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Name: In re J.C.
Case #: G049095
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 05/22/2014

The juvenile court properly terminated parental rights where mother could not show benefits to minor of modification of permanent plan. Mother appealed from the denial of her 388 modification petition, contending that she made a sufficient showing to warrant an order granting her custody of the minor and vacating the 366.26 hearing. Mother had demonstrated that she had achieved sobriety and had a renewed interest in parenting classes. The appellate court rejected the argument, finding that mother did not establish that an order granting her custody was in the minor’s best interest. Minor had been in a loving and stable placement with a relative for over two years, and was bonded to the relative and her family. Mother did not dispute the relationship and failed to present any evidence that the minor’s interest in permanency and stability would be furthered by the proposed modification. The Supreme Court directed in In re Stephanie M. that after reunification services have terminated, a parent’s petition for an order returning custody or reopening reunification services must establish how such a change will advance the child’s need for permanency and stability. The appellate court rejected mother’s argument that the benefit of her relationship with the minor outweighed the benefits of a permanent home. The juvenile court reasonably concluded that the minor had a friendly-visitor relationship with mother, but easily separated from her. Accordingly, the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion.