If your child has been taken into Emergency Protective Custody (EPC), you are entitled to a probable cause hearing within 72 hours. At this probable cause hearing you may challenge that there was not probable cause for your child or children to be taken. It is possible at the conclusion of the hearing that your child or children may be returned to your home.
The judge will allow you or your attorney to provide affidavits that state your position and try to explain why the child should not have been removed. The judge will consider the following:
- Your affidavits. You do not get to testify.
- Your attorney may cross-examine any of DSS witnesses about removing the child; usually, this includes questions of the officer who made the decision to remove the child.
- The judge will consider if other solutions were tried prior to taking the child away from the parent.
If the judge decides that probable cause did not exist, the child can be returned to you. The judge may decide that it is not safe for the child to be returned to your home and that the child should remain in legal custody of DSS.
The outcome of this hearing can determine where the child or children will remain until such time as the removal hearing.
If you are a party in a DSS case and need to talk to an attorney please do not hesitate to contact the lawyers at Holland & Usry toll-free at 888.230.1841 for your confidential consultation.