Dependency Petitions & Process

Most dependency cases are initiated when a child / children have been removed from the parental custody by Children's Protective Services and a Dependency Petition has been filed with the court by the Department of Social and Health Services. Financially, eligible parents in this situation are entitled to be provided legal representation at state expense.

The first legal proceeding in dependency cases is the Shelter Care hearing and is held within 72 hours of the Dependency Petition being filed or within 72 hours of the child / children being removed from the home, whichever occurs first. At the hearing the court will determine a residential placement for the child / children at issue and provide direction to parents for determining eligibility for receiving legal services from the Pierce County Department of Assigned Counsel (DAC).

Applying for Representation

The application process consists of filling out and signing a Determination of Indigency Report. Potential clients are required to provide court documentation and financial information. Should they qualify for DAC representation, they are notified by letter and advised as to which attorney has been assigned to their case.

For More Information

For additional information, please visit the website of Pierce County Juvenile Court.