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What happens at the first court date in my child protection case?

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What happens at the first court date in my child protection case?
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CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)

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What happens at the first court date in my child protection case?
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Reviewed: 
October 31, 2018
Answer

Your first court date will be listed on page 1 of the protection application you got from a Children's Aid Society (CAS).

It's important to go to your first court date. You should go even if you haven't been able to find a lawyer or file a Form 33B.1 Answer and Plan of Care

You should try and speak to duty counsel if you don't have a lawyer.

At your first court date, CAS must tell the court why they think that your child is in need of protection and the orders they're asking for.

You also get the chance to speak to the judge about your case and what you'd like to happen to your child.

You can ask the judge to return your child to your care. Or you can ask for your child to be returned with temporary terms of supervision. This means CAS will check to see if you're looking after your child until your court case is decided.

The judge usually makes a temporary order about who will care for your child while your case is going on.

The temporary order says whether your child will be cared for by you, CAS, or another person until a temporary care and custody hearing takes place.

If the judge doesn't return your child to you, you can tell the judge what kind of access you would like. The judge decides what access you get to your child. They may order supervised access.

Next Court Date

The judge usually orders that your case come back to court in a few weeks. This gives you time to find a lawyer and to serve and file your court documents that tell the court what you want to happen. 

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