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Name: In re D.R.
Case #: A124573
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 06/15/2010

A non-parent who abused a minor properly retained his de facto parent status where the department failed to show changed circumstances and the minor retained his psychological bond. The 12-year-old dependent minor was removed from the home of his uncle, C.S., with whom he had lived since he was an infant, due to physical abuse. After the juvenile court sustained the petition, the department moved to set aside C.S.’s status as de facto parent. The motion was denied. C.S.’s partner, K.F., also sought de facto parent status. This motion was granted. The department appealed the denial of their motion, and the granting of K.F.’s motion. The appellate court affirmed the orders. C.S.’s misconduct did not trigger mandatory loss of de facto parent status. The juvenile court did not abuse its discretion by continuing C.S.’s de facto parent status because the minor retained his psychological bond with C.S. The juvenile court properly found that the department’s showing of a change of circumstances was insufficient to warrant termination. Likewise, the juvenile court found that K.F. had actively served in a parenting role to the minor, and there was no evidence that K.F. condoned the physical abuse. The juvenile court acted within its discretion to grant K.F. de facto parent status.