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Name: In re Grace P. et al.
Case #: B275689
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 02/10/2017
Summary

Juvenile court erred by denying father a contested hearing on beneficial parent-child relationship exception to termination of parental rights. Throughout the dependency case, father visited the minors regularly and had positive visits. The minors said they missed father, and the foster parent, who monitored the visits, reported to the Agency that the children were bonded to father. At a 366.26 hearing, father requested a contested hearing to determine the applicability of the beneficial parent-child relationship exception to the termination of parental rights. He made an offer of proof regarding the regular visits and his bond with the children, and said the minor Grace would testify that she wanted visits to continue and saw him as a father figure. The juvenile court denied father a contested hearing. The appellate court reversed the order and remanded for a contested hearing. Father’s offer of proof regarding the consistency and quality of visitation was sufficient. Further, father offered the minor’s testimony that she would be sad if visitation with father ended. The offer of proof indicated that Father and the minor would expound on the details of the relationship that had been positively documented by the Agency. When a parent has consistently and regularly visited his children and offers testimony regarding the quality of the relationship and the possible resulting detriment that would be caused by termination, a juvenile court abuses its discretion if it denies a contested hearing on the beneficial parent-child relationship exception.