There was sufficient evidence to support removal of the minors where parents had a four-year history in another state with the same issues giving rise to the current removal. The minors were initially removed from parents based on an allegation of neglect, due to mother’s mental health issues and the condition of the home. Subsequently, the Department discovered that parents had a history of involvement with child protective services in North Carolina from 2013 to 2017. The concerns in the North Carolina case were the same as the current concerns. A petition was sustained, and the minors were removed, with reunification services ordered. On appeal, father argued that there was insufficient evidence of risk to the minors if they remained in parental custody, because a messy home is insufficient to show danger to a child, and there was no evidence that mother’s mental health issues made her derelict in her parental duties. Mother joined father’s contention. The appellate court rejected the argument, disagreeing with father’s assessment of the evidence. In the North Carolina case, mother had a family maintenance case she did not complete. The issues were not resolved, and the same issues kept reoccurring. Further, the court made reasonable efforts to avoid removal, by offering return to the father if mother stayed out of the home. It was parents who decided that mother would not move out. Given mother’s history, there was ample evidence to support the court’s order removing the children.
The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: https://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/E072514.PDF