Zenner Law Office
Juvenile Defense Law Firm
From Offices In Stillwater, Serving Clients In St. Paul And The Twin Cities
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Experienced Attorney For Minnesota CHIPS Cases

In Minnesota, if a county Department of Child Protection Services determines that a child’s safety, health or welfare is in danger because of their domestic circumstances involving the parent(s), foster care home or legal guardian, the agency may initiate a provision of a state law referred to as Child in Need of Protection or Services (CHIPS).

CHIPS Cases Follow A Legal Process

The process requires an investigation by the local social services agency and potential filing of a CHIPS petition and even removal of the children from the parental home. In effect, these cases are brought before the county juvenile court with its own specialized laws and rules. If the court agrees to hear the case, all relevant parties will receive a summons to appear at a hearing on the matter. However, you have the right to assistance of counsel even if the matter does not go to court immediately. Immediate effective assistance of an attorney can be extremely helpful in such cases. If the matter is brought before the juvenile court, you want an attorney who is knowledgeable in the law and strategies for an effective defense. You want a seasoned attorney who knows how to navigate the process to bring children home in the most expedient manner. My 27+ years in juvenile court give me that knowledge and insight.

There are several different categories of circumstances under which the Department of Social Services may file a case, including:

  • Child protection from physical or emotional abuse
  • Truancy
  • Child runaway
  • Delinquency offenses for child under the age of 10
  • Parental voluntary placement

Legal Representation Will Often Affect The Outcome Of A CHIPS Case

Parents, relevant members of the extended family, legal guardians and guardians ad litem may all have reason and cause to appear at the hearing to give testimony on behalf of either side of the case. (If the child is a member of an American Indian tribe, the tribe must also be named as a relevant party.) Any of the parties may retain an attorney as legal counsel or to argue their case in court.

If you are involved in a Minnesota CHIPS case in the seven county metropolitan areas of Minneapolis and St. Paul, contact me, attorney Pat Zenner, of Zenner Law Office in Stillwater, Minnesota, for sound advice and aggressive representation. I will explain the process and show you how having an experienced lawyer can work in your and your child’s best interests.

Call Or Send An Email To Arrange A Free Initial Consultation

Call my office at 651-300-0082 or send a confidential email to arrange an opportunity to discuss your circumstances.