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Name: In re E.D.
Case #: C072238
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/09/2013

Minor had to be returned to father where there was no evidence that placement with father would create a substantial risk of detriment to the child. The minor was removed from mother’s custody after a substance abuse relapse. The Department recommended return of the minor to his father’s care with a plan of family maintenance services. (Father had previous custody of the minor, but following a single domestic violence incident involving father and his girlfriend, mother had regained custody.) The court placed minor in foster care with services to father, but not mother. The court later ordered the minor placed with maternal grandmother. Father’s visits were increased, including overnight visits. In a twelve-month review report, the Department recommended placement of the minor with his father on family maintenance. An ICPC report had found father’s home in Nevada acceptable, unsupervised overnight visits had gone well, and the minor consistently said he wanted to live with his father and half-siblings. Father had complied with his case plan and conjoint counseling had gone well. Maternal grandmother opposed return of the minor to his father. The court ordered the minor to remain placed with his grandmother. The appellate court reversed the orders and ordered the minor to be placed with his father. The juvenile court did not cite any evidence that returning the minor to father’s custody would create a substantial risk of detriment to the minor. Absent any evidence of detriment, the order denying placement with father was not supported by substantial evidence.