Expediting termination of parental rights and contested adoption cases. — 1. In all cases involving the termination of parental rights, placement, or adoption of a child, whether voluntary or contested by any person or agency, the court shall, consistent with due process, expedite the termination, placement, or adoption proceeding by entering such scheduling orders as are necessary to ensure that the case is not delayed, and such case shall be given priority in setting a final hearing of the proceeding and shall be heard at the earliest possible date over other civil litigation, other than children’s division child protection cases.
2. In all cases as specified in subsection 1 of this section which are appealed from the decision of a trial court:
(1) The transcript from the prior court proceeding shall be provided to the appellate court no later than thirty days from the date the appeal is filed; and
(2) The appellate court shall, consistent with its rules, expedite the contested termination of parental rights or adoption case by entering such scheduling orders as are necessary to ensure that a ruling will be entered within thirty days of the close of oral arguments, and such case shall be given priority over all other civil litigation, other than children’s division child protection cases, in reaching a determination on the status of the termination of parental rights or of the adoption; and
(3) In no event shall the court permit more than one request for an extension by either party.
3. It is the intent of the general assembly that the permanency of the placement of a child who is the subject of a termination of parental rights proceeding, a placement proceeding, or an adoption proceeding not be delayed any longer than is absolutely necessary consistent with the rights of all parties, but that the rights of the child to permanency at the earliest possible date be given priority over all other civil litigation other than children’s division child protection cases.
(L. 2000 S.B. 757 & 602, A.L. 2007 S.B. 84)