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RULE 9-109. HEARING ON MERITS

West's Annotated Code of MarylandMaryland Rules

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Maryland Rules
Title 9. Family Law Actions
Chapter 100. Adoption; Guardianship Terminating Parental Rights (Refs & Annos)
MD Rules, Rule 9-109
RULE 9-109. HEARING ON MERITS
(a) Requirement.
(1) Generally. The court shall hold a hearing and make findings on the record on the merits of a guardianship or adoption petition as provided by Code, Family Law Article:
(A) § 5-318 in a nonconsensual Public Agency Guardianship;
(B) § 5-335 in a Public Agency Adoption without Prior TPR;
(C) § 5-347 in a Public Agency Adoption after TPR;
(D) § 5-3A-32 in a Private Agency Adoption; or
(E) § 5-3B-17 in an Independent Adoption.
(2) Guardianship. The court may hold a hearing on the merits of a consensual Public or Private Agency Guardianship petition.
Cross reference: See Code, Family Law Article, § 5-318 as to Public Agency Guardianship.
(b) Adoption.
(1) Persons Present at Hearing. Unless excused for good cause shown, each petitioner and the person to be adopted shall be present at the hearing on the merits in an adoption action. The hearing shall be conducted out of the presence of all persons other than the petitioners, the person to be adopted, and those persons whose presence the court deems necessary or desirable.
Committee note: Social policy against public disclosure of adoption proceedings compels all hearings to be as private as possible. This Rule leaves to the discretion of the trial court the extent to which this consideration must be relaxed in the interest of fair trial.
(2) Considerations. In ruling on a petition for adoption, the court shall make the considerations required by Code, Family Law Article:
(A) § 5-337 in a Public Agency Adoption without Prior TPR;
(B) § 5-349 in a Public Agency Adoption after TPR;
(C) § 5-3A-34 in a Private Agency Adoption; or
(D) § 5-3B-19 in an Independent Adoption.
(3) Findings by the Court. In an adoption action, the court shall determine on the record whether:
(A) Necessary consents have been filed;
(B) Any required consents have been revoked;
Cross reference: Rules 9-111 (b) and 9-112 (a).
(C) Appropriate notices have been served;
(D) Any investigative reports have been filed;
(E) All questioned or disputed issues have been resolved;
(F) In a nonconsensual independent adoption, whether the findings required by Code, Family Law Article, § 5-3B-21 have been met;
(G) The adoptive parents are fit and proper to be the parents of the person to be adopted;
(H) The best interests of the person to be adopted will be served by the adoption; and
(I) Other appropriate matters have been resolved.
Cross reference: See Code, Family Law Article, §§ 5-337 as to a Public Agency Adoption without Prior TPR; 5-349 as to a Public Agency Adoption after TPR; 5-3A-34 as to a Private Agency Adoption; and 5-3B-19, 5-3B-22, and 5-3B-23 as to an Independent Adoption.
Source: This Rule is in part derived from former Rule D77 and is in part new.

Credits

[Adopted June 5, 1996, eff. Jan. 1, 1997. Amended June 4, 2007, eff. July 1, 2007.]

Editors' Notes

HISTORICAL NOTES
2007 Orders
The June 4, 2007, order rewrote the Rule, which previously read:
“(a) Requirement. The court shall hold a hearing on the merits in a contested guardianship action and in every adoption action prior to entering a judgment of adoption or guardianship. The court may hold a hearing on the merits in any guardianship action. The hearing shall be on the record.
“(b) Guardianship. When the court holds a hearing in a guardianship action, it shall make the findings required by Code, Family Law Article, § 5-313 on the record.
“(c) Adoption.
“(1) Persons Present at Hearing. Unless excused for good cause shown, each petitioner and the person to be adopted shall be present at the hearing on the merits in an adoption action. The hearing shall be conducted out of the presence of all persons other than the petitioners, the person to be adopted, and those persons whose presence the court deems necessary or desirable.
“Committee note: Social policy against public disclosure of adoption proceedings compels all hearings to be as private as possible. This Rule leaves to the discretion of the trial court the extent to which this consideration must be relaxed in the interest of fair trial.
“(2) Findings by the Court. In an adoption action, the court shall determine on the record whether:
“(A) Necessary consents have been filed;
“(B) Any required consents have been revoked;
“Cross reference: Rules 9-111(b) and 9-112(a).
“(C) Appropriate notices have been served;
“(D) Investigative reports are in order;
“(E) All questioned or disputed issues have been resolved;
“(F) In a contested case where adoption will terminate a parent's rights, the parents are unfit or extraordinary circumstances exist;
“(G) The adoptive parents are fit and proper to be the parents of the person to be adopted;
“(H) The best interests of the person to be adopted will be served by the adoption; and
“(I) Other appropriate matters have been resolved.
“Source: This Rule is in part derived from former Rule D77 and is in part new.”
Derivation:
Maryland Rule of Procedure D77, adopted Sept. 15, 1961, eff. Jan. 1, 1962, amended May 31, 1983, eff. July 1, 1983, related to hearings, rescinded June 5, 1996, eff. Jan. 1, 1997.
MD Rules, Rule 9-109, MD R FAM LAW ACT Rule 9-109
Current with amendments received through December 15, 2018
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