Preliminary Inquiries

In cases where there are allegations of abuse or neglect, but the child is not removed from the home, a Preliminary Inquiry is the first hearing to be held in a child protective proceeding. A preliminary inquiry, which may be heard before either a judge or referee, is informal and does not require participation by the parents. At this hearing the court may 1) deny the petition and dismiss the case, 2) refer the matter to alternative services, or 3) authorize the petition and proceed to a trial.