28A.225.031  <<  28A.225.035 >>   28A.225.055

Petition to juvenile courtContentsCourt actionReferral to community truancy board or other coordinated interventionTransfer of jurisdiction upon relocation.

(1) A petition for a civil action under RCW 28A.225.030 or 28A.225.015 shall consist of a written notification to the court alleging that:
(a) The child has unexcused absences as described in RCW 28A.225.030(1) during the current school year;
(b) Actions taken by the school district have not been successful in substantially reducing the child's absences from school; and
(c) Court intervention and supervision are necessary to assist the school district or parent to reduce the child's absences from school.
(2) The petition shall set forth the name, date of birth, school, address, gender, race, and ethnicity of the child and the names and addresses of the child's parents, and shall set forth the languages in which the child and parent are fluent, whether there is an existing individualized education program, and the child's current academic status in school.
(3) The petition shall set forth facts that support the allegations in this section and shall generally request relief available under this chapter and provide information about what the court might order under RCW 28A.225.090.
(4)(a) When a petition is filed under RCW 28A.225.030 or 28A.225.015, it shall initially be stayed by the juvenile court, and the child and the child's parent must be referred to a community truancy board or other coordinated means of intervention as set forth in the memorandum of understanding under RCW 28A.225.026. The community truancy board must provide to the court a description of the intervention and prevention efforts to be employed to substantially reduce the child's unexcused absences, along with a timeline for completion.
(b) If a community truancy board or other coordinated means of intervention is not in place as required by RCW 28A.225.026, the juvenile court shall schedule a hearing at which the court shall consider the petition.
(5) When a referral is made to a community truancy board, the truancy board must meet with the child, a parent, and the school district representative and enter into an agreement with the petitioner and respondent regarding expectations and any actions necessary to address the child's truancy within twenty days of the referral. If the petition is based on RCW 28A.225.015, the child shall not be required to attend and the agreement under this subsection shall be between the truancy board, the school district, and the child's parent. The court may permit the truancy board or truancy prevention counselor to provide continued supervision over the student, or parent if the petition is based on RCW 28A.225.015.
(6) If the community truancy board fails to reach an agreement, or the parent or student does not comply with the agreement within the timeline for completion set by the community truancy board, the community truancy board shall return the case to the juvenile court. The stay of the petition shall be lifted, and the juvenile court shall schedule a hearing at which the court shall consider the petition.
(7)(a) Notwithstanding the provisions in subsection (4)(a) of this section, a hearing shall not be required if other actions by the court would substantially reduce the child's unexcused absences. Such actions may include referral to an existing community truancy board, use of the Washington assessment of risks and needs of students (WARNS) or other assessment tools to identify the specific needs of individual children, the provision of community-based services, and the provision of evidence-based treatments that have been found to be effective in supporting at-risk youth and their families. When a juvenile court hearing is held, the court shall:
(i) Separately notify the child, the parent of the child, and the school district of the hearing. If the parent is not fluent in English, notice should be provided in a language in which the parent is fluent as indicated on the petition pursuant to RCW 28A.225.030(1);
(ii) Notify the parent and the child of their rights to present evidence at the hearing; and
(iii) Notify the parent and the child of the options and rights available under chapter 13.32A RCW.
(b) If the child is not provided with counsel, the advisement of rights must take place in court by means of a colloquy between the court, the child if eight years old or older, and the parent.
(8)(a) The court may require the attendance of the child if eight years old or older, the parents, and the school district at any hearing on a petition filed under RCW 28A.225.030.
(b) The court may not issue a bench warrant for a child for failure to appear at a hearing on an initial truancy petition filed under RCW 28A.225.030. If there has been proper service, the court may instead enter a default order assuming jurisdiction under the terms specified in subsection (12) of this section.
(9) A school district is responsible for determining who shall represent the school district at hearings on a petition filed under RCW 28A.225.030 or 28A.225.015.
(10) The court may permit the first hearing to be held without requiring that either party be represented by legal counsel, and to be held without a guardian ad litem for the child under RCW 4.08.050. At the request of the school district, the court shall permit a school district representative who is not an attorney to represent the school district at any future hearings.
(11) If the child is in a special education program or has a diagnosed mental or emotional disorder, the court shall inquire as to what efforts the school district has made to assist the child in attending school.
(12) If the allegations in the petition are established by a preponderance of the evidence, the court shall grant the petition and enter an order assuming jurisdiction to intervene for the period of time determined by the court, after considering the facts alleged in the petition and the circumstances of the juvenile, to most likely cause the juvenile to return to and remain in school while the juvenile is subject to this chapter. In no case may the order expire before the end of the school year in which it is entered.
(13)(a) If the court assumes jurisdiction, the school district shall periodically report to the court any additional unexcused absences by the child, actions taken by the school district, and an update on the child's academic status in school at a schedule specified by the court.
(b) The first report under this subsection (13) must be received no later than three months from the date that the court assumes jurisdiction.
(14) Community truancy boards and the courts shall coordinate, to the extent possible, proceedings and actions pertaining to children who are subject to truancy petitions and at-risk youth petitions in RCW 13.32A.191 or child in need of services petitions in RCW 13.32A.140.
(15) If after a juvenile court assumes jurisdiction in one county the child relocates to another county, the juvenile court in the receiving county shall, upon the request of a school district or parent, assume jurisdiction of the petition filed in the previous county.

NOTES:

FindingsShort titleIntentConstruction1996 c 133: See notes following RCW 13.32A.197.
Short title1995 c 312: See note following RCW 13.32A.010.
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