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Name: George P. v. Superior Court
Case #: B179051
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 02/28/2005

During the pendency of dependency proceedings, petitioner, a member of the National Guard, was sent to Iraq. The juvenile court granted a 90-day stay of the case under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), but denied petitioner’s request for an additional stay. On appeal, he argued that the juvenile court erred by denying his request for an additional stay, which he argued was mandatory under the SCRA. The appellate court disagreed and denied his writ petition. The granting of a motion for an additional stay under the SCRA is discretionary. Here, the record supports the juvenile court’s conclusion that petitioner’s military obligations did not adversely affect his ability to participate in the case. Petitioner appeared at the critical hearings and was represented by counsel at all times. Even when he was in Iraq, he was not prevented from communicating with counsel or with DSS. The termination of services was based on petitioner’s actions prior to deployment including a failure to participate in services. It was reasonable to presume that an additional stay would simply have delayed the inevitable order terminating his services.