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Name: In re Angel L.
Case #: B198541
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 02/05/2008

California had jurisdiction over the minors when California became the minors’ home state during dependency proceedings. The minors were detained in 1996 when they were left with an inappropriate caretaker in California. According to father, the minors were only in California for a day when father came to see a doctor in Los Angeles. The parents lived in Nevada. A section 300(b) petition was sustained. Over the years, the court held periodic review hearings. The parents received no reunification services because they lived in Nevada, and Nevada was unwilling to provide them services. Long term foster care was ordered as a permanent plan, as the children had special needs and were not adoptable. One minor, Angel, was placed with a foster parent who wanted to adopt her. The juvenile court found that the minor was likely to be adopted and terminated parental rights. On appeal, the parents sought to set aside all orders after the disposition hearing because the juvenile court lacked subject matter jurisdiction. The appellate court rejected the argument, finding that a California court can take temporary emergency jurisdiction over a child present in the state in order to protect that child from abuse. Even though emergency jurisdiction is intended to be limited, the juvenile court may continue to exercise authority as long as the risk of harm is ongoing. Here, it remained impossible to return any of the children to one or both parents. Once the children became dependents, the temporary emergency jurisdiction ripened into permanent jurisdiction, and California became the minors’ home state. However, since the minor’s placement fell through after the court terminated parental rights, and there was no hope of another adoptive home for the minor, the order terminating parental rights was reversed.