Frequently Asked Questions

I didn’t qualify for court appointed counsel. Where can I find an attorney that will work with me on payment?

The ORPC maintains a list of qualified attorneys who charge lower rates, or work with clients on payment plans. Fill out our contact form and let us know where your case is located and we can send you a list of attorneys.

What are the laws that govern my case?

Dependency and neglect cases follow the Colorado Children’s Code, which is Title 19 of the Colorado Revised Statutes. You can access the Colorado Revised Statutes on LexisNexis.

County departments of human/social services are required to follow Volume 7 of the Colorado Code of Regulations. Volume 7 can be found on the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.

What are my rights in a D&N case?

If your child was removed from your care, you should have received a Notice of Rights and Remedies.

My parental rights were terminated last year, but I am doing better now. What can I do?

Parents in dependency and neglect cases have only a short period of time to file an appeal. Appeals must be filed within 21 days of the day the termination order was signed.  If you did not appeal, or lost your appeal, your case is over, and there are few options for legally regaining custody of your children.  We encourage all parents who have had parental rights terminated to continue to work on the issues that brought your case to the court.  Children often try to find their parents when they are teenagers and adults.  It is important that parents are able to support their children when they come to you when they are older, so continuing to work on sobriety, stability, and managing mental health is important for you and your children in the future.

I don’t know if my parental rights were terminated. How can I find out?

You can go to the court where your case was held and ask the clerk for a copy of any termination order.

How long do I have to file an appeal?

Parents in dependency and neglect cases can file appeals at two different times. The first is at the beginning of a case, after both adjudication and disposition. The second is when the case is completely finished, with either an order terminating parental rights, or an order allocating parental responsibilities or awarding guardianship. Parents must file their appeal within 21 days of the day the court signed the order.  Contact your attorney right away and tell her/him you want to appeal if you are within the 21 day time frame.If you are outside that 21 day time frame, except in very rare circumstances, you no longer have the ability to appeal the decision in the dependency and neglect case.

I don’t know how to contact my attorney. Can you give me that information?

Yes we can help you with contact information for your attorney.

I want my attorney to file a motion, but my attorney refuses. The court told me I cannot file the motion myself. What can I do?

We encourage you to talk with your attorney about the motion, and why your attorney believes (s)he can’t file that motion at this time. If you have done that, and still have a concern, you can fill out our complaint/feedback form.

I can’t reach my attorney, or my attorney does not return my phone calls / emails. What can I do?

Communication between attorneys and clients is important. If you believe our office can help communication between you and your attorney, you can fill out our complaint/feedback form.

I want to fire my attorney, but the court told me they cannot appoint another lawyer. Is that correct?

Courts are not under an obligation to appoint a new attorney for you if you terminate the relationship with your court-appointed-attorney. If your attorney withdraws due to a conflict, or some other reason, then the court should appoint a new attorney for you.

What are the rules for court-appointed attorneys?

Courts and respondent parent attorneys in dependency and neglect cases are required to follow Chief Justice Directive 16-02 and the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct.

My attorney is doing a great job and should be commended. Who should I tell?

The ORPC welcomes feedback from parents. You can fill out our feedback/complaint form.

My child’s guardian ad litem is not listening to my children. What should I do?

Parents can contact the Colorado Office of the Child’s Representative for issues regarding a guardian ad litem.

My child is being abused in their foster home. What can I do?

Parents can contact the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-844-CO-4-KIDS.

My family’s caseworker is not doing his/her job. Where can I file a complaint?

If you feel you have been or are being treated unfairly by the county department of human/social services, you may contact your caseworker’s supervisor, the director of your county department of human/social services, and/or your county grievance coordinator. Your grievance may also be reviewed by a citizen review panel upon your request if your grievance has not been resolved to your satisfaction. (C.R.S. § 19-3-211). Parents can also file complaints about human/social services with the Colorado Child Protection Ombudsman.