"1 1 Assign Case Narrative"
Texas Office of Court Administration TexDECK Functional Requirements Process Name: Assign Case Process Identifier: 1.1 Process Purpose and Objectives: In the process of investigating reports of abuse and/or neglect under Chapter 261 of the Texas Family Code (TFC), if the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS or “the Department”) determines that a child should be removed or court orders are necessary for the protection of the child, the Texas Family Code (TFC) provides the various legal methods the Department is authorized to use to take possession of the allegedly abused or neglected child or achieve safety for the child while in possession of the parent or custodian. Each method requires that the department file a lawsuit. Process Description: When a case of alleged child abuse or neglect is determined, a DFPS investigative case worker and supervisor arrange for the initial petition to be filed by the attorney representing the Department, with the Texas District/County clerk in the county in which the child resides. If the county in which the child resides has special courts to handle child protective services cases, the case may be assigned to the special court. The clerk/court may document the following: Cause Number Style Filing Date Judge Court Referring Court DFPS Case Number DFPS Region County Of Jurisdiction Administrative Judicial Region TexDECK Functional Requirements Page 1 of 4 8/7/2012 1.1 Assign Case Texas Office of Court Administration TexDECK Functional Requirements Process Name: Assign Case Process Identifier: 1.1 Case Initiation Reason Case Status Case Appealed The following may be logged in the Register of Actions: Petition Filed Case Opened Schedule Proceeding [Initial/Emergency or Initial Hearing] Business Rules: 1. A petition must be filed. 2. The Filing Date may not be prior to the current date. 3. The Hearing Date may not be prior to the Filing Date. 4. The applicable timeline for the first hearing depends on how the case is initiated: If the child has been taken into possession by a governmental entity (usually DFPS) without a court order, the court is required to hold an initial hearing on or before the first working day after the date the child is taken into possession, or if unavailable, then on the first working day after the court becomes available, but no later than the third day after the child is taken into possession. If a governmental entity files suit requesting permission to take possession of a child without prior notice or a hearing, and the court issues an order authorizing the governmental entity to take possession, an initial hearing must be held within fourteen days of the date the child was taken into possession by the governmental entity If a governmental entity files suit requesting to take possession of a child after notice and a hearing, the Family Code does not impose a deadline by which an initial hearing must be held. Functional Standards and Best Practices: 1. Display/default only applicable demographic information, (e.g., Texas Administrative Judicial Region (AJR), county, and/or judge TexDECK Functional Requirements Page 2 of 4 8/7/2012 1.1 Assign Case Texas Office of Court Administration TexDECK Functional Requirements Process Name: Assign Case Process Identifier: 1.1 information). 2. Conduct locally defined and user checks to ensure case should be assigned to a specific court and display results. 3. Document reason for initiation, (e.g., new filing, transferred from another jurisdiction, reopened or remanded case). 4. Support electronic filing from electronic document to case processing system. 5. Create acknowledgement to appropriate parties that case filing received and accepted, and give them assigned cause number. Process Trigger(s): Key Sub-Process Participants: At the request of a Texas DFPS caseworker, an attorney DFPS Case Worker representing the Department files a lawsuit affecting the parent- child relationship (SAPCR) or a court order to provide the child DFPS Supervisor with specific protections with the district/county court. Filing/Prosecuting Attorney District/County Clerk/Coordinator Inputs: Report/Screen ID or Description Format Volume/Frequency Suppliers Child Protection Lawsuit, (petition Hard Copy Legal Multiple lawsuits/amendments Filing/Prosecuting Attorney requesting a court order to provide Document or Automated per child abuse/neglect case the child with specific protections or Filing modify custody) DFPS Sworn Affidavit, (description of Hard Copy or Automated Multiple lawsuits/amendments DFPS Case Worker the facts of the case, proving the Submission per child abuse/neglect case Department made diligent efforts to avoid removing the child and the justification for requesting the child’s removal) Outputs: Output Format Volume Recipients TexDECK Functional Requirements Page 3 of 4 8/7/2012 1.1 Assign Case Texas Office of Court Administration TexDECK Functional Requirements Process Name: Assign Case Process Identifier: 1.1 Open Case Automated Case File 1 per child abuse/neglect case District/County Court Log Action Automated Register of Actions 1 per action District/County Court Key Process Dependencies: Supporting Documentation: Elapsed Time for Process Cycle: This is the initiating process Texas CPS Legal Process Overview See Business Rule number 4 above Laws, Regulations, and Policies That Govern Process: Texas Family Code, Chapter 261, 262, 263 Texas DFPS Child Protective Services Handbook, 5000 Court-Related Services TexDECK Functional Requirements Page 4 of 4 8/7/2012 1.1 Assign Case