SCS/SB 218 – This act provides that as of January 1, 2010, a parent may request by written demand to the juvenile court a jury trial for proceedings regarding involuntary termination of parental rights. A request for a jury trial shall be no later than 45 days following service of summons on the parent or guardian subject to the termination hearing. Failure to file the jury trial request within the 45-day period shall constitute a waiver of such right, unless a subsequent request is joined in by all parties.
By November 1, 2009, the Missouri Supreme Court shall develop appropriate jury instructions for termination of parental rights cases heard by a jury. At least one of the instructions shall direct the jury to find whether the termination of parental rights will or will not be in the best interests of the child.
This act is substantially similar to provisions in HCS/SB 262 (2009).