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Name: In re D.P.
Case #: E062886
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 09/22/2015
Summary

Court properly rejected request for paternity testing where it could be conclusively established that alleged father was not the biological father. When the minor was detained in 2013, the alleged father’s whereabouts were unknown. After the detention hearing, father was located in a federal prison. Father requested paternity testing to determine if he was the minor’s biological father, stating that he did not know if he was the father. Father’s attorney stated that she had nothing to elevate father’s status to presumed. Father was denied reunification services as an alleged father. In his appeal from the 366.26 hearing, father contended that the juvenile court abused its discretion in denying his request for a DNA test and deeming him an alleged father throughout the proceedings. He argued that he was deprived of the ability to establish that he was the biological father, of consideration for relative placements, and of receiving reunification services. The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed. The evidence showed that the minor was conceived after father was incarcerated, and therefore it was reasonable to deny father paternity testing. Although the court was required to determine if father was a biological or presumed father, it was not required to order a genetic test when it could conclusively determine without it that father was not the minor’s biological father. Further, there was also no evidence supporting a finding that father was a presumed father. He was not married to mother, his name was not on the birth certificate, he did not execute a declaration of paternity, he had never lived with the minor, gotten involved in his life, nor provide him financial support. Father could not possibly establish that he was the presumed father, even if somehow he was the minor’s biological father.