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Name: In re Destiny D.
Case #: B279742
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 09/11/2017
Summary

Juvenile court had authority to terminate jurisdiction at the conclusion of the jurisdiction/disposition hearing. The juvenile court sustained allegations that father injured the minor when she attempted to intervene during an incident of domestic violence. The juvenile court released the minor to her mother, ordered monitored visitation for father, and terminated jurisdiction. On appeal, father argued that the juvenile court acted in excess of its statutory authority when it terminated jurisdiction at the conclusion of the combined jurisdiction/disposition hearing. He contended that once the juvenile court asserted dependency jurisdiction, it was obligated to set a review hearing before it could consider terminating jurisdiction. The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed the orders. The court’s statutory authority at disposition to make any reasonable orders necessary to protect the minor includes the power to terminate jurisdiction in an appropriate case. Such an action should not be the norm, but will be the unusual case when protections imposed at disposition are sufficient to permit the conclusion that termination is appropriate. Jurisdiction should not be terminated unless the court concludes services and ongoing supervision are not necessary to protect the child. Father was not entitled to services to enhance his relationship with the minor. Whether to continue jurisdiction to permit father to participate in additional services, given the minor’s safe placement with her mother, was a decision for the court. Father has not shown the court’s decision was arbitrary, capricious, or patently absurd.