What happens at the first court date in my child protection case?
Question & AnswerWhat happens at the first court date in my child protection case?
1. Allow CAS to serve you with court papers
If a (CAS) has started a for your child, they must let you know. CAS must you with their court papers. If your child has been taken away, sometimes CAS may not have their papers ready until you go to court. So they may call you and tell you when you need to go to court. Or they could tell you in person.
You need to see these court papers so you can respond to the concerns CAS has.
If you avoid court papers
If you try to avoid being served, the court case doesn't stop. If you make it hard for CAS to find you, CAS may ask the court for an order for substituted service or that you don't need to be served.
An order for substituted service means that CAS doesn't have to serve you their papers in person, they can serve you another way. For example, the court may order that the court papers can be left with a friend or family member or mailed to the last address CAS has for you.
In rare cases, the court may say that a parent doesn't have to be served. If you know that your child is in care, you should contact CAS and ask to be served with their court papers. You should also make sure CAS has your current contact information.