Dependency Proceedings Unaccompanied Child
The act provides juvenile court jurisdiction over an unaccompanied child in the custody of the federal office of refugee resettlement who is housed in a facility in Colorado and who has been subjected to parental abuse or neglect. A child may file a petition asking the court to determine that the child is dependent on the court. The petition must:
- Set forth the facts that bring the child under the court's jurisdiction;
- State the child's name, age, and country of birth; and
- Identify the facility where the child is housed in Colorado in the custody of the federal office of refugee resettlement.
The petition must not name the child's parent as a respondent. The petition must state clearly that parental rights may not be terminated through the proceedings.
The act requires the court to schedule a hearing after the petition is filed. If the court finds at the hearing that the statements in the petition are supported by a preponderance of the evidence, the court shall declare the child dependent on the court. A child declared dependent is eligible for oversight and services by the office of the child protection ombudsman. Upon request, the court may also issue an order establishing the child's eligibility for classification as a special immigrant juvenile under federal law.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)