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§4.10 Uncontested Jurisdiction Hearing

[1] In General
[2] Findings

[1] In General

The parent or guardian may admit the allegations in the petition, plead “no contest,” or submit the determination based on the social services report and waive further jurisdiction hearing. [CRC 5.682(e).] You must be satisfied that the party knowingly and intelligently waives his or her rights and understands the consequences of the decision not to contest the petition. [See WIC §353; CRC 5.682(a), (c).] You should require the parent or guardian who is admitting, pleading no contest, or submitting on the report to complete a waiver of rights form. [See form JV-190.]

A plea of “no contest” admits all matters essential to the court’s jurisdiction over the minor, who is then barred from bringing an appeal to challenge the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the jurisdictional allegations. [In re Andrew A. (2010) 183 CA4th 1518, 1526.]

A submission based on the social services report is not the same as an admission; you must weigh the evidence before determining jurisdiction, and the findings may be the subject of an appeal. [In re Tommy E. (1992) 7 CA4th 1234, 1238.] In such case, the submitting party acquiesces as to the state of the evidence yet preserves the right to challenge it as insufficient to support a particular legal conclusion. [In re Andrew A. (2010) 183 CA4th 1518, 1526 fn 5.]


[2] Findings

If you sustain the petition on admission, no-contest plea, or submission, you must find [CRC 5.682(f)]:

  • The parent or guardian knowingly waived the rights to trial on the issues, to assert any privilege against self-incrimination, to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses, and to use the court’s process to compel attendance of witnesses;
  • The parents or guardians understand the nature of the conduct alleged in the petition and the potential consequences of their admission, no-contest plea, or submission;
  • The admission, no-contest plea, or submission was made voluntarily and freely;
  • There is a factual basis for the admission, no-contest plea, or submission;
  • The admitted allegations of the petition are true as alleged (or as amended, according to proof);
  • The child is described by one or more subsections of WIC §300 [see list of grounds in Part 2, §4.02];
  • Notice was given as required by law; and
  • The child’s birthdate and county of residence are correct.

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© 2006 by Judicial Council of California
updated as of January 1, 2012