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Name: Cheryl P. v. Superior Court
Case #: D047891
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 05/05/2006

The parents were denied reunification services under Welfare and Institutions Code section 361.5, subdivision (b)(2)to the infant minor, Nicholas, because they had previously failed to reunify with an older son, Daniel. The parents filed a 39.1b writ, challenging the denial of services and the setting of a 366.26 hearing. The appellate court granted the writ, and ordered that the juvenile court order six months of reunification services. Although the parents failed to reunify with Daniel, they had made a reasonable effort to treat the problems leading to Daniel’s removal. Daniel was removed because the parents were homeless, and by the time of disposition, the parents were renting an apartment. They were also making a serious though ultimately unsuccessful effort to treat other problems involving neglect of the minor by attending parenting classes and counseling. Although the Department might have sought a denial of services under section 361.5, subdivision (b)(2) which allows the court to deny services where a mental disability renders the parent incapable of utilizing services, here, the Department sought to deny services under section (b)(2). That section requires clear and convincing evidence that the parents have not made a reasonable effort to treat the problems which necessitated removal, which cannot be shown here.