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Name: In re Austin P.
Case #: D043560
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 05/21/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 7/28/04

Following a true finding on a petition which alleged mother’s substance abuse, the minor was placed with his nonoffending father. However, the court did not terminate its jurisdiction. On appeal, father argued that under Welfare and Institutions Code section 361.2, subdivision (a), he was entitled to full custody of the minor absent detriment. The appellate court here rejected the argument. Section 361.2, subdivision (a), requires that the court place the minor in the temporary physical custody of the nonoffending, noncustodial parent if it would not be detrimental to the child. The court may not terminate jurisdiction, however, until it analyzes whether ongoing supervision of the child is necessary. If there is no such need, the court may terminate jurisdiction and grant sole physical and legal custody to the nonoffending parent. If there is a need for ongoing supervision, the court is to continue jurisdiction. Here, the court properly decided there was a need for continued supervision. The minor had sporadic contact with his father, and had been very bonded to his mother. The Agency was also concerned that father had not protected the minor from his mother earlier. Father did not establish that the court abused its discretion by continuing jurisdiction.