Legalese can confuse anyone but parents new to the system and guardians who are sitting in on hearings may find the entire process confusing and daunting. Juvenile dependency is a unique branch of law with special rules and terminology such as dependency and DCFS. As a result, many parents and children find themselves facing foreign court procedures and a "new" language. This sample question sent in by a caretaker show how critical documents are often phrased in words that pass over most heads.
To begin the literal English translation of the following would be
Contested [parent's disagree with the findings over] jurisdictional hearing [the hearing regarding where the court assumes legal responsibility over the child] on original dependency petition (300) [refers to the Welf and Inst Code sec 300 that regulates dependent minors] filed on date of Dept. of Public Social Services. [the original petition asking that the state take legal responsibility over the child due to parental unfitness].
In short the parents disagree with the court orders during the jurisdictional hearing which was based on the original petition for dependency. To refresh dependency is the status of the minor being under the legal custody of the state /county due the parents being found unfit. In this the case the parents did not agree with the findings that sought that the court adjudicate [find/order] the children dependent and ask that the court set a contested matter hearing.
Even though it would be easy for the court to put the wording of the process in simple english that everyone can understand, the legal system is not structured in such a way and parents and caretakers best be off researching any words or terminology they do not know. If they have court appointed counsel, they can ask their counsel what the meaning of the words mean and what their implications are. Don't allow yourself to get lost in the mire of words and legal rules. Advocate for yourself because if you do not understand what is going on there is no way that you can properly complete what is need of you.
Juvenile Dependency and