Rule 3.973 Dispositional Hearing

(A) Purpose. A dispositional hearing is conducted to determine what measures the court will take with respect to a child properly within its jurisdiction and, when applicable, against any adult, once the court has determined following trial, plea of admission, or plea of no contest that one or more of the statutory grounds alleged in the petition are true.

(B) Notice. Unless the dispositional hearing is held immediately after the trial, notice of hearing may be given by scheduling it on the record in the presence of the parties or in accordance with MCR 3.920.

(C) Time. The interval, if any, between the trial and the dispositional hearing is within the discretion of the court. When the child is in placement, the interval may not be more than 28 days, except for good cause.

(D) Presence of Parties.

(1) The child may be excused from the dispositional hearing as the interests of the child require.

(2) The respondent has the right to be present or may appear through an attorney.

(3) The court may proceed in the absence of parties provided that proper notice has been given.

(E) Evidence; Reports.

(1) The Michigan Rules of Evidence do not apply at the initial dispositional hearing, other than those with respect to privileges. However, as provided by MCL 722.631, no assertion of an evidentiary privilege, other than the privilege between attorney and client, shall prevent the receipt and use, at the dispositional phase, of materials prepared pursuant to a court-ordered examination, interview, or course of treatment.

(2) All relevant and material evidence, including oral and written reports, may be received and may be relied on to the extent of its probative value. The court shall consider the case service plan and any written or oral information concerning the child from the child's parent, guardian, legal custodian, foster parent, child caring institution, or relative with whom the child is placed. If the agency responsible for the care and supervision of the child recommends not placing the child with the parent, guardian, or legal custodian, the agency shall report in writing what efforts were made to prevent removal, or to rectify conditions that caused removal, of the child from the home.

(3) The parties shall be given an opportunity to examine and controvert written reports so received and may be allowed to cross-examine individuals making the reports when those individuals are reasonably available.

(4) Written reports, other than those portions made confidential by law, case service plans, and court orders, including all updates and revisions, shall be available to the foster parent, child caring institution, or relative with whom the child is placed. The foster parents, child caring institution, or relative with whom the child is placed shall not have the right to cross-examine individuals making such reports or the right to controvert such reports beyond the making of a written or oral statement concerning the child as provided in subrule (E)(2).

(5)   The court, upon receipt of a local foster care review board’s report, shall include the report in the court’s confidential social file. The court shall ensure that all parties have had the opportunity to review the report and file objections before a dispositional order, dispositional review order, or permanency planning order is entered. The court may at its discretion include recommendations from the report in its orders.

(F) Dispositional Orders.

(1) The court shall enter an order of disposition as provided in the Juvenile Code and these rules.

(2) The court shall not enter an order of disposition until it has examined the case service plan as provided in MCL 712A.18f. The court may order compliance with all or part of the case service plan and may enter such orders as it considers necessary in the interest of the child.

(3) The court, on consideration of the written report prepared by the agency responsible for the care and supervision of the child pursuant to MCL 712A.18f(1), shall, when appropriate, include a statement in the order of disposition as to whether reasonable efforts were made:

(a) to prevent the child's removal from home, or

(b) to rectify the conditions that caused the child to be removed from the child's home.

(4) Medical Information. Unless the court has previously ordered the release of medical information, the order placing the child in foster care must include the following:

(a) an order that the child's parent, guardian, or legal custodian provide the supervising agency with the name and address of each of the child's medical providers, and

(b) an order that each of the child's medical providers release the child's medical records.

(5)   Child Support. The court may include an order requiring one or both of the child’s parents to pay child support. All child support orders entered under this subrule must comply with MCL 552.605 and MCR 3.211(D).

(G) Subsequent Review. When the court does not terminate jurisdiction upon entering its dispositional order, it must:

(1) follow the review procedures in MCR 3.975 for a child in placement, or

(2) review the progress of a child at home pursuant to the procedures of MCR 3.974(A).

(H) Allegations of Additional Abuse or Neglect.

(1) Proceedings on a supplemental petition seeking termination of parental rights on the basis of allegations of additional abuse or neglect, as defined in MCL 722.622(f) and (j), of a child who is under the jurisdiction of the court are governed by MCR 3.977.

(2) Where there is no request for termination of parental rights, proceedings regarding allegations of additional abuse or neglect, as defined in MCL 722.622(f) and (j), of a child who is under the jurisdiction of the court, including those made under MCL 712A.19(1), are governed by MCR 3.974 for a child who is at home or MCR 3.975 for a child who is in foster care.