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Name: In re J.S.
Case #: E058963
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 08/19/2014
Summary

There was sufficient evidence to support removal order due to ongoing domestic violence between parents. Minors were removed due to admitted incidents of domestic violence over several years. On appeal, the mother argued that it was no longer a concern because she was not living with the father. However, the most recent incident occurred after the parents were already not living together. Father argued that the incidents had not physically affected the minors. The appellate court rejected both arguments. Current law allows removal if there is a substantial danger to the health, safety, protection, or physical or emotional well-being of the minor. Ongoing domestic violence was substantial evidence of a substantial danger to the minors’ emotional well-being. Father also challenged the denial of reunification services, arguing that his prior conviction for second degree sexual abuse was a misdemeanor under Kentucky law. The appellate court also rejected this argument, finding that the prior conviction was equivalent to the California felony of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14, therefore it qualified as a violent felony for purposes of denial of reunification services.