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Name: In re A.K.
Case #: C081545
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/09/2017

Father had no standing to challenge the court’s failure to consider relative placement after reunification had been terminated, and even if he had standing, he forfeited the issue by not raising it in the juvenile court. Father contended on appeal that the order terminating his parental rights must be reversed because the Department and juvenile court failed to assess the paternal grandmother’s request for placement under the requirements of section 361.3. The appellate court found that since father’s services had been terminated, he could not establish that his rights in reunification were affected by the failure to consider grandmother as a placement. Thus, he lacked standing to appeal. Father also argued that the placement with grandmother could have triggered the relative caregiver exception to adoption. The appellate court rejected that argument because there was no indication that grandmother was willing to adopt the minor, and the minor did not have a relationship with her that would have made removal detrimental. Further, even if father had standing to raise the relative placement preference, he forfeited the contention by failing to pursue the matter in juvenile court. Father did not challenge the failure to place with grandmother in the juvenile court, present evidence, or request a hearing or ruling on the matter. The juvenile court does not have a duty to hold a relative placement hearing sua sponte.