Directive #20-23 – Family – CIC – Revised Benchmark Hearings Protocol and Checklist (Supersedes Directive #03-22)

Directive #20-23 – Family – CIC – Revised Benchmark Hearings Protocol and Checklist (Supersedes Directive #03-22)

         This Directive supersedes Directive #03-22 and promulgates for statewide use an updated protocol and checklist as approved by the Judicial Council for use when conducting a benchmark hearing for youth in placement. The protocol and checklist are to be used when older youth have been placed outside of their homes by the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P). The updated protocol reflects the following changes: 

  • Revisions in support of fairness and equity;
  • A benchmark hearing is to occur after the fact-finding hearing;
  • Benchmark hearings are to be scheduled in the FC docket;
  • A transcript of the benchmark hearing can be provided to the attorneys on request;
  • Discussion of the litigation is not to take place during the benchmark hearing; and
  • The format of the benchmark hearing is similar to an in camera proceeding.

Document Date: Nov. 13, 2023

Publish Date: Nov. 15, 2023