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Delaware Code Title 16. Health and Safety § 910. Court orders to compel

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(a) Whenever an investigation has been opened with the Department pursuant to § 906 of this title for potential abuse or neglect of a child, the Department shall have the authority to petition for an order from the Family Court:

(1) To obtain access to the child, or children, and the residence of child, or children; or

(2) To compel the appearance of a person at an office of the Department in furtherance of the investigation; or

(3) To compel compliance with a treatment plan previously agreed to by a child's parent or guardian, if noncompliance with the plan endangers a child's safety; or

(4) To compel completion of a substance abuse or mental health evaluation by the parent or guardian or completion of a developmental health screening for the child or children.

(b) The Family Court shall issue such an order upon the Department establishing by a preponderance of evidence that it provided written notice of its intent to file the petition and:

(1) For petitions requesting relief under paragraph (a)(1), (a)(2), or (a)(3) of this section:

a. That the Department has in good faith attempted on at least 2 separate prior occasions, at least 1 of which was by written communication sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to contact the person in question without success; or

b. That a child is in actual danger or there is an imminent risk of danger due to the Department's inability to communicate with the person or see the child or the child's residence;

(2) For petitions requesting relief under paragraph (a)(4) of this section, the investigation has revealed that substance abuse, mental health conditions, or developmental delays may be factors placing the child at risk of abuse or neglect.

(c) The Family Court shall enforce noncompliance with such an order pursuant to § 925(3) of Title 10.

(d) Petitions filed pursuant to this section may be granted on an ex parte basis if a child is at risk of imminent physical danger, provided that the Family Court shall consider all requests pursuant to paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2) and (a)(3) of this section within 2 business days of the request being made. The Family Court shall consider all petitions filed under paragraph (a)(4) of this section within 10 business days of the filing.

(e) For petitions filed under paragraph (a)(4) of this section against any parent or guardian who is indigent, that indigent parent or guardian shall have the right to request a Court-appointed attorney authorized to practice law in this State to represent the parent or guardian at no cost to that parent or guardian.

Cite this article: - Delaware Code Title 16. Health and Safety § 910. Court orders to compel - last updated January 01, 2022 |

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