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Name: In re D.F.
Case #: C057250
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 02/20/2009

The father was properly denied services under section 361.5, subdivision (b)(3) where a sibling suffered similar abuse in a prior case. The father challenged the denial of reunification services pursuant to section 361.5, subdivision (b)(3) because the minor who was removed was not the minor who was physically abused in the first dependency proceeding. The appellate court rejected the argument. The minor removed in the prior dependency proceeding was the victim of severe physical abuse by the mother and father. The current minor’s removal was based in part on physical abuse by the father. Contrary to the father’s assertion, the express language of the statute specifies that the victim of the previous abuse may be the child or a sibling of the child. The statute also does not specify that the second removal must be from the custody of the same parent, so the father’s argument that the section does not apply because the most recent removal was from the mother also failed. Further, there was no abuse of discretion in denying services because reunification was not in the minor’s best interest. The court also rejected the father’s claim that the department failed to carry out its duty to apprise the court of the father’s deafness and its implications. Nothing in the record suggested that the court harbored any misperceptions concerning the father’s demeanor.