PA 16-70—sHB 5605

Judiciary Committee


SUMMARY: This act reduces the standard of proof a Superior Court or probate court judge must apply when determining whether to terminate parental rights in cases involving a child conceived as a result of a sexual assault. It no longer requires a finding of guilty in such cases but instead allows judges to terminate parental rights if they find, upon clear and convincing evidence, that the respondent (accused) parent committed the assault.

If the respondent parent was found not guilty of sexual assault in the Superior Court and there is a termination proceeding in probate court, the act requires the probate court to transfer the case, original files, and related papers to Superior Court. In such a case, the act allows the Superior Court to terminate parental rights after notice and a hearing.

The act specifically applies to eight types of sexual assault crimes: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th degree sexual assault; 3rd degree sexual assault with a firearm; 1st degree aggravated sexual assault; aggravated sexual assault of a minor; and sexual assault in a spousal or cohabiting relationship.

The act maintains existing law's requirement that in all termination of parental rights cases, the court also find, upon clear and convincing evidence, that terminating parental rights is in the child's best interest.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2016

OLR Tracking: MK; JR; VR; bs