N. M. S. A. 1978, § 32A-4-25
West's New Mexico Statutes Annotated Currentness
Chapter 32A. Children's Code (Refs & Annos)
 Article 4. Child Abuse and Neglect (Refs & Annos)

§ 32A-4-25. Periodic review of dispositional judgments

A. The initial judicial review shall be held within sixty days of the disposition.  At the initial review, the parties shall demonstrate to the court efforts made to implement the treatment plan approved by the court in its dispositional order.  The court shall determine the extent to which the treatment plan has been implemented and make supplemental orders as necessary to ensure compliance with the treatment plan and the safety of the child. Prior to the initial judicial review, the department shall submit a copy of the adjudicatory order, the dispositional order and notice of the initial judicial review to the local substitute care review board for that judicial district created under the Citizen Substitute Care Review Act.  A representative of the local substitute care review board shall be permitted to attend and comment to the court.

B. Subsequent periodic reviews of dispositional orders shall be held within six months of the conclusion of the permanency hearing or, if a motion has been filed for termination of parental rights or permanent guardianship, within six months of the decision on that motion and every six months thereafter.  Prior to the review, the department shall submit a progress report to the local substitute care review board for that judicial district created under the Citizen Substitute Care Review Act.  Prior to any judicial review by the court pursuant to this section, the local substitute care review board may review the dispositional order or the continuation of the order and the department's progress report and report its findings and recommendations to the court.  The review may be carried out by either of the following:

(1) a judicial review hearing conducted by the court;  or

(2) a judicial review hearing conducted by a special master appointed by the court;  provided, however, that the court approve any findings made by the special master.

C. The children's court attorney shall give notice to all parties, including the child by and through the child's guardian ad litem or attorney, the child's CASA, a contractor administering the local substitute care review board and the child's foster parent or substitute care provider of the time, place and purpose of any judicial review hearing held pursuant to Subsection A or B of this section.

D. At any judicial review hearing held pursuant to Subsection B of this section, the department, the child's guardian ad litem or attorney and all parties given notice pursuant to Subsection C of this section shall have the opportunity to present evidence and to cross-examine witnesses.  At the hearing, the department shall show that it has made reasonable effort to implement any treatment plan approved by the court in its dispositional order and shall present a treatment plan consistent with the purposes of the Children's Code for any period of extension of the dispositional order.  The respondent shall demonstrate to the court that efforts to comply with the treatment plan approved by the court in its dispositional order and efforts to maintain contact with the child were diligent and made in good faith.  The court shall determine the extent of compliance with the treatment plan and whether progress is being made toward establishing a stable and permanent placement for the child.

E. The Rules of Evidence shall not apply to hearings held pursuant to this section.  The court may admit testimony by any person given notice of the hearing who has information about the status of the child or the status of the treatment plan.

F. At the conclusion of any hearing held pursuant to this section, the court shall make findings of fact and conclusions of law.

G. When the child is an Indian child, the court shall determine during review of a dispositional order whether the placement preferences set forth in the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978  [FN1] or the placement preferences of the child's Indian tribe were followed and whether the child's treatment plan provides for maintaining the child's cultural ties.  When placement preferences have not been followed, good cause for noncompliance shall be clearly stated and supported.

H. Based on its findings at a judicial review hearing held pursuant to Subsection B of this section, the court shall order one of the following dispositions:

(1) dismiss the action and return the child to the child's parent without supervision if the court finds that conditions in the home that led to abuse have been corrected and it is now safe for the return of the abused child;

(2) permit the child to remain with the child's parent, guardian or custodian subject to those conditions and limitations the court may prescribe, including protective supervision of the child by the department;

(3) return the child to the child's parent and place the child under the protective supervision of the department;

(4) transfer or continue legal custody of the child to:

(a) the noncustodial parent, if that is found to be in the child's best interests;

(b) a relative or other individual who, after study by the department or other agency designated by the court, is found by the court to be qualified to receive and care for the child and is appointed as a permanent guardian of the child;  or

(c) the department, subject to the provisions of Paragraph (6) of this subsection;

(5) continue the child in the legal custody of the department with or without any required parental involvement in a treatment plan.  Reasonable efforts shall be made to preserve and reunify the family, with the paramount concern being the child's health and safety unless the court finds that such efforts are not required.  The court may determine that reasonable efforts are not required to be made when the court finds that:

(a) the efforts would be futile;  or

(b) the parent, guardian or custodian has subjected the child to aggravated circumstances;

(6) make additional orders regarding the treatment plan or placement of the child to protect the child's best interests if the court determines the department has failed in implementing any material provision of the treatment plan or abused its discretion in the placement or proposed placement of the child;  or

(7) if during a judicial review the court finds that the child's parent, guardian or custodian has not complied with the court-ordered treatment plan, the court may order:

(a) the child's parent, guardian or custodian to show cause why the parent, guardian or custodian should not be held in contempt of court;  or

(b) a hearing on the merits of terminating parental rights.

I. Dispositional orders entered pursuant to this section shall remain in force for a period of six months, except for orders that provide for transfer of the child to the child's noncustodial parent or to a permanent guardian.

J. The report of the local substitute care review board submitted to the court pursuant to Subsection B of this section shall become a part of the child's permanent court record.

K. When the court determines, pursuant to Paragraph (5) of Subsection H of this section, that no reasonable efforts at reunification are required, the court shall conduct, within thirty days, a permanency hearing as described in Section 32A-4-25.1 NMSA 1978.  Reasonable efforts shall be made to place the child in a timely manner in accordance with the permanency plan and to complete whatever steps are necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the child.
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