(a) At any hearing authorized or required under this Subchapter, the court in its discretion shall determine whether the hearing or any part of the hearing shall be closed to the public. In determining whether to close the hearing or any part of the hearing, the court shall consider the circumstances of the case, including, but not limited to, the following factors:
(1) The nature of the allegations against the juvenile's parent, guardian, custodian or caretaker;
(2) The age and maturity of the juvenile;
(3) The benefit to the juvenile of confidentiality;
(4) The benefit to the juvenile of an open hearing; and
(5) The extent to which the confidentiality afforded the juvenile's record pursuant to G.S. 132-1.4(l) and G.S. 7B-2901 will be compromised by an open hearing.
(b) No hearing or part of a hearing shall be closed by the court if the juvenile requests that it remain open.
(b1) Nothing in this Subchapter precludes the court in an abuse, neglect, or dependency proceeding from entering a consent adjudication order, disposition order, review order, or permanency planning order when each of the following apply:
(1) All parties are present or represented by counsel, who is present and authorized to consent.
(2) The juvenile is represented by counsel.
(3) The court makes sufficient findings of fact.
(c) The adjudicatory hearing shall be held in the district at such time and place as the chief district court judge shall designate, but no later than 60 days from the filing of the petition unless the judge pursuant to G.S. 7B-803 orders that it be held at a later time. (1979, c. 815, s. 1; 1998-202, s. 6; 1998-229, ss. 5, 22; 1999-456, s. 60; 2011-295, s. 5.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014