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Name: In re Angel B.
Case #: B150872
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 04/04/2002
Subsequent History: None

Angel was born in June 2000 exposed to cocaine and amphetamines. Her mother had failed in reunification efforts with a son, Robert, born in November 1998. Robert had been placed with foster parents who wanted to adopt him. Angel was placed in the same home shortly after birth. Angel’s mother was denied reunification efforts under Welfare and Institutions Code section 361.6, subdivision (b)(10) because Robert been placed in permanent planning. Angel’s mother began to improve by enrolling in a residential drug treatment program, testing clean for four months, taking classes and finding employment. Her petition for modification under Welfare and Institutions Code section 388 was summarily denied and at a subsequent Welfare and Institutions Code section 366.26 hearing her parental rights were terminated. She appealed both orders. The appeals were consolidated and the Court of Appeal held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it summarily denied a modification under section 388 because the mother had failed to make a prima facie showing that Angel’s best interests would be served by a modification. The Court of Appeal also held that the exception to parental termination under Welfare and Institutions Code section 366.26, subdivision (c)(1)(A) – compelling reason that termination would be detrimental to the child – did not apply since the mother had failed to prove that her relationship with Angel was so significant that its termination would cause the child detriment.