SB167 (2017) Detail

Relative to the burden of proof in termination of parental rights cases.


CHAPTER 85

SB 167 - FINAL VERSION

 

04/27/2017   1569EBA

2017 SESSION

17-0951

05/04

 

SENATE BILL 167

 

AN ACT relative to the burden of proof in termination of parental rights cases.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. Lasky, Dist 13; Sen. Birdsell, Dist 19; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 21; Sen. Gannon, Dist 23; Sen. Hennessey, Dist 5; Sen. Kahn, Dist 10; Sen. McGilvray, Dist 16; Sen. Soucy, Dist 18; Sen. Watters, Dist 4; Rep. Wall, Straf. 6

 

COMMITTEE: Judiciary

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill provides that the burden of proof in termination of parental rights cases shall be proof beyond a reasonable doubt, rather than clear and convincing evidence, that grounds for termination exist.

 

The bill is a request of the supreme court.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

04/27/2017   1569EBA 17-0951

05/04

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seventeen

 

AN ACT relative to the burden of proof in termination of parental rights cases.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

85:1  Termination of Parental Rights; Hearing; Burden of Proof.  Amend RSA 170-C:10 to read as follows:

170-C:10  Hearing.  Cases under this chapter shall be heard by the court sitting without a jury.  The hearing may be conducted in an informal manner and may be adjourned from time to time.  The general public and any member of the news media shall be excluded, and only such persons admitted whose presence is requested by any person entitled to notice under RSA 170-C:7 or as the judge shall find to have a direct interest in the case or in the work of the court; provided that persons so admitted shall not disclose any information secured at the hearing which would identify an individual child or parent who is involved in the hearing.  The court may require the presence of witnesses deemed necessary to the disposition of the petition.  When termination of the parent-child relationship is sought, the parent shall be notified at the same time notice is given pursuant to RSA 170-C:7 of his or her right to counsel, and if counsel is requested and the parent is financially unable to employ counsel, counsel shall be provided by the court and shall be paid for by the judicial council in accordance with RSA 170-C:13, III.  The court's finding with respect to grounds for termination shall be based upon [clear and convincing evidence] proof beyond a reasonable doubt, provided that relevant and material information of any nature, including that contained in reports, studies or examinations, may be admitted and relied upon to the extent of its probative value.  When information contained in a report, study or examination is admitted in evidence, the person making such a report, study or examination shall be subject to both direct and cross-examination if he or she is residing or working within the state, or if he or she is otherwise reasonably available.

85:2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.

 

Approved: June 02, 2017

Effective Date: June 02, 2017

Links

SB167 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 31, 2017 Senate Hearing
Feb. 23, 2017 Senate Floor Vote
March 21, 2017 House Hearing
April 11, 2017 House Exec Session
April 20, 2017 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

SB167 Revision: 1271 Date: June 6, 2017, 11:55 a.m.
SB167 Revision: 1272 Date: May 3, 2017, 1:47 p.m.
SB167 Revision: 1273 Date: Jan. 24, 2017, 12:14 p.m.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 19, 2017 Introduced 01/19/2017 and Referred to Judiciary; SJ 5
Jan. 31, 2017 Hearing: 01/31/2017, Room 100, SH, 10:00 am; SC 8
Feb. 23, 2017 Committee Report: Ought to Pass, 02/23/2017; Vote 5-0; CC; SC 11
Feb. 23, 2017 Ought to Pass: MA, VV; OT3rdg; 02/23/2017; SJ 7
Feb. 16, 2017 Introduced 02/16/2017 and referred to Children and Family Law HJ 8 P. 45
March 21, 2017 Public Hearing: 03/21/2017 11:00 AM LOB 206
April 11, 2017 Executive Session: 04/11/2017 11:00 AM LOB 206
April 20, 2017 Committee Report: Ought to Pass for 04/20/2017 (Vote 12-0; CC) HC 20 P. 3
April 20, 2017 Ought to Pass: MA VV 04/20/2017 HJ 14 P. 2
April 20, 2017 Enrolled Bill Amendment # 2017-1569e: AA VV 04/20/2017 HJ 14 P. 25
April 27, 2017 Enrolled Bill Amendment # 2017-1569e Adopted, VV, (In recess of 04/27/2017); SJ 16
May 4, 2017 Enrolled 05/04/2017 HJ 15 P. 47
April 27, 2017 Enrolled (In recess 04/27/2017); SJ 16
June 2, 2017 Signed by the Governor on 06/02/2017; Chapter 0085; Effective 06/02/2017