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§7.03 Notice of Setting

[1] Who Receives Notice
[2] Content of Notice
[3] Service of Notice

[1] Who Receives Notice

The social worker must give notice to [WIC §294(a); CRC 5.534(n)]:

  • The mother;
  • The fathers, presumed or alleged;
  • A noncustodial parent;
  • The child if age 10 or older;
  • Any known sibling and his or her caregiver and attorney if the sibling is a juvenile dependent or the subject of a dependency proceeding;
  • The grandparents if the parents’ whereabouts are unknown;
  • All counsel of record;
  • Any unknown parent if publication notice is ordered by the court;
  • The current caregiver for the child, including foster parents, relative caregivers, preadoptive parents, and nonrelative extended family members; any person notified may attend all hearings and may submit any information he or she deems relevant to the court in writing; and
  • The educational representative or developmental services decision maker appointed for the child, if there is one [WIC §361; CRC 5.650(j)].


Notice must also be given to any CASA volunteer, the child’s present caregiver, and any de facto parent. [CRC 5.725(b).] You must order the agency not to give notice of the §366.26 hearing to any parent, presumed parent, or alleged parent who has relinquished the child for adoption and whose relinquishment was accepted and filed under FC §8700, nor to any alleged parent who denied parentage and completed section 1 of Statement Regarding Parentage on form JV-505. [WIC §294(b); CRC 5.710(a), 5.715(a), 5.720(a), 5.722.] If a child's paternity has been established, an alleged biological father is not entitled to a contested .26 hearing. [In re Christopher M. (2003) 113 CA4th 155, 159–160.]

Failure to attempt to give notice of the .26 hearing to a parent is a structural defect that requires automatic reversal on appeal. [In re Jasmine G. (2005) 127 CA4th 1109, 1115–1116.]

[2] Content of Notice

The notice must advise the parents that at the .26 hearing the court is required to select and implement a permanent plan of adoption, tribal customary adoption [WIC §366.24], guardianship, or foster care or other planned permanent living arrangement. [WIC §294(e)(6); In re Anna M. (1997) 54 CA4th 463, 468; see generally WIC §294(e) and form JV-300.]

[3] Service of Notice

Service of notice must be complete at least 45 days before the hearing, or 30 days before the hearing if publication is ordered. Service is deemed complete [WIC §294(c)]:

  • At the time of personal delivery,
  • Ten days after placement in the mail, or
  • At the end of the time prescribed by a publication order.

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