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Name: In re A.R.
Case #: B251957
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 08/12/2014

Mother’s failure to protect the minors from father’s abuse supported dependency jurisdiction. DCFS filed petitions alleging that the seven- and five-year-old minors were at risk because father drove while intoxicated with them in the car. At the time of the petition, mother had been absent for more than two years. After mother was located in Reno, DCFS filed an amended petition alleging mother’s failure to provide. Another amended petition was filed when the minors disclosed sexual abuse by father. The amended petition was sustained. The court found that mother left the minors with father despite her knowledge of father’s drug use. On appeal, mother contended that the harm to the minors was not caused by her abandonment of them but by father’s driving while intoxicated and his acts of sexual abuse. The appellate court affirmed the jurisdictional order. Because jurisdiction was proper based on father’s conduct, the court held it need not consider whether it was also proper based on mother’s conduct. Further, there was sufficient evidence that mother failed to protect the minors from father’s conduct. Mother knew that father had a long-standing drug abuse problem and that he was violent, yet she gave up trying to see the girls and moved out of state. Further, mother did not challenge the sufficiency of the pleadings, and did not properly object to the failure to protect allegation.