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Name: In re G.P.
Case #: D064965
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 06/19/2014

The juvenile court’s lack of finding of detriment as to father was either invited error or could be implied based on his long incarceration period. Minors were removed from their mother due to her methamphetamine abuse. Father had been incarcerated in a federal prison in Indiana since 2008 and was unaware of the minors’ situation. Father requested appointment of counsel and appeared telephonically. The court found that it was not required to make a detriment finding as to father before terminating parental rights because father had not requested custody of the minors. Parental rights were terminated. On appeal, father argued that that his due process rights were violated because the juvenile court never made a finding that the minors would suffer detriment if returned to him. The appellate court rejected the argument and affirmed. Although the court failed to make the requisite detriment finding, a finding of detriment can be implied from the record. Father never had a relationship with the minors, and had no contact with them since his arrest in 2008. Father was in custody and not due to be released until 2019, and would most likely be deported upon release. On this record “it would be nonsensical to send the case back” for the juvenile court to make an explicit finding of detriment.