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Name: In re A.K.
Case #: E064295
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 04/05/2016

Appeal dismissed under disentitlement doctrine where father’s uncooperative behavior showed contempt to legal orders. Father appealed the orders removing his minor child from his custody after a finding of dependency jurisdiction. During the dependency proceedings, father told the social worker he “would not do anything (she) asked him to do,” failed to drug test, and told the social worker not to call him. Father failed to appear at the disposition hearing. On appeal, father argued that there was insufficient evidence to support jurisdiction. The Department argued that father was precluded from raising his issue on appeal under the doctrine of disentitlement, where an appellate court may dismiss an appeal by a party who has refused to obey the court’s legal orders. The appellate court agreed with the Department and dismissed the appeal. The record showed that father was uncooperative from the inception of the case and possessed an “attitude of contempt” to legal orders and the dependency process. His behavior demonstrated an extraordinary and unmitigated pattern of obstruction sufficient to warrant the application of the doctrine of disentitlement and dismissal of his appeal.