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Name: In re D.R.
Case #: B224853
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 03/07/2011

Where father refused to acknowledge paternity until six months after detention, his 388 petition requesting reinstatement of services was properly denied. Father contended that his 388 petition was wrongly denied because it presented new evidence, the voluntary declaration of paternity which established him as presumed father and qualified him to receive reunification services. The appellate court rejected his argument and affirmed. The voluntary declaration of paternity was not properly executed or filed because it was witnessed by mother’s attorney, who was not authorized by section 7571. Further, it was not forwarded to the DCSS within 20 days. Even assuming the voluntary declaration substantially complied with the statute, the summary denial of the 388 petition did not require reversal. Father failed to acknowledge paternity at the hospital and refused to sign the birth certificate. He continued to deny paternity at the time that reunification services were denied him as an alleged father. Father did not sign the declaration until six months after the minor was detained, which was after the presumptive term of reunification services had expired. Given the circumstances, the juvenile court could properly conclude it was not in the minor’s best interest to modify the previous order denying father reunification services.