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Bill Changes Burden Of Proof For Terminating Parents' Rights

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  New Hampshire would face a higher burden of proof in terminating a parent's rights under a bill before a House committee.

The House Judiciary Committee is holding a public hearing Tuesday that would require a court to find proof beyond a reasonable doubt that parental rights should be terminated. Under current law, the standard is clear and convincing evidence, which is a lower burden of proof.

The bill, which was requested by the state Supreme Court, passed the Senate last month. Senators described it as a "housekeeping bill," saying that under both state and federal law, parental rights are a liberty, and therefore to terminate them, the higher burden of proof is required.

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