Juvenile Code: Dependency

ORS 419B.310
Conduct of hearings


The hearing shall be held by the court without a jury and may be continued from time to time. During the hearing of a case filed pursuant to ORS 419B.100 (Jurisdiction), the court, on its own motion or upon the motion of a party, may take testimony from any child appearing as a witness and may exclude the child’s parents and other persons if the court finds such action would be likely to be in the best interests of the child. However, the court may not exclude the attorney for each party and the testimony shall be reported.


Stenographic notes or other report of the hearings shall be taken only when required by the court.
(3)(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the facts alleged in the petition showing the child to be within the jurisdiction of the court as provided in ORS 419B.100 (Jurisdiction) (1), unless admitted, must be established:


By a preponderance of competent evidence; or


If the child is an Indian child, by clear and convincing competent evidence.


The evidence under paragraph (a)(B) of this section must:


Include testimony of one or more qualified expert witnesses under ORS 419B.642 (Qualified expert witness), demonstrating that the Indian child’s continued custody by the child’s parent or custody by the child’s Indian custodian is likely to result in serious emotional or physical damage to the Indian child; and


Show a causal relationship between the particular conditions in the Indian child’s home and the likelihood that the continued custody of the Indian child by the child’s parent or custody by the child’s Indian custodian will result in serious emotional or physical damage to the particular Indian child who is the subject of the child custody proceeding, as defined in ORS 419B.603 (Definitions). Evidence that shows the existence of community or family poverty, isolation, single parenthood, custodian age, crowded or inadequate housing, substance abuse or nonconforming social behavior does not, by itself, establish a causal relationship as required by this paragraph.


As used in this subsection, “custody” and “continued custody” have the meanings described in ORS 419B.606 (Custody).


If the court finds under ORS 419B.305 (When hearing must be held) (2), or at any time prior to the commencement of the hearing, that there is reason to know that the child is an Indian child, the jurisdictional requirements of ORS 419B.305 (When hearing must be held) and 419B.627 (Jurisdiction) must be met before the court may assume jurisdiction of the case. [1993 c.33 §101; 1993 c.546 §51; 2001 c.622 §54; 2020 s.s.1 c.14 §35; 2021 c.398 §70]

Notes of Decisions

Under former similar statute

Due process does not require that parents or children be granted the right to demand a jury trial in termination proceedings. State ex rel Juvenile Dept. v. F.S., 26 Or App 209, 552 P2d 586 (1976), Sup Ct review denied

In general

Exclusion of improperly obtained evidence against parent is not available in juvenile dependency hearing. State ex rel Department of Human Services v. W.P., 345 Or 657, 202 P3d 167 (2009)


Last accessed
Mar. 11, 2023