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      CHC 1025.4     


Art. 1025.4. Prehearing and scheduling conference; order

            A. At the appearance, on its own motion or on motion of counsel, the court shall direct counsel for the petitioner, for the parents, and for the child to appear before it for a conference to consider the following:

            (1) The consideration of alternatives to formal court proceedings when their use is appropriate and in the best interest of the child.

            (2) Efforts to identify and locate an unidentified or absent parent and relatives or other individuals willing and able to offer a wholesome and stable home for the child.

            (3) Whether there is an issue of paternity requiring the issuance of an order for immediate blood or tissue sampling in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 9:396 et seq.

            (4) The simplification of the issues including the elimination of frivolous claims or defenses.

            (5) The necessity or desirability of amendments to the petition.

            (6) What material facts and issues exist without substantial controversy, and what material facts and issues are actually and in good faith controverted.

            (7) Proof, stipulations regarding the authenticity of documents, and advance rulings from the court on the admissibility of evidence.

            (8) Limitations or restrictions on or regulation of the use of expert testimony under Louisiana Code of Evidence Article 702.

            (9) The control and scheduling of discovery.

            (10) The identification of witnesses, documents, and exhibits.

            (11) Such other matters as may aid in the disposition of the action.

            B. The court shall render an order which recites the action taken at the conference, the amendments allowed to the petition, and the agreements made by the parties as to any of the matters considered, and which limits the issues for adjudication to those not disposed of by admissions or agreements of counsel. Such order controls the subsequent course of the action, unless modified at the termination of parental rights hearing to prevent manifest injustice.

            C. If a party's counsel fails to obey a prehearing order, or to appear at the prehearing and scheduling conference, or is substantially unprepared to participate in the conference, or fails to participate in good faith, the court, upon its own motion or on the motion of a party, after hearing, may make such orders as are just, including orders provided in Code of Civil Procedure Article 1471(2), (3), and (4). In lieu of or in addition to any other sanction, the court may require the party or his counsel, or both, to pay the reasonable expenses incurred by noncompliance with this Paragraph, including attorney fees.

            Acts 1997, No. 256, §1; Acts 1999, No. 449, §1, eff. July 1, 1999; Acts 2017, No. 239, §1.

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