04 Nov Do I get a trial in 30 days if the State of California, or the other parent, tries to take my child?
The right to a speedy trial is found in both the United States Constitution and the California Constitution. However, this right only extends criminal courts and those courts don’t (and most likely never will) have jurisdiction over legal rights/legal custody of a child. Criminal courts can issue restraining orders but they cannot take a parent’s legal rights to his/her child away from them. I realize that you might be thinking that the wrong rights are being protected. I agree with you. California Penal Code (criminal code) 1382 requires that the trial usually begins 60 days after a defendant’s arraignment (30 or 45 days if the defendant is being charged with a misdemeanor or infraction). This helps an innocent defendant from having his/her life altered by false allegations.
In contrast, custody trials in family court often last for the child’s remaining lifetime as a minor. Trials in juvenile dependency courts can last a year, starting from the time the State of California removes the child from his/her home. Children remain in California’s custody/foster care for an average of 17 months before their parents’ rights to them are permanently terminated and they find “permanent” placement. However, we are starting to see far too many “adoptive” parents place their children back into the system because of divorce, stress, finances, etc. Possibly as many as 1 out of 20 “permanently placed” children get rejected by their new parents and become “second chance” adoptions. The State of California doesn’t have adequate records because many of these “second chance” adoptions are completely private.
California continues to have the largest number of children entering the foster care system each year in the United States. Furthermore, children of color continue to be vastly overrepresented in the foster care system and the statistics regarding the State of California charging their parents charges with abuse and neglect don’t tie out. All the more reason for the State of California to grant jury trial rights as an option for parents (and speedily according to the RaiseYourRights initiative) after the state seizes emergency rights to the child but before the state takes temporary legal rights of the child, #PreventUGI #ResolveConflictQuickly