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Name: In re J.P.
Case #: B281438
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 09/26/2017

Reversal was required where the court failed to appoint counsel for mother before a hearing on her 388 petition. The minor resided in a group home after his legal guardianship was terminated. At the hearing to remove the minor from the guardianship, neither mother nor her counsel were present, and the court relieved counsel. Mother visited the minor in his group home and attended all subsequent court hearings without counsel. Mother filed a section 388 petition requesting reappointment of counsel, reunification services, and unmonitored visits. The juvenile court did not appoint counsel for mother. It ordered additional services, but denied a change in the visitation orders. The appellate court reversed the orders, finding the juvenile court erred in failing to reappoint counsel before the section 388 hearing. The failure to appoint counsel for mother deprived her of due process and prejudicially affected the manner in which the 388 hearing was conducted. Remand was required with orders to appoint counsel for mother immediately, permit counsel to file a new section 388 petition, and vacate the previous orders.