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Name: In re Janet T.
Case #: B147625
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 7
Opinion Date: 10/29/2001
Summary

Mother’s failure to ensure the minors’ school attendance and the fact that she and the children exhibited mental and emotional problems did not constitute a basis for juvenile court jurisdiction.

The sustained allegations in the Welf. and Inst. section 300 (b) petition, that mother failed to ensure the minors’ school attendance, and that she and the children demonstrated mental and emotional problems, did not state a basis for juvenile court jurisdiction. There were no facts alleged nor evidence showing that mother’s failure to ensure regular school attendance subjected the minors to injury or illness as required by section 300(b), nor did the petition provide facts to suggest how mother’s mental health problems created a risk that the minors would suffer serious physical injury. Although the Department is not required to include the contents of its report in the petition, the petition should present facts necessary to establish a ground for jurisdiction. None of the conditions relating to physical injury outlined in the social worker’s report existed at the time of the hearing on the petition, and there was no allegation that those events were the result of mother’s mental health condition. Past infliction of physical harm by a caretaker standing alone does not establish a substantial risk of physical harm without a reason to believe those acts may continue in the future. Further, the fact that father’s whereabouts were unknown was not sufficient to sustain a dependency allegation against mother.