New Jersey DYFS Preliminary Hearing Attorneys
One of the first real court dates you will have is a brief first hearing, called a Preliminary Hearing. The Preliminary Hearing will happen when DYFS files its case against you (or soon after). At the Preliminary Hearing, the court will decide whether or not DYFS has stated adequate reasons to continue its case against you. If DYFS has removed (Dodd removal) or seeks to remove your child, the court must decide whether or not your child should be in placement while your case is pending.
When DYFS files the case, you will receive an Order To Show Cause telling you to come to court on a specific date. Many parents have their Preliminary Hearing on that date. If DYFS removed your child on an emergency basis, without going to court first, DYFS must file a complaint within 72 business hours of your child's removal. If you go to court then, you will have a Preliminary Hearing then. If you were not present when court signed DYFS's Order To Show Cause to remove your child, you can request a hearing and have one within three days of your request. Because this is such an important event, you should have a New Jersey DYFS Preliminary Hearing Attorney present to defend you.
At the hearing, the DAG will try to convince the judge that your child should be removed from you. Your New Jersey DYFS lawyer should fight back and do everything possible to make sure that your child is not taken away. One possibility is to arrange for supervision or services that might allow you to keep your child at home. For example, a relative may be able to live with you to supervise your contact with your child. Your lawyer may also be able to get DYFS to agree to have your child stay with you if you have a home health aide or intensive in-home counseling.