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Name: In re A.R.
Case #: H041463
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/09/2015

Insufficient evidence supports a removal order where father left the home and followed restrictions on visitation. The minor A.R. was declared a dependent of the court and ordered to remain in the custody of his parents, who were both ordered to participate in family maintenance services. Three months later, father moved out of the home, and stopped participating in services. The Department filed a request to modify the court order that both parents receive services. A subsequent juvenile court order did so, but also removed the minor from father’s custody, and provided supervised visitation. On appeal, father contended that the juvenile court erred because there was no change in circumstances which justified removal of the minor from his custody. The appellate court agreed, finding that the evidence was insufficient to support findings that there would be a substantial danger to the health or well-being of the minor if he returned home. A.R. was living with mother, and father had supervised visitation. When the court made the removal findings, father had already moved out of the home, A.R. remained in the home with mother and was not actually in father’s physical custody. Therefore, the court modified the judgment by striking the removal findings. As modified, it affirmed the orders, as any error was harmless.