Originally Sent: 3/21/2014
|From the HSLDA e-lert service|
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Senate Bill 72—Lowering Standard in Family Court Petitions
Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:
We wanted to let you know about a bill that we are tracking in the Louisiana Legislature. Senate Bill 72 removes the requirement that petitions filed for proceedings involving a child in need of care, a family in need of services, juvenile delinquency or involuntary termination of parental rights be verified. A verified petition is one made under oath upon penalty of perjury.
These petitions can include allegations of fact that are made on information and belief. Thus, making petitioners (usually the government) to have a verified petition requires them to exercise a certain level of due diligence in order to be able to swear that the allegations are true to the best of their knowledge. We believe that this standard should be maintained, especially when these petitions could involve the removal of a child from the home.
Senate Bill 72 is currently scheduled to be on the floor of the Senate on Monday. However, it may be pulled and placed back on the calendar. If it is not we will need to ask you to contact your state senators and urge them to oppose Senate Bill 72, as the bill lowers the standard the government must present when filing petitions involving children and the family.
Thank you for your attention to this issue of family and parental rights in Louisiana. We hope to update you Monday on the situation with Senate Bill 72.
Thomas J. Schmidt
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