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Name: In re Ashley M.
Case #: A104054
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 12/08/2003
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 3/3/04
Summary

The Department appealed from a dispositional order insofar as the order mandated the assignment of a specific social worker to the case. The appellate court here modified the order to strike that requirement. The juvenile court’s function was limited to compelling the Department to fulfill its responsibilities, including providing appropriate case management and adequate reports to the court. Upon finding that reasonable services have not been offered, the court may order further services. Upon finding reports to be incomplete or inaccurate, the court may order additional reports, or direct the social worker to appear in court for questioning. The court is also free to disregard the recommendations of the Department. However, compelling the participation of a particular social worker exceeds its authority. Public policy and the doctrine of separation of powers require that designation of the social worker must be left to the discretion and expertise of the Department.