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Name: In re E.D.
Case #: B284657
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 03/01/2018
Summary

Evidence was insufficient to support a jurisdiction finding where there was no evidence that one isolated incident of domestic violence caused a substantial risk of harm to the minor. The two-month-old minor’s father struck the minor’s mother while she was holding the minor. Mother obtained a restraining order against father and ended her relationship with him. Father had a history of domestic violence as well as several other arrests. By the time of the jurisdiction and disposition hearing, father had completed a domestic violence program and enrolled in counseling. The social worker reported he had a caring relationship with the minor. The juvenile court sustained a petition that alleged the minor was at risk of physical harm. On appeal, father contended that the evidence was insufficient to support the court’s jurisdictional finding as to him. The appellate court found that since father’s status could have consequences in future dependency proceedings, it would consider father’s argument despite the fact that mother did not contest the juvenile court’s findings. The court found that the jurisdictional order was not supported by substantial evidence of a substantial risk of serious physical harm. There was no evidence that at the time of the jurisdiction hearing the domestic violence between mother and father was ongoing or likely to continue. There was no evidence of any repeat behavior, and father had admitted the misconduct and taken steps to correct his behavior. A child shall continue to be a dependent child only as long as is necessary to protect the child from risk of physical harm. Here, there was insufficient evidence that the risk continued past one incident, and the orders were therefore reversed.