S 832. Definition of "fact-finding hearing". When used in this article, "fact-finding hearing" means a hearing to determine whether the allegations of a petition under section eight hundred twenty-one are supported by a fair preponderance of the evidence. S 833. Definition of "dispositional hearing". When used in this article, "dispositional hearing" means in the case of a petition under this article a hearing to determine what order of disposition should be made. S 834. Evidence. Only competent, material and relevant evidence may be admitted in a fact-finding hearing; only material and relevant evidence may be admitted in a dispositional hearing. S 835. Sequence of hearings. (a) Upon completion of the fact-finding hearing, the dispositional hearing may commence immediately after the required findings are made. (b) Reports prepared by the probation service for use by the court at any time prior to the making of an order of disposition shall be deemed confidential information furnished to the court which the court in a proper case may, in its discretion, withhold from or disclose in whole or in part to the child's attorney, counsel, party in interest, or other appropriate person. Such reports may not be furnished to the court prior to the completion of a fact-finding hearing, but may be used in a dispositional hearing. S 836. Adjournments. (a) The court may adjourn a fact-finding hearing or a dispositional hearing for good cause shown on its own motion or on motion of either party. (b) At the conclusion of a fact-finding hearing and after it has made findings required before a dispositional hearing may commence, the court may adjourn the proceedings to enable it to make inquiry into the surroundings, conditions, and capacities of the persons involved in the proceedings. S 838. Petitioner and respondent may have friend or relative present. Unless the court shall find it undesirable, the petitioner shall be entitled to a non-witness friend, relative, counselor or social worker present in the court room. This section does not authorize any such person to take part in the proceedings. However, at any time during the proceeding, the court may call such person as a witness and take his or her testimony. Unless the court shall find it undesirable, the respondent shall be entitled to a non-witness friend, relative, counselor or social worker present in the court room in the event such respondent is not represented by legal counsel. This section does not authorize any such person to take part in the proceedings. However, at any time during the proceeding, the court may call such person as a witness and take his or her testimony. Top of Page
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