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Name: In re A.R.
Case #: D053125
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 01/26/2009

The court erred by refusing to stay proceedings while the father was deployed to Iraq. The infant minor was detained because of unexplained injuries. The minor was undergoing medical testing to determine whether her injuries were the result of a genetic condition. Father’s attorney filed a motion to stay the proceedings pursuant to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) because he was being deployed to Iraq. The court declined to stay the proceedings, found the petition true, and removed her from father, placing her with mother. Father appealed, arguing that the court failed to stay the proceedings for 90 days pursuant to the SCRA. The appellate court agreed and reversed. The mandatory stay provision of the SCRA overrides statutory mandates regarding the expeditious resolution of juvenile dependency cases. Remand was required for a new jurisdictional and dispositional hearing.