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Name: A.H. v. Superior Court
Case #: A137236
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 09/25/2013

A juvenile court may terminate pre-dependency probate guardianship where it is in the best interest of the minors. Paternal grandmother was appointed guardian of a sibling group in probate court more than five years before the dependency proceedings. The Agency initiated dependency proceedings based on physical abuse of the older minors by grandmother. The younger two minors filed a petition to terminate grandmother’s probate guardianship, and also a petition pursuant to section 388 to change their placement from grandmother to an aunt and uncle. Grandmother appealed, and also filed a writ petition challenging the juvenile court’s order setting a permanency planning hearing. She contended that the juvenile court could not terminate her probate guardianship without a recommendation from the Agency, and also that termination of the guardianship could not take place without an order from the probate court. The appellate court rejected the arguments, finding that the juvenile court has the authority to terminate a pre-dependency probate guardianship whether or not the Agency that initiated the dependency proceedings recommends, and even if the probate guardianship was established in a different county. The sole criterion for termination of a probate guardianship is the best interest of the minor.