A post adjudication petition is a creature of statute. It is the mechanism used to address conditions discovered after the initial adjudication of a child as deprived. An example: learning the Natural Mother has a substance abuse problem. DHS can refer the parent for an assessment on the admission alone, but the state cannot allege a failure to correct the condition of substance abuse at a termination trial since the child was not initially adjudicated deprived due to the Natural Mother’s drug use.
To add the requirement to correct the condition of drug use, the State must file another petition. The post adjudication petition contains the new allegations. As with the first petition, the State must serve the Natural Mother. The Natural Mother can stipulate, enter a non-jury trial stipulation, or request a non-jury trial on the new allegations. There are no time line considerations since the children are already adjudicated deprived. The issue before the court is whether or not there is sufficient evidence to sustain a finding the substance abuse concerns are a condition to correct. TLC will provide more information on this topic in the coming months.