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Name: In re Gabriel K.
Case #: A132589
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 02/03/2012

Juvenile court properly denied services under section 361.5(b)(10) where services had previously been terminated and mother had made no progress toward alleviating the causes for the removal of the minors. Mother appealed the denial of reunification services pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 361.5 (b)(10). She argued that the court improperly denied services under section 361.5(b)(10) as to the minor Gabriel because services had never been terminated as to his sibling, as required by the statute. The juvenile court acknowledged that this was true, but concluded that the past termination of services for Gabriel, the same child rather than a sibling, warranted the denial of further services. The appellate court rejected the argument, finding that although the statute is ambiguous, it should be interpreted to comport with the Legislature’s intent. Denial of further services to mother regarding Gabriel, where services had already previously been terminated, was consistent with legislative intent. Mother also argued that the statute did not apply because she made continuing efforts to address the issue which led to Gabriel’s removal. The appellate court rejected that argument, finding that mother remained enmeshed in a drug life which posed a danger to her children. Further, she continued to deny that there was a problem, and one cannot correct a problem one fails to acknowledge. The juvenile court also did not abuse its discretion when it refused to order services despite the applicability of section 361.5(b)(10) because it was in the minors’ best interest. The juvenile court found that mother had made no progress towards alleviating the causes of the removal of the minors. This finding effectively counters mother’s argument that her progress in other areas justified the the provision of further services.