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Name: In re A.B.
Case #: B249402
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/30/2014

Although the juvenile court’s finding on the original petition was incorrect, the appellate court declined to address the issue since substantial evidence supported jurisdiction under a subsequent petition. An original petition filed alleged that the minor was at risk due to mother’s unsafe and cluttered apartment. The juvenile court sustained the petition despite the fact that the minor could not be located, and mother was not properly noticed of the hearing. The Department filed a subsequent petition when the minor was located, alleging that she was in danger because the minor was severely malnourished and developmentally delayed due to the lack of care. On appeal, mother argued that the original petition should not have been sustained. The appellate court agreed but held that no effective relief could be provided to mother by reversing jurisdiction under the original petition because jurisdiction was established independently under the subsequent petition. Substantial evidence supported the juvenile court’s finding that mother’s failure to properly feed the minor placed her at risk of harm. The court also held that the denial of mother’s continuance request was not grounds for reversal. Although mother argued on appeal that the denial of the continuance denied her the opportunity to prepare a defense to the MAT assessment, this was not raised below. The only discussion of a continuance focused solely on mother’s absence from the hearing. Therefore, the argument is forfeited.