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Name: In re A.J.
Case #: E061153
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 08/04/2015

Juvenile court properly denied visitation to father who was not a presumed parent and where the evidence was sufficient to support a detriment finding. Appellant, the biological father of the minor child in the dependency proceeding, was denied supervised visitation at the 366.26 hearing based on a finding of detriment. On appeal, father argued that the juvenile court erred when it denied him visitation because there was insufficient evidence of detriment. The Department argued that there was sufficient evidence of detriment, but that because father was a mere biological father, he was not presumptively entitled to visitation upon the establishment of a guardianship. The appellate court agreed with the Department on both arguments, and affirmed the orders. The juvenile court need not have made the detriment finding because a mere biological father is not a “parent” entitled to visitation during guardianship under section 366.26, subdivision (c)(4)(C). Further, sufficient evidence supported the detriment finding. The minor was young, and had no bond whatsoever with her father who she had not seen since she was a baby. Also, father had a long record of serious criminal convictions, including several for sex crimes against children, and had violated parole frequently, stating that he only respected the terms of his parole supervision “to a point.”