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Name: In re Destiny S.
Case #: B239393
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 10/31/2012
Summary

Juvenile court’s order declaring minor dependent was unsupported by a specific defined risk of harm. The 11-year-old minor Destiny was placed with her mother on voluntary maintenance because she was regularly tardy to school and mother had a history of methamphetamine and marijuana abuse. When mother tested positive for those substances, CPS removed Destiny and filed a petition. The evidence showed that Destiny was a healthy, happy, well-cared-for pre-teen. She no longer had problems with tardiness. Nonetheless, the court removed Destiny, finding that she was at risk of harm because mother was in denial as to her drug habit, and Destiny had a previous history of lateness to school. The appellate court reversed the juvenile court orders. No evidence suggested that Destiny was at risk of imminent pnysical harm because of her mother’s drug use. Further, mother had tested clean for three months prior to the hearing. The evidence did not support the court’s finding that there was a risk of serious physical harm from parental neglect.