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Name: In re Ashley B.
Case #: B232428
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 12/20/2012

Sibling’s death following parents’ failure to put him to sleep safely was sufficient evidence to support a Section 300, subdivision (j) allegation involving his sibling. Minor Ashley was removed when her younger sibling Jose was found dead in the home. The coroner’s report listed the cause of Jose’s death as sudden infant death syndrome, but asphyxiation due to sleeping in the parents’ bed could not be ruled out. Mother appealed the order adjudging Ashley a dependent under section 300, subdivision (j) because the court failed to sustain a count as to Jose. She did not challenge the court’s other jurisdictional findings. Because jurisdiction was proper on other grounds, and mother could not expect a more favorable result, the court found it did not need to consider the appeal. However, the court held that the argument would fail in any case. Subdivision (j) of section 300 does not require an express finding regarding the subject child’s sibling as a prerequisite to jurisdiction. Further, substantial evidence supported the court’s subdivision (j) findings. The evidence showed that the parents ignored the discharging hospital’s instructions that Jose, a premature infant who suffered from sleep apnea, should be placed to sleep in his crib on his back. The evidence was sufficient to support a conclusion that neither mother nor father was ensuring that Jose was put to bed safely. Substantial evidence supports an implied finding that Jose was abused or neglected as defined by section 300, subdivision (b).