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(A) The Court shall find the allegations of the petition to be true or dismiss the petition, unless the hearing shall be continued to a date certain to allow for the presentation of further evidence.

(B) Jurisdictional matters of the age and residence of the child shall be deemed admitted by or on behalf of the child, unless specifically denied prior to the determination hearing.

(C) When it appears that the evidence presented at the hearing discloses facts not alleged in the petition, the Court may proceed immediately to consider such additional or different matters raised by the evidence.

(D) In such event, the Court, on the motion of an interested party or on its own motion, shall order the petition to be amended to conform to the evidence. If the amendment results in a substantial departure from the original allegations in the petition, the Court shall continue the hearing on the motion of any interested party, or on its own motion, if it finds such continuance to be in the best interests of the child or any other party to the proceedings materially prejudiced by the change in allegations.

(E) The burden of proof lies with the petitioner (the person filing the petition). The petitioner must prove that the allegations raised in the petition are more likely true than not, that is, by a preponderance of the evidence, and that the best interests of the child and the child’s tribe will be served by continued court intervention.

(F) Determine whether and why continuation of the child in the home would be contrary to the child’s welfare.

(G) If the petitioner is KCWS, KCWS shall be ordered to be responsible for the care and placement of the child upon a finding that the child will be removed.

(H) Determine whether reasonable efforts have been made to reunify. Reasonable efforts to prevent removal or reunification are not required if the parent has committed murder or voluntary manslaughter, of another child of the parent; parental rights of the parent with respect to a sibling have been terminated involuntarily; the parent has abandoned an infant; a parent or guardian has aided or abetted, attempted to conspire, solicit commission of a murder or voluntary manslaughter of a child of the parent; the parent has committed a felony assault that results in serious bodily injury to the child or another child of the parent; or finds that the parent has subjected the child to other aggravated circumstances pursuant to relevant law.

(I) If the Court makes a determination that reasonable efforts to prevent removal or reunification are not required, the Court shall then make a judicial finding that reasonable efforts are being made to finalize the permanency plan for the child. The Court shall hold a permanency hearing within thirty (30) days of the determination that reasonable effort to prevent removal or to reunify are not required, and then hold a permanency hearing no less frequently than every six (6) months thereafter. In such cases, KCWS will file a petition to terminate parental rights within sixty (60) days of a judicial determination that reasonable efforts are not required to prevent removal or reunify because of one (1) of the reasons set forth in subsection (H) of this section.

(J) If the child was removed and placed in a short-term residential treatment program the Court shall make the findings outlined in KTC 10.10.1000(B) and state in writing the factual basis.

(K) After making the necessary findings but before judicial ruling/determination on the petition, the Tribal Court may continue the hearing from time to time, allowing the child to remain in his or her own home or in the temporary custody of another person or agency, subject to such conditions of conduct and of visitation or supervision by KCWS as the Tribal Court may order, if:

(1) Consent is given by the child and his or her parent, guardian, or other legal custodian after being fully informed by the Court of their rights in the proceedings, including their right to have a determination made either dismissing or sustaining the petition; and

(2) Such continuation shall extend no longer than three (3) months without review by the Court. Upon review, the Court may continue the case for an additional period not to exceed six (6) months, after which the petition shall either be dismissed or sustained. [Res. 22-R-037, 2/24/2022; Res. 09-R-062 Title 1 § (16)(C), 4/30/2009. Formerly 10.10.390.]