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Name: In re Angelique C.
Case #: H024986
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/19/2003
Subsequent History: None

Appellant was denied reunification services pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 361.5, subdivision (b)(11) based on the relationship with a prior sibling having been permanently severed. On appeal, appellant contended that the bypass provision did not apply, as he had voluntarily relinquished his parental rights to the sibling. The appellate court disagreed, concluding that 361.5, subd.(b)(11) applies when a parent’s rights to a minor’s sibling or half sibling are severed due to a voluntary relinquishment of those rights. This construction is supported by the plain meaning of “severed” as well as the legislative history and public policy. Further, there was sufficient evidence that appellant had not made reasonable efforts to treat the problems which led to the removal of the sibling where appellant continued to have the same serious mental health problems which caused the removal. Finally, the delay of the disposition hearing beyond the statutory maximum did not result in prejudice, and therefore did not require a reversal of the dispositional orders.