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Name: In re J.T.
Case #: B251780
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 8
Opinion Date: 08/07/2014
Summary

The juvenile court did not err when it ordered visitation with paternal grandmother over mother’s objections following dismissal of dependency jurisdiction. During the period of time that the juvenile court asserted jurisdiction over the minor J.T., he was placed with his paternal grandmother. In 2012, the minor was placed with his mother under supervision of the Department, and in 2013, the court terminated dependency jurisdiction. At the same time, over mother’s objection, the court ordered visitation with the paternal grandmother once a week. On appeal, mother argued that the visitation order impermissibly infringed on her fundamental parenting rights under the 14th Amendment, and also that the trial court abused its discretion when it denied her 388 petition asking that the court terminate or modify the visitation order. The appellate court rejected mother’s argument and affirmed. The juvenile court was authorized by section 362.4 to issue the visitation order. Further, the visitation order did not infringe on mother’s fundamental right to parent. While the court must accord the parent’s objection special weight, the court may still grant visitation with the grandparent where it is in the best interests of the child. Nor did the court err when it denied mother’s 388 petition. There was no evidence supporting mother’s position that if allowed to visit J.T., grandmother would make false allegations about her or would engage in behavior which would have a negative impact on the minor.