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Name: In re J.I.
Case #: H025358
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/19/2003
Subsequent History: None
Summary

Mother received adequate notice of a September 9 Welfare and Institutions Code section 366.26 hearing where she received adequate notice of, and was present at, a hearing on March 13 where the hearing was continued to September 9. The Department was not required to send her another more formal notice nearer to the time of the continued hearing. The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied mother’s counsel’s request to continue the 366.26 hearing because mother was not present. Mother received adequate notice, and counsel did not present good cause for the continuance, noting only that he did not know where she was. Mother also argued in a petition for writ of habeas corpus, that she did not appear at the 366.26 hearing because she had been involuntarily detained in a mental health facility, and it was therefore error to have held the 366.26 hearing in her absence. Assuming the court erred in failing to continue the hearing to determine mother’s whereabouts, the error was not prejudicial. Mother’s presence would not have changed the outcome of the hearing. There was sufficient evidence of adoptability where the five-year-old minor was living with a family who wanted to adopt her, and was in therapy with the adoptive parents to work on her emotional issues.