SB 963 - This act adds to the list of crimes that make an individual eligible for placement on the central registry for child abuse and neglect the following offenses: sexual exploitation of a minor, possession of child pornography, furnishing pornographic materials to minors, using a child in sexual performances, and promoting sexual performance by a child.
This act requires the clerk of a court, when the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that a party is responsible for child abuse or neglect, to send a certified copy of the judgment or order to the Children's Division (CD) and the appropriate prosecuting attorney. Upon receipt of the order, the CD shall list the individual as a perpetrator of child abuse or neglect in the central registry. The clerk and CD shall do the same in cases where an individual has pled to or been found guilty of certain specified crimes including murder, manslaughter, assault, child abandonment, or sexual offenses against children or an attempt to commit such crimes.
This act also grants the family court exclusive original jurisdiction in proceedings involving youth for whom a petition to return the youth to CD's custody has been filed. Under current law, if a youth under 21 years of age has been released from the CD's custody and it appears to be in the youth's best interests to return to such custody, the juvenile officer, the CD, or the youth may petition the court to return the youth to the CD's custody. This act requires the petition to be filed in the court that had previously exercised jurisdiction over the youth, the court in the county where the youth resides, or the court of an adjacent county.
When determining if such a return to custody is in the youth's best interests, the court shall consider: (1) the circumstances of the youth; (2) whether the CD has services or programs that will benefit the youth; and (3) whether the youth will fully cooperate with the CD in designing and implementing a case plan. The court shall not return a youth to the CD's custody if that youth has been committed to the custody of another agency, is under a legal guardianship, or has pled to or been found guilty of a felony criminal offense. The court may, upon a motion by the CD or the youth, terminate care and supervision before the youth's 21st birthday if the court finds that CD does not have services available for the youth, the youth no longer needs services, or if the youth declines to cooperate with the case plan. At the youth's discretion, the youth may request to be appointed a guardian ad litem. Finally, the court shall hold review hearings as necessary, provided that at least one hearing is held every six months for as long as the youth is in the CD's custody.
This act is identical to SS/HCS/HB 1877 (2016) and substantially similar to other provisions in SS/HCS/HB 1877 (2016), SS/SCS/HB 556 (2015), SB 518 (2015), and SB 525 (2015).