(a) Dependency proceedings shall be commenced in the county where the child resides, in the county where the child is present when the proceedings are commenced, or in the county where the acts that are the basis of the dependency petition occurred.

Terms Used In Alabama Code 12-15-302

  • child: An individual under the age of 18 years, or under 21 years of age and before the juvenile court for a delinquency matter arising before that individual's 18th birthday, or under 19 years of age and before the juvenile court for a child in need of supervision matter or commitment to the State Department of Mental Health or under 19 years of age and before the juvenile court for a proceeding initiated under Section 12-15-115(b)(2). See Alabama Code 12-15-102
  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • JUVENILE COURT: The juvenile or family court division of the circuit or district court having jurisdiction over matters as provided by this chapter. See Alabama Code 12-15-102
  • LEGAL CUSTODIAN: A parent, person, agency, or department to whom legal custody of a child under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court pursuant to this chapter has been awarded by order of the juvenile court or other court of competent jurisdiction. See Alabama Code 12-15-102
  • year: means a calendar year; but, whenever the word "year" is used in reference to any appropriations for the payment of money out of the treasury, it shall mean fiscal year. See Alabama Code 1-1-1

(b) Regardless of the county where the child currently resides, when a petition is filed seeking to modify an award of custody or visitation pursuant to an adjudication of dependency, and one of the individuals who was a party to the original proceeding still resides in the county of the juvenile court of original jurisdiction, the petition shall be filed in the juvenile court of the original jurisdiction.

(c) When a petition is filed seeking to modify an award of custody or visitation pursuant to an adjudication of dependency in which all parties to the original action, including the child, no longer reside in the county of original jurisdiction, the petition shall be filed in the county where the child resides at the time the petition is filed. The petition shall be accompanied by a certified copy of the most recent order to be modified.

(d) For purposes of this section, county where the child resides means the county in which the child and legal custodian have established legal residence or have resided for six or more months of a calendar year. This term shall not include placements by a state department or agency.

(Act 2008-277, p. 441, §16.)