Oregon Statutes - Chapter 419B - Juvenile Code: Dependency - Section 419B.521 - Conduct of termination hearing.

(1) The court shall hold a hearing on the question of terminating the rights of the parent or parents. The court may not hold the hearing any earlier than 10 days after service or final publication of the summons. The facts on the basis of which the rights of the parents are terminated, unless admitted, must be established by clear and convincing evidence and a stenographic or other report authorized by ORS 8.340 shall be taken of the hearing.

(2) Not earlier than provided in subsection (1) of this section and not later than six months from the date on which summons for the petition to terminate parental rights is served, the court before which the petition is pending shall hold a hearing on the petition except for good cause shown. When determining whether or not to grant a continuance for good cause, the judge shall take into consideration the age of the child or ward and the potential adverse effect delay may have on the child or ward. The court shall make written findings when granting a continuance.

(3) The court, on its own motion or upon the motion of a party, may take testimony from any child appearing as a witness and may exclude the child’s parents and other persons if the court finds such action would be likely to be in the best interests of the child. However, the court may not exclude the attorney for each party and any testimony taken under this subsection shall be recorded.

(4) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, if an Indian child is involved, termination of parental rights must be supported by evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, including testimony of qualified expert witnesses, that continued custody of the child is likely to result in serious emotional or physical harm to the child. [1993 c.33 §145; 1993 c.546 §58; 1995 c.767 §2; 1997 c.873 §9; 2003 c.396 §88]

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Last modified: August 7, 2008