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Georgia State Code
Title      15
Chapter      11  
Section Navigation     1 ... 10         11 ... 21    
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Title 15, Chapter 11, Section 56 (15-11-56)

(a) Findings. After hearing the evidence on any petition alleging delinquency, unruliness, or deprivation, the court shall make and file its findings as to whether the child is a deprived child or, if the petition alleges that the child is delinquent or unruly, after hearing the evidence the court shall make and file its findings as to whether the acts ascribed to the child were committed by the child. If the court finds that the child is not a deprived child or that the allegations of delinquency or unruly conduct have not been established, it shall dismiss the petition and order the child discharged from any detention or other restriction theretofore ordered in the proceeding.

(b) Disposition. The court shall proceed immediately or at a postponed hearing to make a proper disposition of the case if the court finds from clear and convincing evidence that the child:

(1) Is deprived;

(2) Is in need of treatment or rehabilitation as a delinquent child; or

(3) Is in need of treatment or rehabilitation or supervision as an unruly child.

(c) Evidence. In dispositional hearings under subsection (b) of this Code section and in all proceedings involving custody of a child, all information helpful in determining the questions presented, including oral and written reports, may be received by the court and relied upon to the extent of its probative value even though not otherwise competent in the hearing on the petition. The parties or their counsel shall be afforded an opportunity upon request to examine and controvert written reports so received and to cross-examine individuals making the reports, except that portions of such reports not relied on by the court in reaching its decision which, if revealed, would be prejudicial to the interests of the child or any party to the proceeding may be withheld in the court's discretion. Confidential sources of information need not be disclosed.

(d) Continuances; scheduling. On its own motion or that of a party, the court may continue the hearings under this Code section for a reasonable period to receive reports and other evidence bearing on the disposition or the child's need for treatment or rehabilitation. In this event, the court shall make an appropriate order for detention of the child or for the child's release from detention subject to supervision of the court during the period of the continuance. In scheduling investigations and hearings, the court shall give priority to proceedings in which a child is in detention or has otherwise been removed from his or her home before an order of disposition has been made.

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