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Name: In re Brittany K.
Case #: A094158
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 02/28/2002
Subsequent History: Rehg. denied 3/29/02; Rev. denied 6/12/02.
Summary

The juvenile court’s decision and order finding the minor adoptable and terminating parental rights was not void or ineffective because the section 366.26 hearing was heard by a court commissioner sitting as a referee without the stipulation of appellants and without subsequent approval by a judge. Here, the commissioner had heard previous hearings regarding the minor, including the hearing at which the 366.26 hearing was set, without any objection by the parties. At the 366.26 hearing, appellant grandmother did not want to stipulate to the referee sitting as a judge, and mother was not present to ask. The court proceeded with the hearing without any further objection. The appellate court held that the failure to make a timely objection was tantamount to an implied waiver of the required stipulation. Even if grandmother’s belated attempt at the 366.26 hearing was a withdrawal of her implied stipulation, she waived her claim by failing to seek a rehearing of the commissioner’s decision before a juvenile court judge.