Ten Tips for Meeting with a Court Investigator

Ten Tips for Meeting with a Court Investigator
Ten Tips for Meeting with a Court Investigator
Massachusetts G.L. c.119, §24 requires the juvenile court to appoint a court investigator in care and protection/termination of parental rights cases. Once a court investigator is appointed, the court investigator will read the Department of Children & Families’ file, interview the parents, children, social worker, collaterals and others. The court investigator will then prepare a written report and submit it to the court. The court investigation becomes an exhibit in any future care and protection proceeding.

1. When speaking to the court investigator focus on the child's needs, not your own.

2. If the meeting takes place in your home be sure that your home is neat and clean. The court investigator will probably want a tour of your home. Make the beds, clean the bathroom, and get rid of clutter.

3. Dress modestly and neatly. Make sure that your personal appearance and hygiene is good.

4. Make sure that you know your child’s date of birth, middle name, medical provider, day care information, medical conditions, and medications.

5. Be well aware that anything said to a court investigator may be used against you. Nothing said to the court investigator is confidential and will be told to the judge.

6. You should have an attorney present with you when speaking to a court investigator.

7. A court investigator will ask many questions. Some of the questions will be about your own personal histories. If you don't understand a question say so and ask for clarification.

8. You should attend all visits with your children. Any missed visit may be used against you to prove unfitness and may be included in the court investigator's report.

9. Don't argue or lose your temper with the court investigator.

10. Don't use your meeting as an opportunity to vent your anger. Be open minded about suggestions that will help return your children.

*The above information is general in nature, specific to Massachusetts and should not be considered or relied upon as legal advice. If a reader has a legal problem immediately consult an attorney for specific, confidential legal advice.

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