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Name: Gabriel P. v. Suedi D.
Case #: B181184
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 07/25/2006

The juvenile court improperly declined presumed father’s claim where a voluntary declaration of paternity was executed. Suedi had sexual relations with both Gabriel and Anthony, and told each man that he was the father of the minor, Seanna. Anthony executed a voluntary declaration of paternity and later married Suedi. Gabriel initiated a paternity action, and genetic testing was ordered, which showed that Gabriel was Seanna’s biological father. The court concluded that Gabriel was eligible for presumed father status, and set aside Anthony’s voluntary declaration of paternity. The appellate court reversed and remanded. A voluntary declaration of paternity has the equivalent effect of a court-issued judgment for paternity. The court set aside the judgment because tests showed that Gabriel was the biological father, but it did not evaluate Anthony’s relationship to Seanna or consider the presumptions supporting Anthony’s status as presumed father. The trial court improperly rejected Anthony’s claim as presumed father. Upon remand, the trial court must evaluate the competing claims of Anthony and Gabriel to be Seanna’s presumed father.