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Question:
I have an ex parte custody order involving minor children currently in the custody of a parent or guardian. Will the DCS meet my client and turn custody of the minor children over to him or her?

Answer: No.
Ex parte orders are served upon the defendant like other writs. It is up to the defendant to comply with the order or appear at a show cause hearing to explain why he or she is not complying. The only writs authorizing the DCS to remove minor children from the custody of a parent or guardian are orders for immediate custody or writs of habeas corpus issued by a Douglas County District Court.

The circumstances underlying the issuance of ex parte orders granting temporary custody are usually emotionally charged. Because the DCS will not force a parent or guardian to relinquish custody when served with an ex parte custody order, having a petitioner present serves no useful purpose. Our experience indicates that the presence of a petitioner during service only aggravates already strained emotions resulting in increased danger to everyone present.

 


 

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