WSR 07-09-017

RULES OF COURT

STATE SUPREME COURT


[ April 5, 2007 ]

IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION OF NEW JuCR 11.3 )

)

ORDER

NO. 25700-A-868


The Superior Court Judges' Association having recommended the adoption of New JuCR 11.3, and the Court having approved the proposed amendments for publication;

Now, therefore, it is hereby

ORDERED:

(a) That pursuant to the provisions of GR 9(g), the proposed amendments as attached hereto are to be published for comment in the Washington Reports, Washington Register, Washington State Bar Association and Office of the Administrator for the Court's websites expeditiously.

(b) The purpose statement as required by GR 9(e), is published solely for the information of the Bench, Bar and other interested parties.

(c) Comments are to be submitted to the Clerk of the Supreme Court by either U.S. Mail or Internet E-Mail by no later than 60 days from the published date. Comments may be sent to the following addresses: P.O. Box 40929, Olympia, Washington 98504-0929, or Camilla.Faulk@courts.wa.gov. Comments submitted by e-mail message must be limited to 1500 words.

DATED at Olympia, Washington this 5th day of April, 2007.

For the Court

Gerry L. Alexander

CHIEF JUSTICE


GR 9 Cover Sheet

New JuCR 11.3

NOTICE TO FOSTER PARENTS, PREADOPTIVE PARENTS and RELATIVE CAREGIVERS


Purpose: Federal law requires the highest state court to have in effect a rule requiring state courts to ensure that foster parents, preadoptive parents and relative caregivers of a child in foster care under the responsibility of the state are notified of any proceeding to be held with respect to the child. (P.L. 109-239). The "Safe and Timely Interstate Placement of Foster Children Act of 2006" also gives foster parents, preadoptive parents and relative caregivers the right to be heard in those proceedings. The suggested rule would put Washington State in compliance with federal law. More importantly, it would ensure that those caring for our children in the foster care system under the responsibility of the Department of Social and Health Services receive timely notice of hearings so they may exercise their right to be heard by the court regarding those children. The federal law was signed July 3, 2006, and took effect October 1, 2006.


New JuCR 11.3

Notice to Foster Parents, Preadoptive Parents or Relative Caregivers


(a) Applicability. This rule applies to all proceedings under Chapter 13.34 RCW to be held with respect to a child in foster care under the responsibility of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Children's Administration ("the Department"). The Department is responsible for giving notice of such proceedings to the foster parents, preadoptive parents or relative caregivers who are providing care to the child at the time of the proceeding.

(b) Content of the Notice. The notice shall specify the time, place, and purpose of the proceeding, and shall inform the foster parents, preadoptive parents or relative caregivers of their right to be heard in such proceedings.

(c) Method of Giving Notice. Notice may be given by any means reasonably certain of notifying the foster parents, preadoptive parents or relative caregivers, including but not limited to, notice in open court, mail, personal service, telephone, telegraph and email.

(d) Time of Notice. Notice shall be provided at least five court days before such proceedings; in cases where the foster child is placed with the foster parents, preadoptive parents or relative caregiver less than five court days before the proceeding, the Department shall provide notice as soon as practicable before the proceeding.

(e) Verification of Notice. The Department shall provide the Court with written verification of to whom, where, when, and how notice of the proceeding was provided to the foster parents, preadoptive parents or relative caregivers.

(f) Party Status Not Conferred. This rule does not confer party status upon any foster parent, preadoptive parent or relative caregiver solely on the basis of such notice and right to be heard at a proceeding.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office