parents rights in chips proceedings

Parents who learn that their child or children are the subject of a CHIPS case are right to be concerned. The outcome of these cases can see a court ordering your participation in educational courses, placing the child in temporary foster care, or even terminating your parental rights.

With these potential outcomes in mind, it is vitally important to understand your rights as a parent in CHIPS proceedings. This includes both your right to view the evidence that a petitioner intends to bring to court and your ability to defend yourself during all relevant hearings. An attorney at 29th and Law PC is ready to fight to defend your rights during a CHIPS case. Contact them now to hear more about how they work to preserve your right to raise your children.

Proper Service in CHIPS Proceedings

When a petitioner asks a court to intervene in the relationship between a child and a parent, they start a formal court case. This means that parents who are facing the possibility of court intervention have rights under the law. 

The first of these rights is the ability to know how and where the hearings will take place. Petitioners must provide proper service as outlined in the Minnesota Rules of Juvenile Protection Procedure § 16.02. This is the legally mandated method that gives parents the best chance to properly hear about the proceedings and make an appropriate response. A parent who alleges that they did not receive proper service concerning a CHIPS case can argue that a court’s decision concerning default or failure to appear was inappropriate since they did not have the proper opportunity to appear in court.

The Right to Evaluate Evidence

CHIPS cases often ask a court to intervene in the parent/child relationship. This relationship enjoys protection under the law, and courts must allow parents to mount a proper defense in the face of allegations. To this end, Minnesota law allows parents to evaluate the full spectrum of evidence that a petitioner intends to bring to court.

According to MN Rules of Juvenile Protection Procedure §17, petitioners in CHIPS cases must allow reasonable access to all evidence that relates to the case. This includes formal reports, photos, videos, and all other information that appears to speak as to the child’s status as a Child in Need of Protective Services (CHIPS). In addition, all parties who have evidence concerning the case who are not petitioners must allow the same access to parents. These rules of discovery exist to bring transparency to a case and allow responding parents to prepare arguments for court hearings.

The Right to Present Evidence in Court

All parents facing CHIPS-related allegations have the right to present evidence in court. This includes testifying personally concerning the accusations. It also allows parents to cross-examine the petitioner and any other witnesses about their observations or conclusions.

In addition, parents have the power of subpoena. Under MN Rules of Juvenile Protection Procedure § 12.01, parents may ask the court to order a witness to appear and provide testimony of that witness has material information about the matter at hand. An attorney at 29th and Law PC could help explain this subpoena power and works to identify all witnesses who could help protect a parent’s rights.

Contact an Attorney Now for More Information About Your Rights as a Parent in CHIPS Proceedings

The start of a CHIPS case in Minnesota means that a court is considering whether to alter or terminate a parent’s rights. As a result, parents have significant protections under the law. These include the ability to have proper notice about the case, the power to review all evidence that the court will consider, and the right to present additional evidence on their behalf.
A lawyer at 29th and Law PC is ready to fight to protect these rights. They are ready to make the necessary legal arguments on your behalf that preserve your rights as a parent. Contact them now to get started.