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Name: In re D.C.
Case #: H036192
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/23/2011

Jurisdiction under Section 300(i) does not require a finding tht parent intended to harm child. Mother held the minor, who had cerebral palsy, under water for about ten seconds, stating that she was “sorry she had to do this.” The minor struggled against mother, and was rescued by witnesses. Mother had a history of mental illness and said she was trying to spiritually cleanse the minor and help her get over her fear of water. The Department alleged jurisdiction under section 300, subd. (i), for acts of cruelty against the minor, as well as under sections(b) and (g). Mother challenged only the juvenile court finding under subdivision (i), contending that there was no evidence she intended to harm the minor. The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed. Acts of cruelty are intentional acts which inflict pain or distress. They do not require an intent to harm the child. Mother knew the minor was terrified of water and threw her into the water and held her down. There was sufficient evidence that the minor was subjected to an act of cruelty.