissal

A trial on the merits results in a final order. 

A final order is an order that does one of the following:

  •  Returns the child to a parent

  •  Grants managing conservatorship to a relative or other person

  •  Appoints DFPS as permanent managing conservator without terminating the parent-child relationship (within the limits of §263.404)

  •  Appoints DFPS as permanent managing conservator after terminating the parent-child relationship

If a final order results in termination and an award of permanent managing conservatorship to DFPS, the court must hold a Placement Review Hearing within 90 days of the final order and every six months thereafter to review:

  •  the child’s placement;

  •  DFPS’s permanency plan for the child;

  •  DFPS’s progress toward achieving that plan; and

  •  any other issues.

The requirements for these hearings are set out in Texas Family Code §§263.501-503 and summarized in Appendix 5581: Requirements for the Court in a Placement Review Hearing. The Placement Review Hearing continues as long as DFPS is managing conservator.

410

Permanency progress report (during extension)

DFPS must file a permanency progress report and serve it on all parties at least 10 days before each permanency hearing (Texas Family Code §263.303).

420

Permanency hearing (during extension)

All requirements for initial permanency hearing apply.

540

Deadline for the final permanency hearing (Another permanency progress report is required 10 days before this hearing)

The case must be dismissed on the next Monday following 18 months from the date that temporary managing conservatorship was granted to DFPS, unless either:

  •  the court has commenced a trial on the merits (Texas Family Code §263.401(b)); or

  •  the child has been placed with a parent for up to 180 days of monitoring (Texas Family Code §263.403)

**

Special rule when temporary placement for monitoring breaks down

The court may order DFPS to continue as temporary managing conservator for not more than 180 days with the child placed in the home of a parent for monitoring.

The court order must include specific findings of the grounds for the order and must establish a dismissal date not more than 180 days after the order is entered (Texas Family Code §263.403(b)).

If DFPS removes the child during the monitoring period, the deadline for dismissal or entry of a final order is the original dismissal date or 180 days after the removal of the child, whichever is later (Texas Family Code §263.403(c)).

 

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