PUBLIC SAFETY AND WELFARE
TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS
Cases under this chapter shall be heard by the court sitting without a jury. The hearing may be conducted in an informal manner and may be adjourned from time to time. The general public and any member of the news media shall be excluded, and only such persons admitted whose presence is requested by any person entitled to notice under RSA 170-C:7 or as the judge shall find to have a direct interest in the case or in the work of the court; provided that persons so admitted shall not disclose any information secured at the hearing which would identify an individual child or parent who is involved in the hearing. The court may require the presence of witnesses deemed necessary to the disposition of the petition. When termination of the parent-child relationship is sought, the parent shall be notified at the same time notice is given pursuant to RSA 170-C:7 of his or her right to counsel, and if counsel is requested and the parent is financially unable to employ counsel, counsel shall be provided by the court and shall be paid for by the judicial council in accordance with RSA 170-C:13, III. The court's finding with respect to grounds for termination shall be based upon proof beyond a reasonable doubt, provided that relevant and material information of any nature, including that contained in reports, studies or examinations, may be admitted and relied upon to the extent of its probative value. When information contained in a report, study or examination is admitted in evidence, the person making such a report, study or examination shall be subject to both direct and cross-examination if he or she is residing or working within the state, or if he or she is otherwise reasonably available.
Source. 1973, 523:1. 2013, 104:1, eff. July 1, 2013. 2017, 85:1, eff. June 2, 2017.