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Name: In re B.S.
Case #: E045748
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 03/17/2009

The juvenile court could issue a restraining order against an abusive father despite a criminal court order already having been issued. The father appealed an order restraining him from contact with the minor, the minor’s mother, and his maternal grandmother. He contended that the juvenile court lacked jurisdiction to issue the order because the criminal court had already issued a similar restraining order, and also that there was insufficient evidence to support the issuance of the restraining order with respect to the minor. The appellate court rejected the arguments and affirmed. The rule of exclusive concurrent jurisdiction did not apply because the parties and remedies in the two proceedings were not the same. The juvenile court was not precluded from issuing its own restraining order, if it was not contrary to the existing criminal court restraining order. Here, there was no actual conflict between the two orders, and the juvenile court order specified that any conflict must be resolved in favor of the criminal court order. Further, there was sufficient evidence to support the restraining order regarding the minor because the minor had been present for repeated acts of domestic violence against the mother, and the father showed willful disregard for his safety in these instances. The juvenile court could reasonably infer from the father’s tendency to resort to violence and his lack of impulse control that he might be a threat to the minor’s safety.