Close Close

Your Missouri Courts Header Image

Clerk Handbooks

Supreme Court Rules

Section/Rule:128.02
Subject: Rule 128 - Rules of Practice and Procedure in Juvenile and Family Court Divisions of The Circuit Court - Part IV. Rules Relating to Status and Delinquency Proceedings - Hearings Publication / Adopted Date:May 20, 2009
Topic:Adjudication HearingRevised / Effective Date:January 1, 2010


128.02 ADJUDICATION HEARING
a. At an adjudication hearing in a proceeding under subdivision (2) or (3) of subsection 1 of section 211.031, RSMo, the court shall first determine whether:
(1) the juvenile and the juvenile’s parents, guardian or custodian have received notice of the hearing and been informed of the allegations against the juvenile and the range of dispositions if the allegations are admitted or proved;
(2) the juvenile has been informed of the right to counsel, including the right to appointed counsel, and unless counsel has been previously retained or appointed or the juvenile has waived the right to counsel, whether the juvenile objects to proceeding without counsel; and
(3) the juvenile’s parents, guardian or custodian have been informed of the right to counsel and, unless counsel has been previously retained or waived, whether they object to proceeding without counsel.
b. At such an adjudication hearing, the court shall determine what allegations in the petition or motion to modify are admitted by the juvenile and receive evidence on the allegations that have not been admitted. The hearing shall be held on the record. The court may take judicial notice of the court’s file. The rules of evidence shall apply. All parties shall be afforded the opportunity to testify, present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and present arguments of law and fact and arguments concerning the weight, credibility and effect of the evidence.
c. Upon finding that the allegations in the petition or motion to modify are neither admitted by the juvenile nor proved, the court shall enter judgment denying the petition or motion to modify and, unless it has prior and continuing jurisdiction:
(1) order that the juvenile be discharged and, if appropriate, released from detention;
(2) order that the juvenile be released to the juvenile’s parent, guardian or custodian or other suitable person; and
(3) terminate jurisdiction.
d. Upon finding that any allegation in the petition or motion to modify is admitted by the juvenile, the court shall:
(1) make a finding whether the juvenile is present with counsel or, if not, whether the juvenile has knowingly and voluntarily waived the right to counsel;
(2) make findings on the allegations in the petition or motion to modify that are admitted by the juvenile;
(3) make a finding whether the admissions of the juvenile are freely and voluntarily given and knowingly made and whether a basis in fact exists for the juvenile’s admissions; and
(4) enter an order whether the court accepts the admissions of the juvenile and whether the court has jurisdiction over the juvenile.
e. Upon finding that any allegation in the petition or motion to modify is proved within the applicable standard of proof, the court shall:
(1) make findings on the allegations in the petition or motion to modify that are proved; and
(2) enter an order whether the court has jurisdiction over the juvenile.
f. If the dispositional hearing does not immediately follow the adjudication hearing, the court:
(1) shall continue or, if appropriate, amend any detention order;
(2) may order a social study to be prepared pursuant to Rule 118.01; and
(3) shall schedule the dispositional hearing.
g. Additionally, if the dispositional hearing does not immediately follow the adjudication hearing, the court shall determine and make findings on whether:
(1) reasonable efforts were made, or deemed to have been made, to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the juvenile from the home; and
(2) continuation of the juvenile in the home is contrary to the welfare of the juvenile.
Comment
In scheduling an adjudication hearing on a petition or motion to modify, the court must consider the requirement in Rule 127.08 that, if the juvenile is detained, the adjudication hearing shall be held at the earliest possible date.
If the juvenile and the juvenile’s parents, guardian or custodian have counsel present, the inquiry under Rule 128.02a(2) or Rule 128.02a (3) is not required.
The purpose of the adjudication hearing is to determine whether the allegations in the petition or motion to modify are established. The allegations in a petition or motion to modify in a proceeding under subdivision (3) of subsection 1 of section 211.031, RSMo, are proved only by evidence that convinces beyond a reasonable doubt. The allegations in a petition or motion to modify in a proceeding under subdivision (2) of subsection 1 of section 211.031, RSMo, are proved only by evidence that is at least clear and convincing.
For a juvenile in the legal custody of the children’s division in a proceeding under subsection 1 of section 211.031, RSMo, to be eligible for Title IV-E funding, the Adoption and Safe Families Act requires a judicial determination:
(1) in the first court order that removes the juvenile from the home whether continuation of the juvenile in the home is contrary to the welfare of the juvenile; and
(2) no later than 60 days from the date of the removal of the juvenile from the home whether reasonable efforts were made, or deemed to have been made, to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the juvenile from the home.
Rule 128.02g recognizes that, if the dispositional hearing does not immediately follow the adjudication hearing, the court must include in the adjudication order whichever of these determinations has not been previously made.
(Adopted May 20, 2009, eff. Jan. 1, 2010.)